We are proposing a communication tool that will help people in different parts of the world (or a country) and working in a same organization, to integrate and work better. This will help to humanize virtual relationships in virtual teams and in organizations that are becoming more global.
As a result for the corporate environment, companies have built relevant footprint in several nations and all continents, making their products global. Many of these global companies for years have adopted a traditional organizational structure, which basically establishes a central-driven organization: headquarters dictate the vision, principles, communication and all important guidelines and the subsidiaries must strictly follow the instructions.
However, there are some important negative consequences that this structure brings to the company. Not all the subsidiaries can follow the same direction that the headquarter orient to. Despite having global business, the companies should adapt it to local tastes and specific demand. Otherwise, some markets basically would not accept the products and the company would fail in its objectives. Therefore, an organizational structure that prevents the free flow of communication within the company would naturally isolate the division that “looks different”. And this isolation again brings more negative impacts for the company, considering that it would not be possible anymore to share best practices and obtain synergies for the whole group. Therefore, the organization structure plays a key role and a right balance between central/decentralized configurations should be pursued.
In addition to the problems mentioned, another common situation is related to communication. It’s not difficult for companies to have difficulties on transmitting the right message from the top to the bottom of the pyramid. Usually the message is changed or not even delivered.
Therefore, a company that can provide free and diverse channels of communication would have a competitive advantage in its market. Not only between headquarter and the subsidiaries, but also among the several functions, divisions and departments. Employees would be able to share best practices and discuss similar problems they were facing. A regulatory strategy department from a European subsidiary would be able to share negotiations with their local regulators when the new regulations also are taking place in Latin America, for example.
Therefore, providing the company with simple tools would be key to develop these capabilities. Analyzing the daily basis work from great part of the employees from multinationals, we came with the idea of using a very common place to increase the flow of information between the employees: the coffee area. Everyday thousands/millions of employees meet there to chat; hence we could take advantage of this space and this time to improve the communication within the company.
The initiative consists on having large (LCD) screens in the coffee area with internet connection and direct channel to headquarter and other subsidiaries. This will allow employees to introduce spontaneity in their global work-connections and work as effectively with their colleagues across the ocean as with their colleague next door. There could be a “yellow list” where the employees could look for each other, according to specialty, position, geography etc.