What about regional differences

Question “But wait, what about regional differences within countries?” UC Yes, indeed, there are huge differences! Northern Germany vs. Bavaria. Cologne vs. Eifel. Saxony is not Schwarzwald. New York City vs. Mobile, Alabama. Georgia is not Oregon. San Francisco vs. Nashville. And those differences are especially relevant when you throw … Read more

Can collaboration work

Question “With the many complex and subtle differences between Americans and Germans, can their collaboration even work, or at least work well?” UC Of course their collaboration can work. It works day in and day out. In many companies, large and small. In all disciplines. At all levels. Involving tens … Read more

Customer-centric vs. Stand up to customer

Question “Here in U.S. the customer is at the center of what we do. Our German colleagues do not think that way. They actually say: “You need to stand up to the customer re: what they need and how they should buy from us.” Our response: “No, we are customer-centric. … Read more

Please respond faster

Question “How can we ask our German colleagues to respond more quickly without annoying them?” UC Explain to your German colleagues what time looks like in the specific situation. Lay out the cause-and-effect relationships, i.e. if late by this much time, then this happens. Prepare, and inform them about, contingency … Read more

HQ vs. Region – II

Question “Company based in Country A. Headquarters is in Country A. Manager is native of Country A. Manager is working in Country B, however. And customers are in Country B. Headquarters makes product changes without input from countries. Customers in Country B do not like the product changes. Danger of losing customers. … Read more

HQ vs. Region – I

Question “Company based in Country A. Headquarters is in Country A. Manager is native of Country A. Manager is working in Country B, however. And customers are in Country B. Headquarters makes product changes without input from countries. Customers in Country B do not like the product changes. Danger of losing customers. … Read more

Meetings: Americans come and go

Question “Whereas most American colleagues participate for the full duration of a meeting, other American colleagues come and go. Why?” UC There is a very pragmatic answer to that question: Americans will participate in those parts of a meeting which are relevant to their work. They come for that particular … Read more

Info-Sharing is a one-way street

Question “Information sharing with Germany is usually a one-way street. If we get anything at all it is “You will do this” vs. “Let’s discuss”. We all work for the same company, why not share? We Americans ask a question. We don’t get a lie. Instead only the bare minimum … Read more

Email and CC:

Question “Whenever I send emails I do my best to copy my German colleagues on the cc: line. I want to keep them in the information-loop. But they do not always put me on the cc: line of their emails. Why don’t they keep me in the loop?” UC This … Read more