November 27th, 2018

THE KEY TO INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SUCCESS: Cultural Skills in the Global Mobility Arena……………..

Intercultural Map

With the rise of the Global Manager, and the importance of understanding and communicating from one culture to another, there has never been a greater need for Global Mobility Specialists to appreciate the contribution that Cultural Awareness makes to creating an agile talent pool and ensuring the success of overseas assignments.

Staggering statistics indicate that at least one in every four International Assignments fail!

The reasons mostly commonly given are cultural challenges, family issues, homesickness and the inability to adapt to the local business culture, where a seemingly insignificant or trivial mistake can jeopardise working relationships and immediately affect business success.

An improved awareness of cultural differences and sensitivities, in other words, having a Global Mindset, will minimise and mitigate costly misunderstandings, promote better communication, and manage expectations ahead of the assignment.

But it’s not quite as simple as that………..

What are the elements that impact on business and personal relationships across borders? What are the critical elements for different cultures? How can assignees recognise these critical elements and ‘learn’ how to adapt their own approach in order to work more effectively with foreign clients, colleagues, partners, suppliers or customers?

A recent study reported that 91% of Companies see a Global Mindset as ‘mission’ critical…………..

BUT do assignees really know and understand the Cultural Rules of Engagement, DO companies really understand the scale and importance of cultural issues, and are they really aware that most issues are both country specific and unique to each culture?

Every assignee will already have their own cultural mindset (the one that they’ve developed from birth, by exposure to the culture in which they’ve grown up) as well as their own pre-conceptions of other cultures.

If assignees need a Global Mindset for ‘mission’ success, then they need the Cultural Intelligence to recognise cultural differences. They also need country specific knowledge, and an awareness of business and social etiquette, in order to be properly prepared for their ‘mission’.

This Global Mindset must be learnt, and it is unsurprising therefore, that the relevant training and support can make the vital difference between an assignment’s failure and success.

Effective Global Mobility Programmes

  • Provide valuable tools and strategies to expedite the assignee (and their family’s) adaptation to the target country
  • Significantly reduce the risk of frustration and culture shock, by managing expectations within the cultural setting
  • Ease the burden of the Global Mobility Manager; and
  • Have financially tangible benefits as well as a positive impact on relationships and productivity throughout the entire assignment lifecycle, from recruitment and selection to project support and repatriation.

It’s no coincidence that a recent study of Business Professionals showed that Professionals with a Global Mindset:

  • Were three times more perceptive, adaptable and productive
  • Felt twice as valued as other assignees; and
  • Were four times more likely to be promoted

The challenge for any organisation doing business internationally is therefore not only to appreciate the importance of understanding cultural diversity, but to enable its integration within the business strategy, in the context of its business goals.

In order to stay relevant and competitive, the correct Global Competency Framework is required for any business that needs to:

  • recruit or develop a Global Workforce
  • employ frequent cross border travellers
  • relocate people to other countries on temporary or longer term assignments
  • work with culturally diverse, remote or virtual teams; and
  • secure new International Business or develop existing International Business in the Global Market place

What’s important is to achieve the right strategy, for the right people, in the right International Market. Success will follow……….!

Farnham Castle Intercultural Training (FCIT)

Farnham Castle Intercultural Training are a Global Cross-cultural Training Specialist trusted by our clients to deliver an excellent professional service for over 50 years.

Our global network of Consultants deliver bespoke programmes, worldwide.  Our Global Mobility Programmes are specifically tailored to each assignee and their family, if relevant, and delivered by a Country Expert who is able to provide invaluable insight regarding culturally specific business etiquette and social ethics.  Family Programmes are, remote delivery and follow up support, once in country, are also be available.

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