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G Commins - BEN event - Going global


Presentation from Going Global event at Bristol Zoo on 23rd February

Presentation from Going Global event at Bristol Zoo on 23rd February

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  • 1. Impact of Culture on international businessBEN - Going Global event
    Greville Commins
    Bristol, Entrepreneur in Residence
  • 2. Overview
    All business deals are between people
    The cultures and behaviours of these people can affect the business deal.
    Environment & External influences
    Personal behaviour & style
    Language barriers
    Look at modifying your business strategy
    To adapt approach to fit cultural differences
    Be prepared for certain tactics or styles
  • 3. Cultural differences affecting negotiations is not new
    Following the Vietnam war the two parties met in a neutral hotel to negotiate cease fire.
    The North Vietnamese party booked a floor in the hotel for two months.
    The US party booked theirs for two weeks.
    Both parties had differing approaches due to their cultures
    North Vietnamese just getting going as Americans packing to leave!
  • 4. Dealing with culture
    • Culture is problematic for business people
    • 5. Nebulous and difficult to understand.
    • 6. Perceptions are key aspect
    • 7. You make up your mind about someone in the first 7 seconds
    • 8. Then try to prove that your first instincts were right!
    • 9. Already made your minds up about me , so damage already be done!
  • Cultural gaffs
    • Accidentally violating cultural norms
    • 10. Without being aware
    • 11. What you say can be misinterpreted
    • 12. Responding inappropriately
    • 13. I’ll give you some Gaffs I’ve made along the way
    • 14. These Gaffs could impact the business relationship
  • Warnings
    Presentation is based on personal first hand experience (and Gaffs)
    When studying a culture, one must be careful not to over-generalize about behaviours.
    There are often significant individual differences within cultures.
    Modern business communications has blurred many boundaries
  • 15. Business in China
    Chinese names appear in a different order.
    Speak in short, sentences no jargon.
    Avoid English expressions….
    Very keen to exchange business cards
    Observe the routine
    Gaff: What not to do with a business card
    Admire respect, loyalty, harmony and trust.
  • 16. Business in China
    Extremely friendly/open to different cultures
    English language spoken by many, but rarely during negotiations, one interface used.
    Discussions can be quite lively, loud, expressive and energetic
    Gaff: Not comfortable with changing positions
    Senior decision maker usually keeps quiet.
    The Chinese will not directly say “no” to you.
  • 17. 5 tips for China
    Be patient – you will be respected
    Eat, sing and drink – you will be observed
    Save Face, give face
    Use contacts with existing trust relationships
    Create trust – forget the NDA
  • 18. Business in USA
    • Vibrant economy & innovative environment
    • 19. Gaff: People are friendly but language can still be a barrier
    • 20. Competitive in their approach to business
    • 21. Energetic, confident, and persistent
    • 22. May come to table with an unrealistic offer
    • 23. Very comfortable with changing positions during discussions
    • 24. Happy to experiment
  • Business in USA
    • “Time is money", Money is a key priority
    • 25. Senior guy key driver in discussions.
    • 26. Concentrate on one problem at a time;
    • 27. Focus on disagreements, not areas of agreement;
    • 28. Prefer closure and certainty rather than open-endedness or fuzziness.
  • Business in Japan
    • People extremely friendly and polite.
    • 29. Ceremony, diplomacy very important
    • 30. Use courtesy titles such as "Mr.", or "san", in addition to last names.
    • 31. Discussions may start at the top then, continue lower down
    • 32. Practically anything you say will be taken literally.
    • 33. Gaff: Don’t say…..
  • Business in Japan
    Acquire a Japanese ally
    Discussions are quiet, considered, passive and polite
    Loud, decisive behaviour distrusted
    Uncomfortable with changing positions
    Think subjectively, feelings rather than empirical evidence.
    Silence is helpful
  • 34. Success factors survey(Survey of negotiators)
    key indicators of success
  • 35. Business in France
    • People are friendly and polite.
    • 36. But can be wary of early friendliness
    • 37. Dining an important part of business
    • 38. In accordance with French business protocol, use first names only when invited.
    • 39. Organisation structure important
    • 40. Power is intrinsic to French business culture.
  • Business in France
    Discussions quiet, considered, passive
    Loud, expressive, aggressive behaviour rare
    Focus on long term objectives.
    Very direct, questioning, probing.
    Judge your ability to demonstrate your intellect.
    Negotiation is an intellectual exercise
    Negotiation techniques
    If reach impasse, they keep restating position.
    Deal changing, preoccupied with detail.
    Masters of the “Walk out”...
    My personal experience, was it a Gaff?
  • 41. Business in Italy
    Hierarchy is key, especially in larger traditional businesses
    Decisions are made in “closed quarters”
    Final decisions are slow and protracted.
    Be patient, rushing or putting pressure on the decision-making process will be only an affront to Italian business protocol.
  • 42. Business in Italy
    In business, the individual with authority rarely has to raise his or her voice.
    However, they speak loudly, animatedly, and interruptions are to be expected.
    May make sudden, unexpected demands as a way of unsettling the other side.
    Italians guided by their feelings.
  • 43. Business in Germany
    People friendly and polite.
    Titles, ranks, protocols very critical
    Gaff: Over friendliness can offend
    Discussions quiet, considered, passive and polite
    Loud, expressive, aggressive behaviour rare
    Language can be a problem
    Organisation structure important
    Meet at peer levels
    Expect formal proceedings
    Fact based, personal feelings not so important
  • 44. Business in Germany
    • Business negotiations
    • 45. German business people do not respond to the “sell” as North Americans
    • 46. Cautious of new ideas and concepts.
    • 47. Decision-making is slow
    • 48. Do not expect substantial decisions to be made spontaneously at the table.
  • Summary
    Research customer culture in advance
    Business is still between people
    Remember the 7 seconds rule
    Cultures affect the business deal.
    Honour cultural rituals and behaviours
    Beware of generalisations
    You will meet western educated customers which will modify the cultural effects
    Most are trying to understand you too.
  • 49.