The essence of all businesses is promotion of products, services or the organizations. The process by which this promotion is done is called business communication. Business communication also includes circulating information within the business as well as dealing with legal and other associated issues. As a product manager, who is responsible for leading a cross-functional product team, it is a difficult task to launch a global product and lead a group of team members who do not directly report to me. Some of these individuals live overseas in Europe and South America too. Furthermore, the team has six months to launch the new product; therefore, time is of the essence. Under such circumstances, the aspect of communication becomes very vital. (Rouse, 2001)
Personal networking is an important element in this context because with such mode it is possible to understand the pace and atmosphere of the team members and thus, it can be geared accordingly if needed without wasting time. However, there are barriers to communication and outstation members, like the ones in Europe and South America, find it difficult to stay on touch. Thus, it is important to maintain a constant online connection through electronic media and telecommunications. (Daft, 2000)
The procedure of success depends on the personal touch of the leader that motivates the members. Be it warm greetings in the morning or setting a well formulated short-termed goal, it is essential to know every details of the team and that is the only way to “manage up” the problems and succeed. However, it should be remembered that this team is based on horizontal communication because the members are not liable to report to their immediate leader. This makes it difficult to yield loyalty. Thus, the best process is to become personal and gain confidence of the members by setting positive examples and under such conditions the members would appreciate and the members would gain confidence under this leader. Horizontal communication is more about understanding and not an abuse of authority. Thus, being a friend to the members would make the job of leading the team much easier. (Daft, 2000)
Cross-culture communication is a difficult aspect and to succeed in that requires patience and right attitude. In a cross-culture team, the members’ attitudes towards work and execution differ in accordance to the individual’s culture and social norms. It is evident that the perspective of a member from South America would differ from that of a member from Europe. Thus, as a leader, it is important to act as a mediator between these cultural mind frames. If this action is not taken or there is a delay in action, it is logical to believe that things would fall apart under such conditions and the project would suffer as a result. (Taylor, 2005)
Innovative communication method to keep the team members and management informed on the project, due dates and launch activities:
- FACE TO FACE meetings – a personal mode of communication which proves to be very effective when followed or accompanied by written communication.
TELEPHONED meetings – very much akin to face to face meetings, it allows speech over long distance.
- E-MAILS – provide an instantaneous mode of written communication with a personal touch, around the globe.
PRESENTATIONS – often involving audiovisual material, is a very popular method of communication in almost all modern organizations. (Daft, 2000)
FORUM BOARDS – allows instant communication by displaying information in a centrally located display area.
- WEB-BASED communication – another mode of instant communication anytime, anywhere around the world. (Doerfel, Summer 2002).
Daft, Richard L; 2000; Management; Dryden Press
Doerfel, Marya L. & Brent D. Ruben; Summer 2002; Developing more adaptive, innovative, and interactive organizations; New Directions for Higher Education; Volume 2002, Issue 118, 5-2
Rouse, Michael J & Sandra Rouse; 2001; Business Communications: A Cultural and Strategic Approach; Cengage Learning EMEA
Taylor, Shirley; 2005; Communication for Business: A Practical Approach; Pearson Longman