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CORPORATE DIABETES – what training companies don’t tell you…

Globalisation is great, nowadays companies can employ the best of the best and they can do business in almost any countries…yet, 75% of them fail in 2 years. Why? Because culture is not just about arts and literature, it is the software of the mind, it determines how we think and behave. If we use the right one, everything runs smoothly, if they are not compatible, they will crash badly! It is that simple.

Diversity can be your most profitable asset if you know how to manage it. If you cannot…it becomes the CORPORATE DIABETES, the silent killer…you feel something is wrong, not sure what it is and by the time you find out, your company is part of the 75% that failed and cost the UK £48 billion a year.

How come when you had leadership and management trainings by the most professional looking companies? Let’s be honest…if they try to sell you leadership and management trainings without cultural components, then they are just fuelling your corporate diabetes with lots of sugar...Why?  The reason is that most of the courses are designed in individualistic cultures although 70% of the world is collectivist. That means that probably a lot of your customers or employees are motivated by completely different approach and this was just one of many other dimensions of culture that influence communication and management style.

There are hardly any companies that would not serve or employ a wide range of nationalities.

I had interesting and quite alarming conversations with training companies (serving multinational companies).  I asked them if they had a lot of demand for cross-cultural trainings. The answer was no. OK, let’s dig deeper. So I asked more questions and it turned out that they do needs analyses and they suggest trainings to the client who believes them. How could they offer a complete solution if they do not have the knowledge and the tools? Obviously they sell what they have, they get paid, the damage is not immediately visible so nobody knows what happened until it is too late.

Richard Branson understands the importance of managing and serving people. You can look after someone if you know them. If you just assume you know what they want, it may backfire. 

 

It is a vicious circle…if your managers cannot manage your staff from different cultural backgrounds, they won’t treat your customers too well which is going affect your bottom-line and reputation. The frustrating thing is that your intention might good, you try to treat people the way you want to be treated, however if you think about it a bit deeper, it is a bit selfish…not everyone is like you. As Dr Tony Alessandra emphasised it in his book, the Platinum Rule is that you need to treat people the way THEY want to be treated. 

It is challenging…does your training provider can help you with this? Ask them…

Csaba Toth
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Csaba Toth

Managing Partner at ICQ Consulting
International Culture expert and researcher. Developer of the Intercultural DISC (IDISC) assessment of human behavior and interaction.
Csaba Toth
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