Values Training Spans from Boston to Bangkok

By Dunn, Kelly | Workforce, February 2000 | Go to article overview

Values Training Spans from Boston to Bangkok


Dunn, Kelly, Workforce


* Grand Circle was committed to seeing that the entire staff embraced the company's values and goals.

Grand Circle Corp. faced a challenge when it decided to open a regional office in Bangkok, Thailand. The Boston-based tour operator caters to 50-something adventure-seeking travelers, and was convinced that a remote office staffed by indigenous employees would assure the company's planned "Jewels of Thailand" tour would provide the authentic cultural experience their customers demanded.

But how could the company transfer its own corporate culture to employees halfway around without trampling on local customs? Success in Thailand was imperative, not only because the tour would be an important source of revenue, but also because the company planned to open local offices in other countries using the Bangkok experience as a model.

For Grand Circle's HR team, training the Thai employees was a call to action. Grand Circle already had in place a training philosophy that was an outgrowth of collaboration between the company's senior team and the VP of HR and VP of corporate philanthropy and culture. They were committed to seeing that the entire staff was aware of and embraced the company's values and goals. It was in this spirit that co-owners Alan and Harriet Lewis created a 12-member team called Winning Operations Worldwide or "Team WOW." Recruits came from a cross-section of departments and were chosen for their expertise in operations at Grand Circle, dedication to company values, and cultural sensitivity.

"The purpose of Team WOW and its cross-cultural training is to build a 'bridge' between Boston and our new regional offices, not to tell others what to do," says Priscilla O'Reilly, director of worldwide culture and communications at Grand Circle. "Our goal is to decentralize operations. We want people in our regional offices to be able to make their own decisions. To do that, we provide the training and information they need to succeed."

An integrated HR perspective.

Grand Circle-facilitated exercises, in conjunction with the company's own center for leadership, taught Team WOW members how to inject corporate values-teamwork, the interplay between speed and quality, risk taking, and thriving in change, and open communications-into their training programs. Team members also received a mega-dose of Thai culture from O'Reilly, who briefed them on the history and current issues the country faced. Team members then honed their presentation and facilitation before packing their bags.

Team WOW left Boston with both a structured approach and the awareness that an adventure is a well-honed plan gone wrong. "We had a feeling of unpredictability so we were prepared to adjust training as needed, which fits in with our corporate values," says O'Reilly.

Team WOW sets up in Thailand.

As a first step, Team WOW concentrated on helping their Thai colleagues set up the physical office space in Bangkok, providing training for each department following patterns set at the Boston headquarters. "We sent the IT people over first to set up the computers and e-mail, to make sure communications were in place," says O'Reilly.

Customer service then flew in from Boston to brief their Thai counterparts on the special needs of Grand Circle's older American customers. To best illustrate the point Team WOW members and new Thai staffers tagged along on one of the company's "Discovery Series" tours led by local guides to experience first hand the kind of travel experience Grand Circle customers expected. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Values Training Spans from Boston to Bangkok
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.