Your phone number in China and Singapore matters, and wearing a red shirt in Thailand might be a poor choice. Those are the relatively easy things to research before setting foot on new land; what’s not so easy is understanding the culture of a business. Whether it’s a new customer, new acquisition or new job, it’s best to create a plan for assessing the culture of an organization before making your mark. Discovery includes:
- How is risk viewed?
- Is innovation celebrated or is status quo the place to be?
- How many levels are there from top to bottom?
- Do associates view their work as jobs or careers?
- Are compliance and integrity part of the fabric or just words?
- Is/was there a maniac with a mission at the top that created the culture?
Being culturally competent wherever you are helps avoid costly missteps. If change is in order, find what’s working well and what fits with the future state to accelerate a successful transition.