Despite Brexit, the UK remains one of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies. The UK is a world leader in a number of key service sector specialties such as finance and the law and has a vibrant Tech sector which looks likely to explode over the coming years. Many of our clients are UK-based organisations or overseas companies with a significant interest in the UK economy. The ability to collaborate seamlessly with the UK will continue to be a pressing need for many businesspeople.
However, the UK is a complex cultural landscape from a business perspective and those businesses and business executives who wish to be successful there need to factor in an understanding of the approach to business they are likely to encounter.
Global Business Culture runs UK cultural awareness training courses on a regular basis, and in our experience, clients tend to have a variety of business interests in the UK which roughly fall into the following categories:
We run regular ‘Working with UK’ cultural awareness training courses in the international offices of UK-based clients. These training courses are designed to give international colleagues a better insight into key British cultural approaches to business. Many aspects of the British approach confuse international colleagues and greater understanding can lead to much more efficient cross-border collaboration.
The companies which have been acquired by a UK parent company usually want to look at developing a greater level of understanding of the key business drivers of contacts back at their new HQ in the UK. They feel they need to be able to persuade and influence their bosses back at base in a way which will allow them to continue to develop the local business in the way they feel is most effective for the business – they tend not to want to be guided by people in the UK who they feel might not fully understand their market.
Many businesses rely heavily on supply chains which are embedded in the UK. The relationship in the UK with these supply chain contacts, therefore, becomes critical for their business and people realise that a good understanding of the UK business mindset can help them improve communication, interpersonal relations and process efficiencies.
Many US, European and Asian clients have long-standing UK subsidiaries and they feel the need to better understand the mindset of their local UK colleagues so that they can more effectively help them embrace common corporate culture, goals and values. Getting buy-in to projects and new processes is not always easy and a greater awareness of the local UK ‘hot buttons’ can be enormously helpful.
The potential of the UK market remains buoyant, but the UK is a well-developed and highly competitive business environment. Succeeding in the UK as a foreign entrant into the market is not a simple task – and there have been many high-profile failures. If you want to succeed in the UK market, you need to understand the local UK environment and you need to understand the UK approach to business.
In order to help our clients succeed in the UK we have developed a number of practical and effective UK cultural awareness programmes.
This UK-oriented cultural awareness training session is designed to help senior leadership explore how a deeper knowledge of UK business culture can enable them to align their strategy to the reality on the ground. Strategy often lacks a deeper understanding of how cultural differences might impact on the implementation of that strategy and particularly on timescales and investment decisions.
Many of our UK-based clients have significant numbers of international expats working for them in the UK and we run cultural awareness training programmes to help those expats hit the ground running. We help those expats understand the UK working environment with a view to ensuring effective cross-cultural collaboration from an early stage in the life cycle of the expatriation.
This UK cultural awareness training programme is designed to ensure that UK-facing employees at all levels understand the drivers and expectations of their counterparts in Great Britain. The course explores some key British business concepts and approaches to business situations and links them to the practical day-to-day issues they are likely to face.
Many of our clients come to us and ask us to help them develop their UK business development plans before they start to make any significant decisions about UK market entry. An effective UK market entry strategy needs understanding, knowledge and quality research. We help clients at all stages and often kick this process off by running a UK market entry strategy session.
If you are looking to improve your cultural understanding of the UK and improve your effectiveness as a result, please contact us for an initial discussion.