I always really enjoy the development sessions I run with the part-time MBA students at the world-famous Warwick Business School. The guys who complete these challenging MBA programmes are amazing – not only are they studying for this qualification but they are also holding down full-time jobs and therefore juggling work, family and studies. I take my hat off to them.
Anyway on Wednesday evening I had a full lecture theatre (not my favourite training environment) and we spent about three hours exploring the global cultural aspects of effectively engaging with global stakeholders. The delegate base was massively international – literally from every continent – and so the questions and input was really interesting. We had a whole range of experiences brought to the table ranging from how Cartesian logic runs through the French decision-making process and how that doesn’t work too well in the UK, through to the problems of gaining acceptance when working as an expatriate in a new country.
The challenge is always time. Although we had about three hours, the topic is so vast that I am always left to feel that I’ve hardly scraped the tip of the iceberg! There were so many issues we could have profitably explored as a result of delegate interventions – and I only managed to get through about half of what I’d hoped to cover.
I set myself quite limited targets for these sessions – I want everybody to walk out of the room thinking ‘I really do need to factor global cultural differences more into my thought processes.’ If I can achieve that goal, then I think my intervention was worthwhile.