• How To Deal With Global Business Difference

    Management and Trainer Blog

    Recent meetings with business clients have put the ‘culture issue’ into sharp business relief.

    I’ve tried to summarise key issues in ten key principles. Let me share them with you in case you are interested and can add to them. As Groucho Marx once said, to adapt, ‘Here are my ten key principles. If you don’t like them I have NO others.’

    WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

    International managers agree, international JV’s, M&A’s and supply chain management fail

    because of a failure to take global business differences into account.

    WHY?

    The reason is that different business partners, clients and suppliers have different expectations of the business relationship, different communication styles and different approaches to management.

    THE CONSEQUENCES?

    Problems with quality specification, materials design, contract negotiation, timely delivery, paperwork problems, penalties for lateness, pricing and payment delays.

    THE ISSUE?

    Culture is a matter of perception. We may all do the same things but we do them differently. You may not like the way I do things but at least understand why I do it that way.

    THE SOLUTION?

    The solution is to recognise the difference, understand why people think and do things differently and use your management skills to resolve problems.

    THE SECRET?

    Know what to look for.

    WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK FOR?

    Look at the EXPECTATIONS, What are the core attitudes, values and fears in the business community? How do you build TRUST?

    Look at the COMMUNICATION STYLE, Find out what makes for successful presentations, meetings, negotiations and networking. Is the attitude to contract flexible or rigid?

    Look at the MANAGEMENT STYLE. How is the business organised, how do teams work, what is the attitude to time? What are the quality standards? What is the quality control process?

    Look at the LEADERSHIP STYLE. Who takes decisions and how? How is feedback given? What is the position of women in management?

    Finally, look at ETIQUETTE. What are the meeting and greeting conventions? What is the gift giving policy? What is the dress code? How does business and home hospitality work?

    DON’T FOCUS ON THE FOLKLORE. FOCUS ON THE BUSINESS APPLICATION.

    Cultural differences are only important in business if they affect the business. The way to find out is through case studies of real problems. Learn to recognise the danger signals.

    BUILD INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS.

    By learning how to identify problems and how to deal with them, you build cultural skills.

    These will help you spot problems early and deal with them appropriately. The payoff will be

    increased confidence, fewer delays, less financial loss due to penalties and payouts and optimisation of management time.

    LECTURES NO, DISCUSSION YES.

    You don’t learn by listening to lectures. You learn by discussing with colleagues, facilitated by a seasoned and practised global business consultant. That’s what our experts provide.

    At CULTURE-TRAINING with our Global Business Consultant Barry Tomalin we can show you how to unlock the world’s business cultures market by market. Remember, language courses teach you what to say. Our culture training courses tell you how to say it.

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