Internet seems to be the perfect channel for finding business opportunities and connecting people and ideas across the world, but accessing it won’t guarantee you the massive results you dreamed of. According to the International Labor Organization (2009), 70% of cross-boundaries business ventures fail due to cultural differences. Quite a big percentage I would say. Globalization spread its capital across the world, selling clear Mission statements on markets and well-disposed Principles inside for shaping employees behaviors. Even so, in terms of money only in Europe and United States 25 billion dollars are lost every year, as a result of inefficient Cross Cultural-Communication.
Among the themes most challenging for managers across industries, performance related conversations with team members is always somewhere on top. Now why is that so complicated? Isn’t it something like “Hey Jack, you’ve done a good job but I know you can make it even better…”?
Truth be told, people hate office briefings. We tend to grumble and complain when we go to briefings, so instead of briefings we call them team meetings or gatherings, but sometimes even this change can’t help. The truth is that these meetings are important for the business development and everybody is aware of that in some way.
Back to the last summer, it was the middle of August, the heat of the summer holidays. Yet, I was working hard in my office. My schedule was full of coaching sessions with tired, stressed out managers up to their ears in work and they all seem not to have time to enjoy the sunny days. How did this happen?
There is an old chestnut saying “if a tree falls into a forest and nobody hears it, did it happen?” Following this saying, if we don’t talk about cultural differences, does this mean they don’t exist?
We have constantly opening new offices and recruit (put together) more international teams than ever in the human history to follow global opportunities. And this is why cross cultural interaction are of ever growing interest for us.