Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Scandinavia - Cross cultural awareness course

Kwintessential have added a new cross cultural training course offering managers, executives, HR departments, business personnel, expats and diplomatic staff insight into how to communicate effectively with Scandinavian colleagues, customers or clients.

The tailored course is designed to help participants build their cross cultural competencies to allow for more effective communication and stronger interpersonal relationships with counterparts from the Scandinavia region - Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Read more: Scandinavia - Cross Cultural Awareness
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:00 AM
Edited on: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 10:47 AM
Categories: Business Traveller, Cross Cultural News

Cross cultural training for orthopaedic surgeons

Zimmer Holdings, Inc., a worldwide leader in the orthopaedics industry, announced that it has funded the expansion of a cross-cultural training program, created by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), that will be made available to its members and the healthcare community at the organization’s 72nd Annual Meeting, which begins this week in Washington, D.C.

“The Cultural Competency Challenge is a self-assessment and learning tool, showcasing 18 diverse patient cases, designed to help surgeons become more aware of cultural differences among their patients, including communication and clinical considerations,�? said Ramon Jimenez, MD, Chair of the AAOS Diversity Committee spearheading the project.

Read more: Zimmer Holdings

5th National Multicultural Business Conference will be running the Fifth National Multicultural Business Conference taking place on March 30- April 1, 2005 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino located in Mashantucket, CT, USA.

The conference offers Education, Training and Networking for:
Chief Diversity Officers
Women Entrepreneurs
Purchasing, Marketing and Human Resource Executives
Minority and Small Business Entrepreneurs
Government Decision-makers
Financial Services Professionals
And other national experts on diversity business development

Register at

Singapore is best city for expats

Singapore, according to a survey carried out by ECA International, is the best city in Asia for expats. The use of English, quality transport, communications, health facilities and low crime rates all make the island attractive to expats.

"Although it boasts an excellent infrastructure, the added benefits of its cosmopolitan outlook and the extent to which English is spoken make it a very easy location for an expatriate to assimilate into," stated Lee Quane ECA's Hong Kong general manager.

The other top Asian cities for expatriates were: Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Seri Begawan, Taipei, Bangkok, Seoul and Beijing.

Read more: Singapore
Posted by Neil Payne at 8:43 AM
Categories: Expatriate

Don't ask the British about their salaries

Taking about your salary is still not the done thing among the British. A survey revealed that of the British respondents, 42% say they would never discuss their earnings with colleagues, with only 17% stating they do hide the figures if asked.

John Spiers, chief marketing officer at StepStone said, “It comes as no surprise to see cultural differences in how we discuss money socially, but it’s interesting to see the stereotype of the buttoned-up Brit prove true. It seems as though salary discussions make people uncomfortable and are still rather taboo. The advice for employees must be to be very careful who they talk to.�?

Elsewhere in Europe, Germans were just as private as the Brits with 43% preferring to keep quiet about their salary, and only 21 per cent prepared to be completely open. However, the French are much more relaxed about the whole issue with only 22% feeling the need to not disclose sums.

Read more: British Privacy

Brown to boost English language teaching in China

Economic ties and traffic between the UK and China are set to grow over the next 5 years with the Treasury predicting the UK will import £9.2 billion worth of goods by 2010.

However, while we continue to welcome clothes, electronic appliances and other goods from the Asian heavyweight, Chancellor Gordon Brown proposes the UK use the demand for the English language in China to balance the equation.

English is already compulsory in Chinese schools, with Chinese English speakers set to exceed native English speakers in the rest of the world. At present English's value as an export has risen from £6.5bn to £10.3bn, about 1% of GDP, in five years. That could double by 2020, the chancellor said, with China as the most significant market.

Read more: Brown in China
Posted by Neil Payne at 8:24 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

Russian internet advertising revenues grow 67%

Russian Internet advertising market grew 67% in 2004, according to Russian Association of Communication Agencies, recording the highest growth among all segments of advertising market. Revenues from TV market grew only 37%. Russian Internet advertising market totaled $30 million in 2004.

Read more (in Russian) : Advertising
Posted by Neil Payne at 8:06 AM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: alfresco

alfresco \al-FRES-koh\, adverb:
In the open air; outdoors.
adjective: Taking place or located in the open air; outdoor.

Turner escaped from the entangled politics of London's art world, where the Royal Academy was marooned in petty disputes, to paint alfresco on the riverbanks. --Siri Huntoon, "Down by the Riverside," New York Times, November 7, 1993

Outdoor sitting areas all have LAN connections, so that employees can work alfresco. --Scott Kirsner, "Digital Competition - Laurie A. Tucker," Fast Company, December 1999

Posted by Neil Payne at 7:55 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, February 21, 2005

Intercultural Synergy in International Mergers & Acquisitions

The number of cross border mergers & acquisitions (M&A's) has rapidly increased over the past 5 to 10 years. However, statistics point to a less than favourable future for many international M&A's. The failure rate stands between 40-80% and if the definition of 'failure' were taken to mean "failure to increase shareholder value" then this stands at 83%.

Why are so many going wrong? Many business commentators are now pointing to the impact of "people issues", i.e. intercultural differences. Author Piero Morosini states that, "misunderstoond national cultural differences have been cited as the most important factors behind the high failure rate of global joint ventures and alliances."

The solution? Recognise the importance of culture in business and interpersonal communication and allow for intercultural frameworks of understanding to manage a merger, acquisition or joint-venture both a pre- and post-integration.

Read more: Intercultural Synergy in Mergers and Acquisitions
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:10 PM
Edited on: Monday, February 21, 2005 12:12 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural Business News

Technology reducing need for business travel

A survey has revealed that business travelers are, for the first time, spending less time away from home due to the advances in technology.

The time executives and managers are spending on the road or in the skies has decreased to two and a half days a week (a drop of 7%), with a quarter of workers traveling less than they were a year ago.

The study also showed that half (51%) of those travelling less say that remote access and virtual private networking (VPN) is helping them to do so.

Read more: Business Traveller
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:58 AM
Categories: Business Traveller

Poor cross cultural awareness gets expat manager the sack

An expat manager at Cable & Wireless (C&W) had his contract terminated after he was accused of making culturally insensitive remarks about his staff in Barbados.

“We have been investigating it thoroughly as the allegation is a very serious one and, after deliberations with my regional team, a decision has been made to terminate the secondment of the individual with immediate effect, and the person will leave the island as soon as possible,�? said Donald Austin, C&W's Barbados president.

The incident is one of a string of examples where expat managers have landed themselves in trouble due to a lack of cross cultural awareness, costing their companies thousands in lost revenue, failed relocation costs and poor staff morale in overseas locations.

The incident all began when the English manager called his employees “big black African snails�?.

Read more: Expat Relocation Failure
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Ethnic minorites provide needed creativity in business

Ethnic minorities in Scotland have been praised for offering "new ideas and new ways of thinking" to boost the country's economy. Parliamentary Business Minister Margaret Curran said cultural and social barriers must be broken down to assist their progress.

Read more: Ethnic Minorities

Internet use in China

The internet has continued to gain considerable ground in China. In June 2004, 87 million Chinese used the internet - the figure now stands at approximately 90 million.

Recent research by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) found the main reasons the Chinese were loggin on were: scanning for information, recreation, studying, making friends, obtaining free resources, communication, academic research, stock market transactions, emotional needs, online shopping, business affairs and fashion.

The growing demand necessitates that Western businesses provide Website Translations if they wish to tap into this expanding market.

Read more: Chinese Internet Use
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:36 AM
Categories: Web Globalization

Italian Language facing relegation battle

The EU bureaucracy has decided to downgrade Italian translations in proceedings, only providing them on Wednesdays.

The move has ruffled many feathers in the Italian government with growing criticism that not enough is being done to promote Italian at an international level. The issue, now being dubbed il de classamento (the relegation) has been met by strong words from Italy's representatives at the EU. The European affairs minister, Rocco Buttiglione, said: "The decision to discriminate against Italian is unacceptable." Italy's commissioner in Brussels, Franco Frattini, threatened to hit back by speaking only in Italian at his own press conferences.

Read more: Italian

word of the day: faineant

faineant \fay-nay-AWN\, adjective:
Doing nothing or given to doing nothing; idle; lazy.
noun: A do-nothing; an idle fellow; a sluggard.

Yet if nonhunters ever knew how many properly dressed, entirely palatable big-game carcasses wind up in dumpsters because someone was simply too faineant to butcher and cook and eat an animal he could find the time and energy to shoot and kill, hunting would be in even greater jeopardy than it is today. --Thomas McIntyre, "The meaning of meat," Sports Afield, August 1, 1997

According to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Charles II was no faineant half-wit but a conscientious and reflective king. --David Gilmour, "The falsity of 'true Spain,'" The Spectator, July 22, 2000

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Posted by Neil Payne at 10:59 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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