Cultural differences and business strength LO30733

From: Bill Harris (
Date: 10/24/03

Replying to LO30728 --

"Nick Heap" <> writes

> In Europe we have many national cultures that affect the way people
> work and work together. For instance, in Poland people are always
> coming up with ways to do things better and in France people work
> shorter hours than in the UK but are much more productive. These are
> the direct experience of a client of mine who is the European HR
> Director of a company with factories across Europe.
> We are about to meet, with another consultant, to talk about how we
> can build business strength from this cultural diversity. One way
> might be to discover and pass on "best practice" from one country to
> another. I have no idea at all what we will decide but it does feel
> very exciting.
> If you have any experience, ideas, contacts or suggestions, I would
> be very glad to hear from you.

Hello, Nick. Years ago, I did some work in Stevenage, not too far from
your corner of the world, I believe. It was an interesting and enjoyable
place to be.

Best wishes in your journey! I sense you are on a good path and about to
learn much. I just have one notion to add to the mix of ideas you'll
certainly hear. You write of the effects of national cultures, and I know
they are strong. You may need to speak of them for a while, too, to gain
acceptance for your ideas. I'd encourage you to be willing and eager to
move on to the strength of individual differences, too, while still being
mindful of cultural differences. You may find that there's more diversity
than people had been acknowledging even inside one culture and that some
who don't fit their local stereotypes may want the freedom to be and
contribute who they are, not who their culture says they should be. If
you don't make that transition soon enough or smoothly enough, you may
find those people resenting what they are experiencing.

Again, best wishes,


Bill Harris                                  3217 102nd Place SE
Facilitated Systems                          Everett, WA 98208 USA               phone: +1 425 337-5541

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