Intellectually, the first world would say, we have a global economy,
shared responsibility for climate change and that every country has a sporting chance to compete in the World Cup.

I want to pose a simple question; can humans think globally? During the World Cup…

When working internationally, there are certain principles
that are good to remembe

  1. Acknowledge differences exist
  2. Understand and analyse why those differences exist
  3. Appreciate the unique values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours of different cultures
  4. Adapt your behaviour — including your cross-cultural communication style — to meet the needs of others.
  5. Be sensitive to feedback and adapt accordingly.

When things just don’t seem to be going right… Remember:

We will never fully transcend our cultural influences to have
an objective view. Everybody is trapped by their history, community, education, language, family upbringing and body. Our five (or 8 senses) take in everything around us. If this information were to be made readily available to us, we would be paralysed and blinded; swamped by data overload…

Living and working in the Arab World will be completely different from anything else you have so far experienced. The place will be full of wonder and new things to encounter; exciting times – that’s the upside. However, most Western managers find working practices very frustrating and the lifestyle limiting; challenging times – that’s the downside. So how can you prepare for your new posting?

“We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help
people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture.”

Edward T Hall (Anthropologist)

How difficult can it be?


A significant amount of overseas investment is wasted each year because there are invisible core differences between the American and British cultures. These are not always appreciated by corporations and leaders. Consequently the result can be culture clash. The damage to US – UK relationships leads to an absence of trust, the erosion of communication and cooperation and failure to achieve the common goal. When management time is applied to the ensuing crisis often only the symptoms are tackled.

So, what are the differences, how did they occur and what can we do to get over the shock and pain of culture clash?

Imagine a situation. You have just received a memo from your
CEO (you work for a huge global organisation). In the memo, the newly appointed CEO states his vision for the company, and the core values he will be implementing as part of his new strategy. The core values are: Freedom, Respect, Integrity. Very simple values and easily understandable. In fact there is little doubt what he is looking for……or is there?

Are you really sure that you have the same definition of respect, freedom and integrity as your CEO?

Many congratulations to my Colleague from the Transcultural Business Group who has successfully accomplished climbing the seven peaks of the world. Ania Lichota, who was born in Poland, has just reached the summit of Mount Everest and sent intercultural greetings from the roof top of the world. See more spectacular photos…

The ‘Faces the Mediterranean’ exhibition is a regular event
taking  place in April and May each year. It’s part of the Anna Lindh National Networks of Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Lebanon, Bulgaria and Cyprus, which aims at engaging with young people and with individuals from migrant backgrounds. Watch the video…

Today, UK businesses are very different from 20 years ago.
However, there is still some hierarchy in British firms, with a distinctive difference between the status of Executives and managers, with most executives having secretaries. But contrary to many articles you’ll read about the Brits and their working practices, they have become much more egalitarian with flatter organisational structures. And, NO! bowler hats and pinstripe suits are rarely seen…