Why cross-cultural training?

Headlines you can't ignore.

Wal-Mart pulls out of Germany // Wal-Mart Finds That Its Formula Doesn't Fit Every Culture
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/02/business/worldbusiness/02walmart.htm
Wal-Mart  lost millions of dollars due to a poorly researched strategy in Germany. The many differences between German and American expectations, habits and preferences directly impacted Wal-Mart's business venture in Germany.

The Failure of Daimler and Chrysler // A Paper Merger - What next?
http://www.christonium.com/automotive/ItemID=11938427189286
The two car companies never found synergy in their business merger highlighting the degree of mistrust  felt on both sides.

Cultural Roots

These headlines illustrate the underlying problems of international business. Alongside business culture, lies personal, regional, and country culture. Our values, beliefs, expectations, communication styles, social customs and politics are the foundation of our very being.

Culture is a mindset that can not be exported as easily as a product. It is learned, experienced, believed and comes from years of socialization and reinforcement in a particular environment. Corporate culture gets its roots in the board rooms from the people who run their organization.

Culture Clashes

Culture creates fundamental differences in people. Obvious differences we see when we look at a person, by noticing their clothing, hairstyle, language, but behavioral and attitude differences cannot be viewed, they can only be experienced. Conflict between people, or cultural clashes, comes from differing values, beliefs, expectations and ways of behaving.

Miscommunication Road

International businesses face the challenge of bringing people who do not live in the same country together to work towards common goals. If companies ignore the cultural factor of their employees and customers, they risk heading down a road paved with miscommunication and failure.

Thriving on difference

International companies can learn about local differences, allow for  them and create frameworks or strategies where all participants can reach the same vision. Setting goals which respect and thrive on cultural differences is a strategy for better  teamwork, better communication, and in the long run better business.