“Deal with complexity!” … “Make it simple, then decide!”

German Approach
Germans think systematically. They formulate their understanding of the decision in a very broad and interconnected context.

American Approach
Americans do not engage in a discussion about the systematics of a decision, but instead about who or what is served by a good decision. They break down complexity into its component parts, in order to focus on the essential.

German perception
Germans see Americans as moving through the decision making process impatiently, without having thought through the complexity of the issue.

American perception
From the American viewpoint, Germans consider too many factors not determinant in the decision making process. Time is wasted. Momemtum is endangered.

Advice to Germans
Remain systematic in your approach to a decision. At the same time be more pragmatic. Narror the overall scope of your understanding of the problem. Focus on the truly relevant factors. Keep the other factors within your peripheral vision, but do not allow them to distract you from the heart of the matter.

Advice to Americans
Engage with your German colleagues in their seemingly philosophical discussion about the nature of the decision to be made. You will gain insight into their thinking. You may find a broader perspective to be of value. Once you are a full participant in the discussion, you can influence the course of the decision from the beginning. If you feel that your German colleagues are getting a bit too systematic, considering too many factors, this is your opportunity to reign them in.

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