Cultural differences within the Global Business Environment


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Presented at the AirPlus Global sales conference, Seeheim, Germany

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Cultural differences within the Global Business Environment

  1. 1. Friday 27 August 2010 - Seeheim, Germany Shaun Crause <ul><li>Working in a global environment and dealing with cultural differences’ </li></ul>S. Dateiname / Datum
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Why I feel strongly about this subject </li></ul><ul><li>Have you heard someone say are we too German? </li></ul><ul><li>Myself and my experience in the global business world </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5 years Greece </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 years Israel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 year India </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 years Turkey </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Working experience in USA, Asia, Middle East and Africa </li></ul></ul></ul>&quot; Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster.&quot;     Prof. Geert Hofstede, Emeritus Professor, Maastricht University.
  3. 3. 4 Countries, 4 Nations, 4 Cultures – Meeting Culture <ul><li>China </li></ul><ul><li>Business card exchange – use both hands </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction – do not make eye contact – lowering the eyes is a mark of respect </li></ul><ul><li>It is very rare that a decision is made in one meeting – patience is definitely a virtue </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomacy is the key – non confrontational </li></ul><ul><li>Humour is virtually all-pervasive </li></ul><ul><li>Consider themselves as punctual but it is fairly common to arrive 10 mins late for a meeting </li></ul>
  4. 4. 4 Countries, 4 Nations, 4 Cultures – Meeting Culture <ul><li>France </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation of speech is an art form – if you speak bad French do not bother </li></ul><ul><li>It is normal for interruptions to occur in meetings and emotions can run high </li></ul><ul><li>Rigidly hierarchical – with clear upward reporting </li></ul><ul><li>USA </li></ul><ul><li>No place for vagueness, diplomacy and lack of focus – time pressured </li></ul><ul><li>Presentations are vital and must be delivered positively & enthusiastically </li></ul><ul><li>Private affairs tend to be discussed early in a business relationship </li></ul>
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  6. 6. Famous Marketing Blunders <ul><li>Coca Cola - China </li></ul><ul><li>The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the Wax Tadpole” or “Female Horse Stuffed with Wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “kokoukole”, translating into “Happiness in the Mouth.” </li></ul><ul><li>American Airlines - Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its “Fly In Leather” campaign literally, which meant “Fly Naked” (vuela en cuero) in Spanish. </li></ul><ul><li>Pepsi - Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>The slogan ‘Pepsi Brings you back to Life’ translated in Chinese really meant, ‘Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors back from the Grave </li></ul>
  7. 7. Famous Marketing Blunders <ul><li>Samarin – Arabic Newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Samarin is a Swedish over- the-counter remedy for upset stomachs. They had an ad campaign that looked like comic strips with no text - there were 3 pictures, 1 a man looking sick grasping his tummy 2 drinking a glass of Samrin & 3 Man happy and smiling – success in Europe – in Arabic they read from right to left. </li></ul><ul><li>General Motors – South America </li></ul><ul><li>General Motors had a very famous fiasco in trying to market the Nova car in Central and South America. “No va” in Spanish means, “It Doesn’t Go”. </li></ul><ul><li>Gerber – Africa & France </li></ul><ul><li>When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Local companies covered them up with pictures of the contents. </li></ul>
  8. 8. A quick Quiz <ul><li>Group attending to be split into 2 groups and each handed the quiz sheet. </li></ul><ul><li>5 minutes allowed to answer all questions – with 10 minutes for discussion afterwards with the correct answers – with explanation </li></ul>
  9. 9. Group discussion <ul><li>The same two groups to be given coloured cards and to discuss situations where they have had disagreements or felt a situation has not gone they way they wanted it to go - that they think have been due to cultural differences </li></ul><ul><li>Group 1 & 3 to discuss situations between </li></ul>
  10. 10. The last word <ul><li>When working in the global commercial environment, knowledge of the impact of cultural differences is one of the keys to international business success </li></ul><ul><li>It is important for us to remember that when communicating with each other accross borders that our ways of thinking are much different and to respect those differences </li></ul><ul><li>We tend to have a human instinct that 'deep inside' all people are the same - but they are not. Therefore, if we go into another country and make decisions based on how we operate in our own home country - the chances are we'll make some very bad decisions </li></ul><ul><li>We work for a great company with a worldwide appeal – this is a great opportunity for all of us to learn to understand each other better and be more successful in our international edeavours </li></ul>
  11. 11. If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela Γε i ά σας Nashledanou Čau Ajunnginniarna À bientôt さようなら 再見 להתראות Hamba kahle Hoşça kal Good Bye Tot siens Auf Wiedersehen Arrivederci Adios
  12. 12. Resource: <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>P.