Return on Investment

You lead a global organization. Its success is dependent on effective cross-border collaboration. Both within and between global teams. Those teams need to understand the influence of cultural differences on their collaboration:


How many people in your organization collaborate cross-border? Add just one hour of work per week per person due to cultural misunderstanding.

Then multiply that one hour times forty-eight workweeks. That’s six eight-hour days. Per person. Each and every year. The costs are more than significant:

Let’s assume 100 people x 1.0 extra hour x 48 workweeks x 75 = 360,000. That’s 3,600 for each and every one of those colleagues. Dollars or Euros. Year in, year out.


That’s cost. What about results? When cross-border collaboration does not go well it means over budget, over schedule, poor quality, or a combination thereof.

Take the most important cross-border project. Go over budget 5%, over schedule 5%, reduce quality 5%, or any combination thereof. Not good.

If 5% is too high, reduce it to 2%. Or wait, go down to just 1%. Then run the numbers. Pick your %. Cultural misunderstanding hurts the bottom-line.


Costs can be measured. Results, too. What about your people? What’s the negative impact on top talent when cross-border collaboration is slow, difficult, frustrating?

At best colleagues slog through the work. At worst they’re looking for ways to avoid collaboration. In some cases, the best are looking to get out altogether.

You know your organization. You know the top performers. Estimate the impact on results if just one of your best leaves the team. Or even worse leaves the company.


Wait, let’s not forget your customers. You’re a global organisation. With colleagues in different countries. Interacting with customers in different countries.

Cultural differences are at play in those interactions, also. It can’t be any other way. And that means the potential for misunderstanding, confusion, irritation.

Estimate the cost of losing just one customer in each of the countries where you’re doing business. Or estimate the cost of losing just one customer. Per year.

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