Many companies contemplating expansion into new markets often fail to achieve the expected results because they were not prepared for the cultural differences and business styles of the potential market. Greater understanding and more informed planning will certainly lead to a much higher probability of achieving business goals.
Cross-cultural effectiveness requires more than common sense, and the pursuit of cross-cultural understanding is an essential tool in helping potential exporters increase their competitive advantage.
In the highly competitive and fast changing business world of today, we need to get it right, and get it right first time. Whether we are presenting our ideas to an audience from another culture or negotiating with them, understanding that culture, and in particular our ability to communicate effectively within that culture, will impact on how we are perceived, and substantially effect our success. Their ideas about what makes a good communicator may be very different from our own, and what is a permissible negotiation tactic in our culture may be unacceptable in another.
Individuals operating in international markets require particular competencies and personal characteristics. Unbridled inquisitiveness, patience, depth of field and self-awareness are some of these characteristics and above all highly effective communication skills. However, this is only the beginning. They need to acquire both the operational tools and practical skills that will help them articulate their thinking and adapt their style and approach to the needs of the markets in which they wish to operate.
Working with different cultures becomes all the more rewarding when we know what we should be looking out for, and when we are able to recognise our own strengths and weaknesses. Working within an international marketplace need not be a daunting task if we recognise the advantages thorough preparation and planning can bring.
Farnham Castle, recognised by many of the world's most successful international companies as the leading provider of intercultural management skills training, provides a complete range of programmes to support companies and individuals to achieve greater business effectiveness.
Full details of training programmes and the conference and meeting facilities available at the historic 12th century castle are available at http://www.farnhamcastle.com/