Over on the HBR blogs, Alfredo Behrens posted an intriguing piece about the challenges and tricks to building successful teams in emerging markets.
Most South Americans derive their identity from the group to which they belong. They stick to neighborhoods where they build loyalty-bound networks, and they distrust those who are outsiders. South Americans work best with people they already know. These are traits South Americans share with many workers in BRIC countries, where much of the world's future growth is expected.
Because South Americans perform best in teams made up of people they already know, they would take too long to become a high-performing team made up of Venezuelans and Uruguayans. When left to work on their own, the Uruguayans recovered their original teamwork spirit and performed highly enough to pique the Venezuelans to improve their own ratings. South American are competitive, but not individually. They compete better in teams.
I wonder if Behrens' analysis here applies generally to workers in emerging meeting and event industry markets, too. I suspect there will be some crossover, but considering how meetings have such a global/border-agnostic view of business at times, I suspect our lil old industry might be an exception...perhaps teams in emerging markets initially work best with people they know and cultures in which they've grown up, but to expand into the international world of business those in the meeting and event industry must be able to transcend this.
Or am I just thinking "cray" on a Friday?
Image: (CC) michaelcardus