Blog

Why should an organisation build cultural fluency?

I really believe this statement is true if an organisation is to be able to work really effectively across the barriers of culture, language, geography and time. The problem is that people are not necessarily born with an innate understanding of how business works in areas of the globe they don’t know and maybe have […]


You really need to build your own levels of Cultural Fluency

I really believe this statement is true if any person is to be able to work really effectively across the barriers of culture, language, geography and time. The basic problem is that people are not born with an innate understanding of how business works in areas of the globe they don’t know and maybe have […]


Off-shore Partners in India

Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of major projects where U.S. or European companies have looked to transition work from their home countries to outsourced facilities in India.  The drivers behind these projects have been many and varied, but I suppose that cost reduction is always a major component of any such […]


Alive & Kicking – UK/Japan Cultural Differences

I ran two training sessions yesterday at the London Branch office of a major Japanese investment bank. In the morning, I worked with a group of senior Japanese expatriates who have been seconded into the London Office – we were looking at the major differences in approach to business between Tokyo and London.  This session […]


Global Virtual Teams: Should you email or call?

Intra-team communication within virtual teams who are working across the barriers of culture, language, geography and technology is bound to present certain challenges which are less problematic amongst co-located teams.  Many of these communication challenges are cultural in origin and this blog highlights one such challenge. One major cultural difference in terms of global communication […]


Ethics and Global Culture

Global Business Culture works with a large number of major global corporations and as they become more and more engaged in business activities outside their home bases in North America and Western Europe, they seem to be asking increasingly difficult questions about the difference between cultural sensitivity and ethical correctness. I suppose the question boils […]


English as the Global Communication Language

Like it or not, English is the common global language adopted by most international companies.  The trouble is that language levels in English vary around the world – even within one organisation.  Native speakers often assume that ‘if somebody is working in my company, they have to have really high levels of English.’ This is […]


Shared Service Centres and Global Cultural Differences

It may be a contentious statement but many of the well-documented difficulties associated with getting international shared service centres (ISSC’s) to work effectively and efficiently are actually cultural and linguistic in origin. Maybe it isn’t that contentious a statement after all because what you are actually saying when moving to an ISSC model is that […]


The Globalisation Gap

A recent Boston Consulting Group report highlighted the capability gap companies are faced with when trying to achieve their global ambitions.  The work Global Business Culture has done over the past 15 years or so with companies going through this globalisation process would fully support the findings of this report which highlights a number of […]


Is it possible to build a Global Appraisal System in a Culturally Complex Organisation?

As more and more companies organise themselves in regional or even global structures, the need for some form of global bench-marking of performance becomes ever more pressing – but is it really possible to have one system that can accurately grade performance in the USA, China and Nigeria? The problems start to arise as soon […]