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Written Analysis of the

(Re) Building a Global Team: Tariq Khan at

Submitted to
The case revolves around Tariq Khan employed at Tek who is confused whether to
accept Global sales and marketing team manager position or not. He must make his
decision but seeing the previous manager’s failure to lead the team he is confused
whether to take this opportunity or not.
 On one hand if he succeeds this will be the right road to executive position
 On the other hand, it’s a big risk, if he fails to deliver, his reputation at Tek will
suffer and all his hard work and efforts for the company will go down the drain.
He fears he might lose his position on the “High potential” list at Tek.


A lot of questions were revolving in his head after he had a prolonged meeting with
senior leadership members of the team. He was banking on this meeting to decide upon
his acceptance of the offer, but the meeting could not create clarity of the actual problem
why the team’s Market share was declining. On Sunil’s suggestion he decided to visit
the entire team so that he can take first hand information and do his part of analysis on
what was the actual problem of declining performance of the team.
Khan was under immense pressure because if he takes the position he will have to
reverse all the previous damage and pull the team back from their current position to an
increasing market share and sales growth in only two years. Also, the executives were
all eyes for quick results seeing his previous performance. Similarly applying for this
position was pushed by a friend so Khan was analyzing whether its better to take a risk
and accept the role and put his reputation at stake.
He was thinking about his past experiences and was confident at one hand but was also
concerned that the previous manager warned him not to take this position and put his
reputation at stake. Also, the team was very diverse in both language and culture. He
was confused whether it will turn in his favor or not? Working with a 68 people team
spread across 27 countries could be really challenging. Throughout his analysis of the
entire situation he was unable to find out the role of the market in the declining
performance of the team. This was mentioned by Sunil one of the senior executives of
the team but he wasn’t backed by anyone on the team. The senior executive each had a
separate reason for the decline in groups performance and they could not reach
consensus on one reason. This was also a matter for concern for Khan.
One of the senior executive Lars who was from Sweden was rumored to be indifferent
towards his team. He used to mock his team mates and was insensitive towards the
teams social and cultural practices. Khan was really concerned if he takes the position
how would dealing with Lars would be challenge for him as he was senior and one of

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the best performers of the group. His product knowledge was a plus at one end but his
nature was not. Khan will have to deal with hm or fire him or transfer him.
Similarly, Khan had worked with a multilingual group before and he had sorted their
issues by forcing them one language of communication but eventually the people did
not receive it well. He was concerned what he should do for such a diverse group of
multilingual people.


Tariq Khan is an Electrical Engineer who started his career with SPK where he had
experience with sales, business development and project management. He held the
project manager position before he left and joined Tek. Due to his performance and
promising potential he was among the list of “High Potentials” at Tek. Being a part of
this list meant high visibility among senior executives and fast track promotion to
executive role. He was only 33 when he was offered his role of Global manager. Khan’s
start with Tek was as Sales team leader (procurement, planning and front-line sales)
Later he was promoted to Country Manager. In addition to this he was on the Global
Competence Development Committee in which he visited sales teams in different
countries and observed their methods, motivation and challenges. He retained this role
even when he was transferred to Dubai for a new assignment in Business Development.
This role gave him an edge as he worked with multilingual and different cultural teams.
He was successful in leading the business development in Iraq and Bangladesh.
Tariq khan has very prominent qualities and advantages that could add to the new
position offered:
 Optimistic and confident in Tek’s brand
 He was experienced in converting individuals into a collaborative team
 He has really good communication skills and was always trying to find answers
so that the actual problem can be identified, and solutions can be found.
 Experienced and trained for employee motivation
 Knew how to probe to find what mattered for employees the most
 He liked challenges
 He could gel in with other nationalities easily. It is very difficult to please Indians
but still Khan was able to manage that
 He had experience working with a culturally diverse and multilingual team

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The team consisted of 68 people from 27 different countries and speaking 18 different
languages. The team members were aged between 22 to 61 years. In the last two years
there had been a decline in its performance when it was headed by Ali Amlak who was
leaving this position. The employee satisfaction had also reduced to half from its peak.


The team was very diverse, and it was facing issues as is. Due to the culture and
language difference there were divisions in the team. This was observed by Khan at the
meeting in Dubai. Moreover, people in the team were bonding based on religious and
cultural similarities. On a larger basis there were two major segregations in the team
 Native and highly fluent English Speakers
 Less fluent English speakers who had confidence issues because of this
The major set back of this language diversity was in Central Asia where the employees
had to converse in three different languages. Most of the employees were not even
natives so they had to learn three different languages to work there.
Another major difference between the teams working in different countries was their
time difference and difference in working days. That posed a major problem among
their coordinations. There were four different time zones in which the teams operated
worldwide. Similarly, team members were not gelled in properly some of them did not
even know the nationalities of their team members.


To decide better Khan also had a meeting with Ali Amlak the previous manager of the
group who was leaving the Job. He warned him directly and stated that with he usual
business there were other issues from here and there that had to be managed. A cultural
misunderstanding led to a legal situation of harassment. According to him issues such
as deliveries need to be looked after too. Khan tried to understand how he had tried to
sort the issues; to which he replied that people in the team were resistant to change
always and he had even arranged a retreat which worked in the start for gelling the team
but later the same cultural issues came up.


1. All the three leadership executives did not have a consensual reason as to the group’s
1.1. Sunil blamed the market conditions for declining margins which were because
of increasing prices
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1.2. Lars was blaming the brand and the team’s inability to deliver at deadline
1.3. Ramzan blamed the target setting practice as the issue in which no one is willing
to take responsibility of higher targets hence they are settling for less.
2. Sunil further pointed out a structural change issue according to which the 20 percent
of salaries were made variable to the revenue earned. This was backing his point of
market price change
3. The meeting ended with highlight of internal problem of communication in which
came in the forefront when Ramzan accused Lars as the reason for not meeting his
target last year. That problem was due to lack of communication among the teams.
Lars had an attitude that we could have fixed this which was a positive insight.
4. Another finding that he had with Farah a Lebanese customer service associate was
that there was no proper communication to the team members about the Group’s
overall performance. Also, for customer representatives also all other employee’s
money mattered the most first and then their promotion and appreciation. Also,
passion towards the work they are doing.


1) External Problems:
Market changes in prices of base oil
2) Internal Problem:
 Lack of communication among teams. (no proper holiday communication)
 Inefficient management of time zone differences
 Language barrier in the team
 Changes in the salary structure which was not based on earnings and increase in
cost was decreasing the salaries
 Target setting from top down was making the country managers reluctant of
accepting higher targets and they were settling for lesser than they were capable
of. There was an imbalance in target distribution.
 Delivering on time issues from one team to the other
 Why wasn’t the team’s overall performance communicated to the team members
 Why weren’t the employees given ownership of their targets?
 Lars attitude towards the cultural and social practices among the team members.

There was an alarming systemic problem in the firm which was the organization culture
related and which rooted from the English-speaking ability due to which there were
groupings within teams and there was no collaboration among them. Lars also played
an important role in developing culture and religion differences.

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Khan should take up this offer and accept it as a challenge in a positive way and
confident over his abilities and experience. With every new role there is a greater
challenge and responsibility, but the issues highlighted can be resolved by collaboration
among the teams and cohesion among them.
 He will need to have strong contact with all the regional managers and country
 Structure change is always resisted within the firms but employees should be
motivated towards working in a passionate way. This will increase their interests
and they will focus more on increasing sales rather than meeting their targets.
 Reducing cultural differences is the most difficult -its at the bottom of the pyramid
but with constant effort it can be done
 Help the employees less fluent with English through confidence and English
 Bimonthly meeting with all the employees asking their views on the actual targets.
 Khan should act as an Advisor (Manager’s Evolving Role) so that his team members
can take Leadership and facilitator roles. He will ensure that the team members have
the resources and support they need also this will inculcate ownership.
 Take Lars on his team as his assistant so he can mentor him on his attitude as well
as take his advice on the product matters because he has experienced working with
 Celebrate cultural festivals to bring employees together.
 Develop a proper set of procedures based on coordination among the teams and
deliveries (Lateral Processes).
 Collaboration approach to be used.
 Inculcate employee motivation.
 Have a performance based monthly reward system.
 Work like a network team.

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