Identify risk

You did the Who with whom exercise. It identified where cross-border collaboration must go smoothly in order for the organization to succeed.

You then did Quantify impact. It placed a value on each of those areas of collaboration in terms of their impact to the organization’s success.

Ok, let’s identify risk:


You know how many people in your organization are collaborating cross-border. Add just one hour of work per week per person due to cultural misunderstanding: additional emails, meetings, video-calls.

Now multiply that one hour times forty-eight workweeks. That’s six eight-hour days. Per person. Each and every year. Let’s do the numbers. Take a hundred people at seventy-five $ or € per hour:

100 people x 1.0 extra hour x 48 workweeks x 100 per hour = 480,000. That’s 4,800 for each and every one of those colleagues. Dollars or Euros. Year in, year out. Ok, now plug in your numbers: # people x # extra hours x 48 weeks x $€ per hour.


That’s cost. What about results? When cross-border collaboration does not go well it means over budget, over schedule, poor quality, or some combination thereof.

Take the most important current cross-border project. Go over budget 2%, over schedule 2%, reduce quality 2%, or any combination thereof. Now run the numbers.

Imagine that 2% to be the case not only in the organization’s most important projects, but also in each and every area of cross-border collaboration.


Costs can be measured. Results, too. But what about your people? What’s the negative impact on top talent when cross-border collaboration is slow, difficult, frustrating, and producing suboptimal results?

At best colleagues slog through the work. At worst they’re looking for ways to avoid cross-border collaboration. In some cases, the best are looking to get out altogether.

You know the organization. Identify your top performers. Estimate the impact on the bottom-line if just one of them leaves your organization. This is more complex to calculate, but give a try.

Back to Three Exercises.