Risk

German Approach

Germans believe that an intelligent and correct decision, in line with the essence of the situation, both farsighted and aimed towards the future, is a decision which provides continuity, ensures quality and minimizes risk.

Patterns

American Approach

Because no analysis can be truly exact, and because no decision can be perfect, Americans are willing to take risks, as long as corrective measures can be taken quickly and flexibly.

Patterns

German View

German believe that their American colleagues all too often take unnecessary and unwarranted risk. Because of this they feel obligated to apply, often to impose, stringency and methodology in decision-making processes.

American View

Americans find the Germans to be overly risk-averse. Decisions are made too late, too carefully, via an overly complicated process. Forward momentum is lost. Opportunities are missed. Americans become frustrated.

Advice to Germans

Your ability to analyze is strong. You strive for objectivity. But what about your gut feeling, your intuition? Trust it or at least take it into consideration along with your objective analysis. Be willing to take more risk. There is no such thing as a perfect decision. Every decision, if made in a timely manner, can be revised. 

Advice to Americans

Your German colleagues anticipate, calculate and react to risk differently. Engage in a discussion with them about the impact of a given decision. Quantify and qualify the pros and cons. Anticipate dissimilar assessments. Rely to some degree on intuition. But be sure to explain the experience behind that gut feeling. 

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