May 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 1 
Main Feature

Learning to work globally

Kim Buckley and Van YorkWhen Boeing Flight Test Computing contracted with HCL Technologies of India for a software rehost project, participants exchanged more than just mainframe knowledge. Boeing employees and their Indian partners have created a successful "working together" relationship built upon shared understanding and mutual respect.

Prior to meeting their new teammates half a world away, the group of more than 30 people attended "Conducting Business with India," a class developed by the Ed Wells Initiative/Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace–Boeing Partnership.

"The class provided a good understanding of Indian culture," said Van York, program manager. "We learned that we had some obstacles to overcome, but it helped to open up discussion about those perceptions or misconceptions."

"Our teacher focused on the human side of doing business with our new partners," said Kim Buckley, systems manager. "She shared amazing stories about Indian traditions and mannerisms, which helped me put together our initial presentation."

Andy Hammer, team manager, wanted to create "a strong, well-functioning working relationship right off the bat" with HCL. "The class was valuable from a cultural perspective in ways that if not addressed could've created barriers to working together," he said.

Katherine Riley, Strategic Skills Development program manager at the Partnership, was enthusiastic about the new class and sees a trend for similar classes in the future as Boeing reaches out to global suppliers and partners. "Interfacing skills, or how to communicate with others, will be key for employees to be successful in the future," Riley said.


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