An excellent article on the challenges of running a global team: CNET News
Here is an excerpt:
Even when employees have good language skills, they naturally interpret written and verbal communication through the filter of their own culture. Consider a situation that developed at Check Point Software, an Internet security software firm with most of its 1,200 employees split between offices in Israel and the United States:
“People in Tel Aviv asked me why their U.S. counterparts would sometimes seem upset by e-mail exchanges,” said John Alexander, the company’s Redwood City, Calif.-based director of human resources. A major problem? Not exactly. But Israelis, who tend to be rather direct, and even blunt, were sending e-mails that seemed, well, a bit rude to their American counterparts. And, he said, the Americans were sending e-mails that seemed wishy-washy.