Intercultural insights and tools for international business

When do intercultural issues matter in business

When dealing with business partners from other cultures, cross-cultural issues become relevant. Culture can be defined as the collective programming of the human mind which distinguishes the members of one group from another.  Most of us were socialized in a setting that reflects an geographic area of the world.  This socialization process is linked to national cultural values. Being able to understand the values of your business partners and their impact on decisions, communication style and behaviors influences your ablity to be effective.

In the business world, time and effort is regularly devoted to undersanding individual and organizational factors.  By the same token, it make sense to focus attention on people‘s diverse national cultures as a critical element to foster understanding and effective communication. The scientific measurement of shared values allows diverse national cultures to become understandable, comparable and transparent.   Mergers and acquisitions including the cases of Daimler & Chrysler or Sanofi & Aventis have shown that managing cultural differences can be crucial. Cultural factors are acknowledged to be so critical to business that some top companies use a ‘Cultural Due Diligence‘ in the merger process.

 

Who benefits from understanding how intercultural issues impact business

Individuals and teams within internationally-operating companies benefit from understanding how intercultural factors impacts their business.  But you don’t need to be involved in business on a huge scale to benefit from intercultural understanding. Individuals such as independent contractors, small business owners, freelancers and anyone dealing with persons from another culture are also beneficiaries of intercultural insights and tools.

What is the benefit of being able to communicate effectively across cultural “barriers”? What is the benefit of being able to understand what one’s vis-à-vis really means? This goes far beyond language.  It is quite common to speak a common language and still achieve little or no understanding. Why? When working with more than one culture, a large part of the answer rests in diverging mental programming of the mind at the group level. The good news is that this gap can be overcome.  

 

What do we offer

We offer training for groups or individuals to convey knowledge, understanding and insights about national cultures and how to collaborate successfully due to cultural differences. This training has a positive impact on effectiveness in business.  We also offer one-on-one coaching for individuals or small groups. This is most effective after training has been received and serves to reinforce and deepen understanding and business results.  Cultural training is most effective in a face to face setting but there are also digital options and webinar supplements. 

 

What is the process

At the core, participants benefit from a scientifically validated method to move beyond stereotyping and enable a real ability to interpret and understand human dimensions across the world’s community of nations.  At the core, Professor Hofstede’s intercultural model is taught with insights into 6 dimensions of culture. These are the relationships to:

1. power

2. the group

3. uncertainty

4. time

5. happiness

6. sources of motivation

The Hofstede 6-D Model is both powerful and useful in its ability to simplify complex cultural phenomena as a basis to enable interpretations and cross-cultural understanding. The model’s predictive power is also useful to enable effective business decision-making. Ample field-tested interactive exercises and case studies complement the learning process.

 

Who we are

Thomas has extensive experience working and living in Switzerland, Germany and the United States. Thomas has also worked in Asia and the Middle East. A native New Yorker with Swiss and American nationalities, Thomas has views and insights from professional experience in the business sector, the public sector, in large multinational companies, medium sized companies and as an entrepreneur. Thomas is managing director of bullseye international GmbH, established in 2012.  Thomas is associate partner at Hofstede Insights, a global firm with over 30 years of experience in the fields of intercultural management and organizational culture. With Hofstede Insights, Thomas works with over 90 colleagues in over 40 countries around the world and draws upon the unique resources of Hofstede Insights. References are included below. We invite you to review our partner‘s website for more information about the scope of services, products and resources.

www.hofestede-insights.com

 

Moving forward

Dealing with culture and training is a matter of trust. We understand that it is important to get to know each other. The way forward is to speak about your needs and understand your unique circumstances and requirements.

We would be pleased to discuss your needs in complete confidence and confidentiality.  We invite you to use the “Contact us” area of this web page or contact us by phone or e-mail  as a first step in this process.

 

References

International Partner