The Cost of Cultural Misunderstanding
That workshop was great fun. And it was very productive. But let’s be honest. Harmonizing how decisions are made can quickly become a very bloody battlefield within global companies.
Think of the most important recurring decision your organization makes. It is critical to your success. Now imagine that decision making process being integrated with a similar process in a company from different business culture.
Estimate the cost to the company to complete the harmonization. In other words, to get it right. Now estimate the cost to the company if the two sides get it wrong?
Now, what if the harmonization did not go well. What if neither side fully accepts the new joint approach. How effectively will they make decisions according to the joint process? And how motivated will they be to then implement the decisions the harmonized process produces?
If, for example, American and German colleagues are not happy with how they make decisions together, how motivated will they be to collaborate? Estimate the cost to your organization if suboptimal cross-Atlantic collaboration leads to a 5% decrease in productivity.