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Boris, Brexit & Cultural Awareness

A pretty big event happened in the UK today with the coronation of Boris Johnson by the conservative party members as the country’s next Prime Minister.  I’m sure he is delighted and we all wish him well – but it’s not really a job many would take on at this time, is it?

He is faced with the Herculean task of trying to find a plausible solution to the Brexit impasse.  All he has to do is negotiate with twenty-seven different cultures and countries who all have differing negotiation styles, expectations and requirements.  I think he might need some cultural awareness training – but I’m equally sure he will not take any.

Why do so many senior people go into key negotiations with little or no understanding of the cultural perameters of the situation will encounter?

We run cultural awareness training programmes across a whole range of sectors from Aerospace, through to Legal but we have never been asked to do any developmental work with politicians or civile servants.  The people who most need high levels of cultural fluency are the people most likely to develop it.

I always say that delegates who attend cultural awareness training sessions are a self-selecting group – they already uknow it is an important topic.  It is the people who would never dream of coming to a cultural session who are the people who really need it!