German Approach

Germans regard an individual step in the decision making process as completed only when all relevant information has been gathered and analyzed with the help of rigorous analytical tools. Germans are scientific. They are skeptical of intuition.


American Approach

Americans prefer gathering limited, but highly relevant, information. And doing so quickly. Breadth and depth of analysis must be justified by its value. Americans also have rigorous tools of analysis. However, they balance them with pragmatism. Americans trust their intuition.


German View

Americans are viewed by their German colleagues as too pragmatic, inexact, and tolerant of insufficient analysis. They are not rigorous enough. Americans often simply don’t do their homework.

American View

For many Americans German analysis is overly complex, cautious, scientific, tool-oriented. Germans get bogged down in the science. They don’t come to conclusions in a timely manner.

Advice to Germans

Reduce the overall scope of your information gathering and analysis. Focus on the most relevant questions. Americans have less of a need than Germans for depth and breadth, as long as the key factors have been addressed. Get pragmatic. Allow intuition to play a role in your decision-making.

Advice to Americans

For Germans, comprehensiveness is a virtue. If you opt for less depth and breadth provide the reasons for doing so. Your German colleagues expect you to describe the process, methods and tools employed. For Germans, results are only as good as the process which produced them. Do your homework.