Adam Torres and Mayank Bhatnagar discuss managing global teams.
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Effectively managing global teams can unlock new growth opportunities for savvy corporate leaders. In this episode, Adam Torres and Mayank Bhatnagar, Director of Business & Technology Strategy at Accenture Inc., explore tips to managing global teams and the new book Mayank recently released, Mission Matters: World’s Leading Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Top Tips To Success (Business Leaders Vol. 9, Edition 11).
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Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, Just head on over to mission matters.com and click on Be Our Guest to Apply. All right, so today is a very special episode. We’re bringing my young bot nigger back onto the show and celebrating him as an author in our recently released business leader’s book.
My Young is the Director of Business and Technology Strategy over at Accenture. My young first off. Hey Matt. Welcome back to the show and congratulations on becoming a published author. Thanks, Adam. Thanks for having me. I’m very happy that the book is launched and hopefully we can get it to the right hands soon.
Oh man. Well well, I’m excited to do that and to work on this promo with you. It’s been really a, a pleasure and an honor to work with you. And then your content managing global teams was the topic that you presented, which I mean, as you know, post covid the workplace, everybody thinking about how to grow business and teams, especially internationally.
A lot of business owners, entrepreneurs and executives that watch this, that are, you know, expanding, right? We’re in expansion mode for many. And, and your valuable insights, not just in the book, but on this show have been, have been a big help in, in passing on that information. But my, just to get us kicked off, we’re gonna start this episode.
You already know the drill. Just like we start them all with our mission matters minute. So Myun, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts. That’s our mission. Myun. What mission matters to you? So I think our mission stays the same, Adam, as we discussed last, building strong foundations, building global teams, establishing, you know, common protocols between the teams.
You know, establishing and embracing cultural differences, understanding how people work together, set the expectations, leverage technology, leverage the strategy to working in a specific team culture and creating new products and services that works with works with everybody else. So mission remains the same and would love to grow on the same path.
Lot of different topics you could have written about why managing global teams. You know, this has been an important topic in my career the last two decades, being in technology and com, completing a few iterations in my career, I’ve noticed that working remotely, especially in covid times, even pre covid times, working in in person managing teams in multiple geographies is, is a big challenge.
And delivering, delivering service and products from multiple countries is again, a bigger challenge. So we have learned along the way, and in my book that we worked with you on, I think people would realize how hard it is to make it happen, although it’s not impossible, but there are ways to do it.
And we have learned a few things that I would like to share with everybody, you know during the book and also Also making sure that people don’t make the same mistakes that we did, you know? Mm-hmm. 20 years ago, we didn’t have enough technology pieces available to us a few years ago, but now we do.
So we might not have those kind of challenges, but the challenges of culture, challenges of time zones, challenges of, you know, communication protocols between, between geography still remain. They’re still very natural. And how do we go about you know working through them that’s in the book.
So I think that’s something, something that I’ve, I’ve been very close to in the last few years. And we’ll, we’re gonna circle back to the book, but I don’t wanna assume that maybe any of our, our new listeners caught some of our previous content that we shot together. And so I wanna maybe take a step back for a moment or two and talk a little bit about your, your background and really what qualifies you when it comes to managing managing global teams.
Because, I mean, you’ve been number one, you’ve been working internationally for a long time, and you’ve been in this communication space for a long time as well. So maybe give us a little bit of that. Of course, of course. I’ve been in the comm space for about more than, more than two decades. Mm-hmm. And when I started my career I had offices in almost seven countries and you know, all over the globe.
So we had to, we had to start building products you know, around communication marketplace. And what we realized is you know every country has its own set of, set of pros and cons that we were learning and. And while we were doing that, we created devices, we created software services, we created cloud services.
And my background actually spans across hardware and software. You know, that’s how we grew into the space. Think about, you know, 20 years ago, we never had any wireless GS that people knew about. And now we are what, what was the hardware like 20 years ago? What was the phone that was out? Do you remember?
Yeah, we talked about it in the, in the other one, right? We had, we didn’t have a well, we didn’t have a smartphone. We have smart devices like Palm Palace and Pocket PCs and things, and we have regular phones. But then we, we could barely text on the phone and you know we grew from that.
We grew from that arena, I mean that area. And then now we are moving into smarter devices and smarter smart devices, you know, so with AI and machine learning and literally every device. So yeah, most of my career has panned across building networks, building devices, building services around these industries.
Yeah. All right. So and, and I like to set the stage for the discussion with that because the, the main thing is fast growing telecommunications industry technology, rap, rapidly changing hardware, rapidly changing, like all of these different components. So when you think about the idea of managing global teams, getting things to work, getting supply chain down, like all crucial to, in order to have this buildup that’s happening in telecommunications just in general.
So that being said, What do you hope that, as we kind of circle back to the book, like what are you hoping that your readers, you know, get out of reading your, your content? So you know, the first and foremost building global teams is the first topic of choice that we took in the book. Mm-hmm.
Second, how to grow you know, how to grow your thought process while working with the teams. And it could be any, I mean, I’m coming from the wireless background and calm background, but other people can come from various backgrounds. But they’ll all get to the same issue of working with global teams and what can they make, what can they leverage to make that that thing successful or whatever they’re doing in a, in a life.
And the book doesn’t actually, you know focus on one vertical. It focuses on multiple verticals. So it’s very generic in terms of, you know, approaching the work that you do depending on the reader. But I’m hoping that people learn how to, how to work within. Multiple time zones, multiple ways of, you know, team building, multiple types of technologies, multiple types of services.
So hopefully they can learn how best to orchestrate that, you know, together to get, to get the perf, you know, to get the perfect output. Mm-hmm. Otherwise it, it gets, it gets very challenging. Now I know there’s no, you know, one size fits all and it’s gonna be, you know, what, what works for one organization isn’t gonna necessarily work for the other.
But I do like to, you know, leave our audience with, you know, some specific tips or some things that they can take away from this so that they can, you know, hopefully implement them. And these can be from the book or they can be, you know, outside of the book, but just in general. As you’ve gone through this, as, as other organizations, whether they’re small businesses or larger enterprises, go into this, you know, new world of managing teams that are, you know, that aren’t necessarily local.
What are some things that they, are, some lessons that you’ve learned along the way that can maybe help them succeed? I think the training resiliency, you know, things like that, that you can build between teams, lowering the churn how can you help lower the churn so when you, when you create. Your perfect team scenario and, and people are, are churning more, then you lose the time and energy to keep training more people.
So I think how do you keep people within the team? How do you keep them excited? How do you keep them excited for the next future? You know, those are things that you need to think about. What will keep your workforce together you know, is think about those KPIs. Think, think about those metricses. Think about.
You know, what we can give them as ammunition so they can grow upon them. Mm-hmm. And and those are things that I think about when I’m trying to create a perfect workforce for me. How are they growing along with the team and, you know, how they’re working together. So few things, you know few of those things are important to, important to analyze.
Some teams can be different compared to the others. Like some teams like in some geographies. One particular area is much stronger. Like we have noticed that in some geographies, science is more, I you know, much more mm-hmm. Deeper. Mm-hmm. With some teams and, and the other geographies developing supply chain devices are much more stronger.
So how do we harmonize it? How many, make sure that we have best of both worlds and try to mm-hmm. Work together rather than, you know, pushing out an agenda to the team in general. So those, those are things that we have to balance and that’s why I go through the book on how to balance these these specific items.
Hmm. And so, you know, as we are all going, in my opinion, more to this, to this new era of hiring remotely and other things like that. What do you think that, like in your career, you’ve seen that when, when people really get it right, like what are some of those, those elements that are, that are kind of sprinkled into it that you’re like, ah, and again, understanding every team’s gonna be a little bit different, but what are some of those things that you’ve noticed?
Yeah, the work culture you know, every country I’ve noticed is a very different work culture. You know, timing, delivery the way they interact. I think what I’ve noticed is that we can’t go one size fit all. It’s, it’s very hard. So we have to try to figure out what’s the platform that we can build so that all the team members can work together on to get the best output.
So what I’ve learned is getting multiple teams on the same platform. And kind of work in a, in a harmonized scenario where they can deliver, they can communicate, they can, you know, leverage technology and foster a team culture that encourages, you know, feedback based collaboration and communication.
Language is a big barrier in many countries. I think overcoming that is very, very critical. And then just, just the culture, you know, the decision making culture, the work culture. Yeah. So as a leader, when you have to start thinking about, you know getting them on the table we have to normalize that all culture and protocols you know, mm-hmm.
To make it work. So those are a few things I’ve learned along the way. Yeah. And when, when I think about mission matters, so I mean, we have, you know, we have a, a workforce that spans from, you know, India to the Philippines, to east coast in the US west coast, in the us Texas Florida. When we think about all of this Argentina, so South America.
So when we think about this, and we’re a small media company, like we’re growing, but we’re small, relatively speaking to, you know, an iHeartRadio, right? And when I think about this and when I think about the concept that I, I. The going on, which is this idea of like work-life balance and making sure that you have a good, healthy culture at work.
This is, I’ve seen, I think post pandemic, this spread a lot more, which I’m a big fan of by the way. And I feel like this idea of having, of individuals having a quality of work at life. But still, we all, we all still work very hard and in our case, we’re really mission driven and bought into the concept, I hope of mission matters and getting the stories out for, for our clients as well.
How, in your experience, either, you know, throughout your career even now, has this work-life balance like, kind of worked its way into, into managing these teams across the world? Yeah, I think important points, the work-life balance comes at a very expensive cost. But it’s nonetheless very, very important to make sure that we get it right.
And the way we think about in North America, the, the way people think about work-life balance in like South America for instance, or Yeah. Or Europe and, and APAC where most of my teams are their idea of work-life balance is so different than what our idea of work-life balance. Yeah. So I think, I think we, we try to intermingle, we try to make sure that we understand their limitations and understand their preferences.
Mm-hmm. And so, you know, create an open channel between all the teams. So when they are able to work at a particular scenario and you know, and we are able to work in a different scenario. Mm-hmm. How does it all come together? So, yeah, I think, having said that, in consulting, we have been using that collaboration piece for a long time, even before Covid.
Mm-hmm. We are by definition company that works remotely. With Covid it was even tighter. But then because we are trained to work remotely and most of our people are by definition because they’re in multiple countries anyway, they have learned how to, how to grow within that confined space.
And now since this opening up we are getting better on you know, on coming back to the office. But the work-life balance has a different definition. We just have to make sure that, you know, it matches what we go through. Yeah, I agree and it is tricky and, and especially with holidays and different things and just different customs, but to me, like some of the ideas that are.
Like harnessed, like from, from working across different cultures, different time zones and things like that. It’s just an invaluable experience and it’s just added tremendously to our company and the culture and just what we’re able to bring and the type of content in our case, which is our product that we’re able to produce.
I wanna pause for a moment here. I wanna, I wanna go further in the conversation, but I think it now is a good, a good point to talk a little bit about maybe Accenture and what you’re doing there, because I know, I know I’ve, I’ve been following you, I’ve been following your journey. There’s a whole lot of things I wanna talk about.
I mean, you got things going on in, in, in Spain, I mean, in Vegas. Just came back from a, a huge conference there as well. But before we get into that, let’s, let’s set the table with maybe talking a little bit about Accenture and what you do there. Of course, of course, Accenture. We span through multiple areas, but my area of focus is wireless communications and technology.
So as we talked earlier, you know, in the last two decades, how technology has progressed. I think in Accenture, what we are doing is we are creating some very unique platforms and capabilities for service providers and telecom providers. We, you keep hearing about 5g, you keep hearing about new advancements happening in consumer devices.
At Accenture we build go-to-market strategies. We give, we build design houses, we build service level pathways for companies to come in and succeed. Mm-hmm. So our clients usually come to us. We work across multiple verticals, so they come to us so that we can share our knowledge and we can share our design thinking with them.
So so what BioTeam does specifically is designing the next five years to 10 years of networks and services. What do we use moving forward? So, you know, we always think about the past and we learned from the past and we embody the present, but then what are we doing in the future? So innovation is very critical.
So we invest in innovation. So things we are working on is Metaverse, for instance. Metaverse is something that is very close to our team. The other thing we are doing is future home. People love smart devices and gadgets they put in their homes, but we have noticed that people need help in managing those devices.
People need help in advancing those devices and content that they create at home. We work on the video side of things because video, as you know, is gone from a setup box to a, you know, analog tv, to digital tv and now o t t. We are working with a lot of companies all over the world you know, to manage that kind of content and how it all comes together, how your life gets better.
Coming, moving forward, your, your life in home, your love outside the home, you know, and what are some new experiences we can build in coming times? Mm-hmm. You know, it takes about, usually we have seen what takes about 10 years for a user shift of experience. So think about, you know, our TV watching experience or our cell phone experience.
It takes like eight to 10 years for us to change our habit. Wow. Mm-hmm. Start touching the phones and using things and before that, typing on the phones and texting on the phones. And even before that, just talking on the phones, which are wireless. And even before that, it took 10 years for us to move from wireline to wireless.
So we believe that there, there are new ways of communication important to adopt incoming times. This will make you much more better you know, more productive. And we are working on those as we speak. We’re working with those things as you. I’m excited for it. I, I didn’t know the 10 year mark, but I know I might take a little bit longer.
I might be more along 12 years though I still kind of remember the click of the Blackberry and how, how hard it was for me to give that up. But now I, I mean, I love my smartphone. I love no button. So maybe I took longer. I’m a late adopter and some technology, others I like. But you mentioned, I’m wanna, you mentioned.
Spain, I wanna spend a little bit more time there. I know last time we were on the show or you were on the show we were talking about fi, 5g, Spain. I mean, what can you tell us? Yeah. So, you know as most of us know 5G as a network from wireless providers has been building up for quite a while.
Mm-hmm. We talk about 5G for a few years. And now we are at a point that most of the providers in the us you might, you know, at, you know, at t and Verizon and T-Mobile, they all have 5G networks today. Now we are at a, at a point where we want to go help them monetize the network. So building networks is very expensive.
So building networks, you go to the fcc, you get your spectrum, you start building the spectrum, you start building towers, update the towers, and then change the phones so they can use the towers. And the devices need to be bought by customers like you and me. And this is all very expensive. You know, and long tail situation.
Now we at the point that we have deployed a lot of 5G around the country and we are still deploying as we speak. But now the time, now it’s time to monetize. Now it’s time to un understand what services can we launch on, on 5g. So at WC we launched a few services. We launched a few tangential products that carriers can use and service providers can use on top of 5g.
We think about enterprises using private networks, using 5g. We are thinking about reinventing the home. We have a whole practice within our team. That is thinking about a new home scenario. Mm-hmm. When we all go back home, we think about autonomous cars, we think about connected TV and connected lights and connected switches and all that, but it is still very fragmented.
You know, people still walk into a Home Depot and they just, they still don’t know what to buy in order to automate their home. So we are trying to think that through and we are thinking. If, if we can give you great internet at home, we can give you great wireless service on your phone, why can’t we give you good connectivity in your home so you can make your life better?
You can do more things like better entertainment or, you know, better managing your kids and family controls and things of that nature. So we have the thing of those things. So that’s a platform that we are building in an Accenture. Last month in Barcelona, we launched that platform on a strategy level.
In CES in Vegas early this year, we also launched a consumer growth platform for carriers that we are working for them. So we are trying to show them the way how to monetize 5g and before you know it, we’ll be investing into six G. So so this is the time to start, start turning the wheels on 5G and say, look, this is the value you get as a customer.
From the network. So that’s what we launched. Hopefully people get it now. I’m just I’m just wrapping my head around 5g. A and the capabilities and what happens, you know, as we go online, whether it’s home automations or things like that that are possible. Briefly, I know we’re, this isn’t the subject for today, but six G, what are just some of the possibilities with that just so I can start getting it in my psyche?
Yeah. So, you know, when, when before we get to cg, I think about 4g. 3G and 5g. Mm-hmm. Think of 3G as early on the first internet browser on the phone. So you were barely able to do browsing on the phone, your black or 3g Right. And then became 4g, which was basically you know, responsible for the success of the smartphone.
The reason the smartphone got super successful and we could do all those things on a beautiful device on the hand, is because 4G can power those services with data, with speed. You can watch Netflix and Hulu on the phone because 4G enables that. Mm-hmm. Now 5g more than just higher speed, and you can get those things faster.
5G can also do more things. It can generate a private network for you. Like a wifi. Yeah. So for instance, 5G can do wifi or for the airports, wifi for hospitals, wifi for feeds. The HUD parlors. Right. Because today they don’t have 5G today. They have old wifi networks. And the reason I keep giving wifi, cause everybody has wifi.
Yeah. But wifi by definition is unlicensed. It’s not a licensed spectrum. That means it’s not secure. Wifi is not secure. Wifi cannot be controlled, but 5G can actually enable that security. It can enable the controls, it can enable all those things. So 5G is changing the way people are thinking about security and wireless networks within airports and other places that people use wifi.
Mm-hmm. And 6G will get into operationalizing 5g. Think about, you know what we have built on 5G as a very, very intense network all over the country. Six G will help us operationalize it better and better. We’ll get better on deploying it, better on managing it better on your home Automation using six G.
So six G is more operational level you know, advancements than network level advancements. Yeah. Yeah. This is going to me as we keep on making these advancements, I just feel like Claudia of living, that we’re all experiencing and just some of the things like, I still remember, I gotta, I gotta date this.
I still remember when you talk about using, like watching Netflix on your phone or something like that. I still remember some of the very first handheld TVs, the little gray one, the heck, kind of like the screen that was kind of like some new electronic gadget and being able to watch TV on that. When you, when you hold one of those.
Next to today’s smart, which I think that was the late eighties that that came out. Right. And when you hold it one of those next to the smartphone, what we’re able to do like, blows my mind. That’s true. That’s true. And, you know and yeah. Today tv, when people think of TV is so different. They, they think of content, they, they don’t even talk TV anymore.
We talk o t T, all the top content. It’s just a way of life now. Yeah. And the thing is, people don’t wanna go away from it. So if you want to take that away, we better take it away in a better way so we can show them more options to use. So I think that’s what 5G six G is gonna bring. We’ll give you, we’ll give consumers more options to consume content and actually make their life better.
So think about think about collaborating. So today we are collaborating on this video call. We are thinking about virtual reality. We are thinking about augmented reality. We are thinking about holograms. We are thinking about metaverse, kind of digital twin, where you can sit next to me without being in the same room, and we feel that we are sitting together.
However, you know, although we’ll be in different parts of the world how can we make it more natural? How can we make it more easier? Right are still expensive to do. It’s very hard to stream yourself and become a hologram in the next world. But, but, you know, it’s not impossible. Still can be done, but six G 5G can bring it to life much more easier and much more quicker.
Man. Man, I like talking about you because every time I, every time, every time we have a conversation, I’m, I’m thinking about like, what’s next, what technology’s coming out next, and it’s, it’s awesome. It’s fascinating. It’s hopeful to me. And I think it’s gonna just be fun. Like, I’m a big fan of this.
Like, to think about what you just mentioned of having the hologram over there feel like it’s real. I’m in, I, I still, my team and we’re joking. We’re like, Hey, we’re gonna make a AI Adam, and that’s gonna be what does the interviews for you? And I’m like, okay, well let’s do it. Tell me. Yeah, that’s, that’s going into a little bit generative ai, which is also work in, work in progress.
But yeah, that is something they’re working on as well. Yeah, with a bunch of our partners and that, that is coming as well. But again, the knowledge that Adam, you will have in person to talk to people. Mm-hmm. It’s not impossible. It’s very hard to replicate on an AI atom. Mm-hmm. You know, and, and the spontaneity and things of those nature and the human emotion and things.
We are still working through that. On the AI level, AI gets a lot of data. It gets a lot of intelligence that way. But the emotions and how we how humans are humans are very, very spontaneous and, and emotional. Those are things that are not yet being worked you know, through into the ai. So I think, I think, I think we have a long way to go before we can replace you and me with an AI avatar.
Completely. Well, maybe I’ll just have a widget then. I’m fine. I always wanted a WordPress widget. There you go. Plug in and there’s a thousand question pool. And I digress. Well, my young really, I just wanna say, first off, it has really, truly been a pleasure working with you on, not, not just this interview series where we delve into your background and also into your ideas and your, and your history and your journey, but also the book, everything else has just been really an honor and a lot of.
Fun getting to know you better and building and to have you part of our Mission Matters community. That being said, I mean, what’s next? I mean, what’s next for you? What’s next for your career for content creation? Like, what’s on the horizon for you? So, you know, like I said, we, we continue building the network.
We continue building good services and you know, we are thinking five years ahead. There are things that, you know, we are building that are not public as of as of now, but yeah we continue on that path. I think with generative ai, with the global teams and the distancing getting smaller and smaller with time, the autonomy building in our daily routines, I think things are changing and we are adopting those things and trying to create products that make sense for customers and enterprises.
So we continue on that path and you know, as Accenture, we work with almost all top hundred Fortune five, fortune hundred companies. So hopefully that goes well. Hopefully we can do justice to the, you know, to the world and keep, keep going that way. Yeah. And if, if somebody is listening to this or watching this, and if they wanna follow up and learn, learn more about your journey or, or learn more about Accenture or anything else what’s the best way for them to do that?
Yeah, the best one to do that is go to accenture.com or find me on LinkedIn directly. Contact me anytime. Okay. And you know, we’ll take it from there. Wonderful. And we’ll, we’ll put all those links in the show notes so that our audience can just click on the links and, and head right on over.
And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging in an episode we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them share their mission, the reason behind their mission. Like really what, what fires them up to get up out of bed in the morning and to go out there and to make a difference.
If that’s type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. And Manian, really, it has been a pleasure. I’m looking forward to the next time we get to work together.
Thank you again for, for joining the project and the show. Thank you, Adam. Thank you for having me.