Published on October 17, 2007
Culture Clash: Culture Clash Interaction, Communication, Cooperation Skills for a New World. Bio: Bio CEO, Swiss Consulting Group Inc. – Leaders in Global Integration. Leadership coach since 1984 in Europe, USA, Asia. Born Paris; schools Switzerland/Berlin; Master in International Affairs Columbia University; Ph.D. New York University. Teaches leadership at Columbia University. Author of Culture Clash; Communicate or Die; Democratic Deficits? EU, US, Switzerland. Marathon runner (2:59, but only once…). Overview: Overview Understand the new global landscape for all organizations: business / military / nonprofit. Recognize the high costs of mistakes when cultures clash. Learn to decode a culture and avoid these costs. Take home tips for effective global projects and teams. Funny misunderstandings I: Funny misunderstandings I The ubiquitous “Got Milk?” campaign didn’t quite work with the Hispanic markets. Why? “Got Milk” doesn’t translate well into Spanish -- it comes out as “Tienes leche” = “Are you lactating?” Funny misunderstandings II: Funny misunderstandings II Chevrolet: No Spanish demand for Chevy Nova: “no va” means “does not work.” Electrolux, the Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer, in US-campaign: “Nothing sucks like Electrolux.” Schweppes-Italy: “Schweppes Tonic” translated into “Schweppes Toilet Water.” Did you know?: Did you know? Many of us assume that this century will be another American Century. But did you know that by 2007, the #1 language on the Internet will not be English but Chinese? Did you know that by 2010, 30-40% of top managers will not be Americans, but Indians, Chinese, Indonesians and Brazilians? Are you prepared for leading and managing in this type of global environment? Global is in, national is out: Global is in, national is out Lower transport/communication costs. Migration. “Internet time”: time is speeding up. Rise of transnational organizations and firms (Microsoft = 9th largest country GDP). Fall of communism / billions of new consumers / Americanization of global culture. Virtual teams: Indian women in Bangalore working for US telecoms, assuming fake US names and bios. Future global leaders: Future global leaders “The Jack Welch of the future cannot be like me. I spent my entire career in the United States. The next head of General Electric will be somebody who spent time in Bombay, in Hong Kong, in Buenos Aires. We have to send our best and brightest overseas and make sure they have the training that will allow them to be the global leaders who will make GE flourish in the future.” -- Jack Welch, chairman, GE The High Costs of Culture Clash: The High Costs of Culture Clash Missed opportunities (Microsoft in China) Lost sales (Coca-Cola) Fragmented teams, bitching, burnout, internal wars (Citibank, Goldman Sachs) Lawsuits (Yahoo vs. France) Mergers going awry (DaimlerChrysler) US blind-spot 1: individualism: US blind-spot 1: individualism Pursuit of happiness (in Constitution!), expressing vs. understanding, self-improvement. Leadership vs. consensus. “The best, the greatest.” Change-happy: adventure, pioneering. Performance, goal oriented, rewards. “Can-do.” Meritocracy. Clear expectations. Participation, initiative, perseverance, managing up and down. Open, honest feedback. Government-aversion (vs. Europe’s ‘socialism’). US blind spot 2: moralism: US blind spot 2: moralism Model democracy. No class. Eg joke about the British vs American worker. Religious fundamentalism. Charity. Save the world. “Axis of Evil.” Ethnocentric. World policeman. Bulls in China shop. Insensitive. No irony. Live to work. Joie de vivre or romance? Politically correct – sexism, racism taboo. Sexual harassment. US blind spot 3: marketism: US blind spot 3: marketism “Wild West.” Competition. Winning. Free agents. Legalism. Litigious society because of large anonymous market. E.g. McKinsey lawyers to Novartis. Money over quality of life. People talk about money first. Business rules society (vs. Germany). Customer service (vs. Switzerland / Swatch). Advertising, marketing. US blind spot 4: short-termism: US blind spot 4: short-termism This quarter, short term. Quick decisions, quick fix. “Ad-hoc-racy.” First names (“Tom”). Quick hospitality. Low loyalty to jobs, friends, spouses. Meetings: meeting-happy. Straight to the point. Purpose, intended results, objectives. Bullets. Logic, clarity. Hate silence (vs. Fins!). Future-oriented (vs. Europe: past). Positive. No negativity! Building Global Results: Building Global Results Global Integrator: Global Integrator Eight Dimensions: 1. Time 2. Space 3. Rules 4. Change 5. Status 6. Leadership 7. Credibility 8. Communication Breakout groups: Breakout groups Lab: Global Village Case: DaimlerChrysler – What went wrong? GE Capital model of integration: GE Capital model of integration 1. Integration as a process, an art. 2. Cultural assessment: cultural barriers? 3. Integration as a full-time job. 4. Urgency/catalytic project: 100 days. 5. Communicate, communicate… 6. Three-day “cultural workouts.” 7. Facilitator/coach. Resources: Culture Clash: Resources: Culture Clash Like it or not, all of us are touched by globalization. Culture Clash helps leaders prevent the massive costs of intercultural mistakes. Resources 2: Interacts: Resources 2: Interacts Resources 3: Immerse yourself: Resources 3: Immerse yourself Immerse yourself: language, books, articles, movies, Internet. Read Economist Intelligence Unit, World Press Review, CIA country briefings. Read Xenophobe’s Guides to the …(Ravette Publishing, United Kingdom). http://www.swissconsultinggroup.com 8 tips from Lawrence of Arabia: 8 tips from Lawrence of Arabia Remember: foreigners are not popular. Go easy at first. Learn all you can. Win and keep the leaders’ confidence. Treat them with respect. Remain in touch. Ideal position: to be present and unnoticed. The less apparent your interference, the more you influence… Cling tight to your sense of humor.