Thomas Friedman wrote on a book on the world becoming flat a few years ago. With businesses going global, faster communication shortening distances and cultures mixing up, the world has indeed become flat and with the world becoming globalized, work environments are not local anymore and there is a growing need for inter-continental cross-cultural collaboration within teams across organizations.

As an organization which was founded on the philosophy that the best solutions to global community problems will emerge from cross-cultural multi-disciplinary teams, Acara understands that working in teams which are geographically wide-spread and consist of people from different cultures is not easy and we are making every attempt to address that. I read an email by Fred (Founder and CEO of Acara) today where he proposed a process which would help teams structure themselves and operate more effectively.

When assigning tasks to a team, what are the major questions that one needs to answer? – What needs to get done? Who does what? What are my teammates going to do? Who is accountable for the results? A format called the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) matrix is used by industry task groups to help the groups understand WHO is accountable for WHAT and who is going to HELP.

If you are a team, this is what you need to do. For each activity, look at each team member and determine if they need to be involved in the task in one of the following ways:

R:  Responsible for doing the work on the task
A:  Accountable that the task gets done, and for compiling R efforts into common output.
C:  May provide expertise about the task (could be a professor, mentor)
I:  Needs to be kept informed (other team members?)

This process will help identify a role for every team member and then every task can be tracked and monitored. Keep going!

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