Antoine Dautry on Unsplash

Ok, you are probably wondering why you were asked to put a number in the top-left quadrant in the Culture Survey. Good, let’s get a sense for the numbers when colleagues from different cultures do or do not understand each other.

This time no piece of paper. Instead a simple spreadsheet. Let’s take the topic communication, which is critical to the success of any team, whether it be in-border or cross-border.

Again four questions: 1. What is your organization’s target number? 2. Which factors contribute to reaching that target number? 3. To what degree are those factors based on collaboration? 4. How does the topic communication influence that collaboration?

Why the topic communication? Because it is foundational. And because there are differences in how cultures communicate. Poor communication means poor collaboration means poor results. See the current ten topics on Contrasting Cultures.

Step 1 – Target Number

First, enter into the spreadsheet the target number you put in the top-left quandrant of the culture survey. It can be $ or €.

Step 2 – Key Success Factors

Second, create a line-item for each of the key success factors which you wrote in the bottom-left quadrant of the survey. Assign a % to each success factor. The total may not exceed 100%.

Then multiply each % by your target number. This gives you a $ or € value for each individual success factor. In other words, you have quantified each factor’s contribution to reaching the target number.

Step 3 – Collaboration

Third, estimate to what degree each of those success factors is based on cross-border collaboration. Assign a % to each one. The total may exceed 100% since you are estimating for each factor individually. Some may be more dependent on collaboration than others.

Then multiply each % by that success factor’s contribution to the target number, as quantified in Step 2. This gives you a $ or € number for collaboration of each factor. In other words, you have quantified collaboration’s contribution to each of the organization’s success factors.

Step 4 – Communication

Fourth, estimate the influence of communication on collaboration. That influence may vary depending on the nature of collaboration within a given success factor. Communication in one area may be more important than in another. Assign a % to each success factor.

Then multiply that % by the degree to which each success factor is based on collaboration, as quantified in Step 3. This gives you a $ or € number for the influence of communication on collaboration for that success factor. In other words, you have quantified communication’s influence on cross-border collaboration.

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