Below are ten stories, in ten foundational areas, about what happens when cultures don’t understand each other. In this case Germans and Americans. This is what the experts mean when they say culture is the reason for why most cross-border combinations either underperform or fail.
About the risk of not addressing culture in one video and four minutes.
Communication – Hans in Chicago
How a nice German can make enemies of his American direct reports.
Agreements – What a shame
Steven in Atlanta and Anna in Stuttgart simply couldn’t come to an agreement.
Persuasion – Game Day
Mark and his US-team got their heads handed to them in Germany.
Decision Making –“It’s only a car!”
Colleagues fight about how to make decisions, then laugh about it.
Leadership – Job Swap
Luke to Germany. Theo to the US. Lots of bumps on the road, but it worked !
Feedback – “I’m fired.”
Aaron is first-rate. His German boss, Martin, agrees. So what went wrong?
Conflict – Up. Over. Down.
Germans keep the “ball flat.” Americans escalate, and quickly. Oh no.
Product – Roger and Carl surprised
And their teams, too. They were at war. A cold war.
Process – Quotes about Process
Oh, how sinfully fun it is to read what we say about each other.
Customer – “You got it wrong.”
An American consultant puts his German client in his place. Bravo !