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Insurance Sector Cultural Mentoring

I always enjoy the one-to-one mentoring I do with executives and today saw me spend some time with a senior leader in the insurance sector who specialises in the fast growing aviation sector. (This dovetails nicely with the cultural awareness training work I have done over many years with aviation lawyers.)

Today’s client has recently taken on a new role which sees him leading a team of underwriters across seven European countries – which is obviously a new challenge as all of his previous roles have been exclusively UK-focused.  The client was keen to look at three specific areas:

  • How cultural differences can impact when working with and leading colleagues across multiple jurisdictions
  • Some specific cultural information on 3 key countries in his network
  • Hints and tips on communicating more effectively across cultures

I was pleased that this mentoring session had been scheduled in early in his tenure in the new position.  All too often clients approach us at a much later stage where issues that are merely cultural differences have escalated into full-blown inter-personal battles.  I always mentor clients that one of the key questions they need to ask and be able to answer when faced with challenges when working cross-border is ‘which issues are cultural in origin and which ones are basic commercial problems?’  This is a key question but, in order to answer it effectively, people need to understand the cultural environment they are working in.

Hopefully, today’s focused session will help this particular client to navgate the cultural minefield much more successfully.