It is only a car! – Act 1

Harmonize a Decision-Making Process It was more than a few years ago. A two-day off-site workshop with Americans and Germans. Engineers. They had problems integrating their respective decision making processes in a critical area. Their manager came to me and said: “John, these are very capable people. First-rate engineers. And … Read more

It is only a car! – Act 2

The Right Analogy After doing background interviews and analysis I had to think about what analogy I could use on the first day of the workshop in order to get the participants to look more deeply into what they were trying to do. My belief was, and continues to be, … Read more

It is only a car! – Act 3

The Exercize We had only a day. It sounds like enough time, but it would be tight. In the morning the two groups would work separately on the exercize. After lunch they would present, we would discuss and draw conclusions for how best to integrate their decision making processes. The … Read more

It is only a car! – Act 4

“But, it’s only a car!” The cultural differences between Germans and Americans jumped off the flipcharts hanging on the walls. Scope: The German colleagues had a detailed, intricate, very well thought-through description of the role of the car as a kind of new member of the family. It bordered on … Read more

It is only a car! – Act 5

The Cost of Cultural Misunderstanding Process HarmonizationThat 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 … Read more