Persuasion – Game Day – Act 7

The cost of cultural misunderstanding in one video and three minutes.

Mark & Team had failed. What did it cost the company?

Time and Effort
Serious time and effort was invested into the development of the project proposal, as well as into selling it internally. Many folks were involved. Not only Mark’s sales/marketing organization, but also engineering and finance. And, of course, the U.S. board and the German board, who invested valuable time to listen, deliberate and decide. Please estimate these costs in time and effort.

Travel Costs
In the overall scheme of things travel costs are very minor. But they are costs and they can be calculated. Assume that Mark and four colleagues made the trip to Germany. They were there for five days: flights, hotels, transportation, meals. Please estimate those costs.

Lost Revenues
The automobile manufacturers in the U.S. were clearly interested in the project. Had Mark & Team been given a green light to develop the project, and had they teamed up with their German colleagues, there may have had a good shot at gaining interest among the German manufacturers, also.

This would have been the big payoff. Although this is not a detailed case study of the company, the nature of the technical innovation proposed by Mark’s team, or the market parameters, we know that the company does about two billion Euros per year in revenues. Please estimate conservatively the potential lost revenues.

Business Relationships
The American automobile manufacturers were interested, but saw that the German board said “No.” Will the American manufacturers now expect less innovation from Mark’s company? If yes, what impact will that have on those business relationships In other words, were the business relationships damaged? Can that damage be estimated? Please give it a try.

Mark and his top people felt defeated. The U.S. board was fully supportive. But the German board rejected them. How will Mark and his top people react? Will they be more or less motivated to search for new business opportunities? Will their individual work productivity decrease due to lower motivation? Will the defeat influence their desire to continue working for the company? The cost of these are all very difficult to estimate. But give it a try, nonetheless.