German Approach

Germany is not, and never was, a country abundant in resources. Germans strive to be economical. In what they make, in how they make it, and in how they use it. Suboptimal decisions require modification, which in turn draws on resources. Germans do their best to get a decision right the first time. Because that’s economical.


American Approach

The United States is, and always was, a country abundant in resources. Americans strive less to be economical. In what they make, in how they make it, and in how they use it. Instead, Americans value rapid resource aggregation and deployment in order to quickly take advantage of opportunities. Because that’s good economics.


German View

Germans see Americans as wasteful. And waste limits the decision making autonomy not only of a particular team, but also of the company in general. American wastefulness threatens good decision making.

American View

The German need to plan their resources in great detail appears to Americans as too conservative, literally conserving. Of what use are resources if they are not put to work?

Advice to Germans

Continue to be wary of rash decisions which deplete resources and limit your room to maneuver. At the same time, use those resources available to you in order to take advantage of an opportunity, which, in turn, leads to gaining more resources.

Advice to Americans

Be direct and specific in discussing exactly which resources will be tapped into by whom, when and at what costs. Listen carefully to how Germans quantify the impact of a given decision on the organzation’s resources. Communicate your calculation clearly. You will arrive at a resource-allocation acceptable to both.