One right solution

Question “Why do Germans believe that there can be only one right solution?” UC This is a complex question. Let’s pull it apart and focus on a few key aspects. “Alle Wege führen nach Rom” “There‘s more than one way to skin a cat”, an American idiom which communicates that … Read more

They hide decisions from us

Question “German decision making is a bit hidden from us until decisions are announced. The criteria used to decide is not communicated to us. Decisions are made before we have a chance to build our case. Is there a way to convince our German colleagues to allow us to participate … Read more

Americans don’t make decisions

Question Our American colleagues appear to be reluctant to make decisions on their own. Either they will not make a decision or if they do, they will do so only on the condition that they get the final OK or the final sign-off from their boss. Why is this so? … Read more

How decisons are executed

Question “What about the differences in how decisons are executed?” UC This is a very complex, and controversial, topic. At its core it is about leadership logics, about how we lead, and how we want to be led. It is deeply personal because it involves the day-to-day interactions between a … Read more

No more meetings!

Question “Our two companies were merged about a year ago. Post-merger integration has been completed. Recently we have begun experiencing cultural problems. More and more often our American colleagues refuse to participate in meetings. They simply say ‘No more meetings!’ We don’t know how to react. What should we do?” … Read more

Americans are cowboys

Question “Our German colleagues are risk averse. They see us Americans as taking unnecessary risk. We see them as doing far too much analysis. Germans think we’re cowboys. How can we beat the cliché that we are cowboys?” UC It won’t be easy to get the Americans-are-cowboys cliché out of German … Read more

Speed up our German colleagues

Question “Germans enter into an agreement only after they have gathered all of the relevant information up-front. In the U.S. business context, however, speed and rapid reaction time are critical success factors. How can we reconcile the two approaches?” UC First: explain to your German colleagues as often as possible … Read more