It may not surprise you to learn that seventy percent of cross-border joint ventures fail within the first three years. But did you know that the reason most commonly cited by transnational executives for this phenomenal failure rate isn't geopolitics, global competition, or economic volatility, but culture clash? As one frustrated transnational manager quipped, "How are you supposed to get all your ducks in a row when half of them think they're turtles?" Why, despite the vast sums spent each year on cross-cultural executive training, do so many well-laid business plans continue to fall apart under the strain of cultural differences? Author Sheida Hodge finds the answer in the training itself, which typically focuses on "the ten percent of the iceberg above the surface-how to bow or shake hands, whether to cross your legs, what gestures to use." Much more dangerous is "the ninety percent of the iceberg that is under water"-the deep-seated cultural values on which unsuspecting executives routinely founder.
In this book, as in her world-renowned training courses and seminars, Hodge departs from the common practice of drilling readers in the do's and don'ts of doing business in various cultures. She concentrates instead on helping you build cross-cultural competence by acquainting you with the basic values, beliefs, and biases that inform the business styles in most Asian, Latin American, and European cultures. Rather than simply offering tips on how to eat and what colors to wear-which do appear, in abundance, throughout the book-she coaches you in a proven set of strategies and skills that will enable you to successfully navigate the people dimension of doing business virtually anywhere in the world. For Hodge, learning to see past one's own cultural hobbyhorses-while avoiding getting trampled by everyone else's-is the first big step toward succeeding in global business. Thus, most of her discussions of specific cultural differences start by exploring values and business practices that seem "natural" to North Americans, and go on to show how they differ from values and practices in other cultures.
To better illustrate her points, she has included anecdotes throughout told by managers from North America and around the world that provide vivid, sometimes hilarious, object lessons in how minor cultural frictions and misunderstandings can mushroom into major business disasters. A complete guide to building solid cross-border business relationships, Global Smarts is must reading for all managers and entrepreneurs in today's global business world. Proven strategies for breaking down cultural barriers and building prosperous business relationships anywhere in the world American executives need to know how to communicate effectively with their associates around the world to remain competitive. In Global Smarts, Sheida Hodge, a successful international entrepreneur and one of the most sought-after cross-cultural business trainers, shares her proven strategies for successfully dealing with such issues as language barriers, culture shock, international negotiation tactics, and how to establish trust on a cross-cultural basis.
Unlike other authors who merely list the various do's and don'ts of doing business in specific regions, Hodge helps you to develop a high degree of cross-cultural competency that translates into an unbeatable competitive edge, virtually anywhere in the world. Packed with practical insider tips and eye-opening anecdotes from cross-cultural managers from the United States and other countries, this thoroughly engaging guide is an indispensable resource for anyone doing business in today's global business world.