G Commins - BEN event - Going global


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

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G Commins - BEN event - Going global

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