01 July, 2012 18:05
Or is it “Chalk and Cheese?”
Overseas markets can be as different as Night and Day. Or as the Japanese say, “Turtles and the Moon.” And Brits sometimes say “Chalk and Cheese.”
Then again, some things are pretty universal.
Some months ago I was involved in a five-day coaching program in Singapore for global major account executives. We had participants from Japan, China, Korea, Germany, France, Denmark and Australia. Among the expert facilitators with whom I worked on the project, Germany, UK, Canada and the U.S. were represented. Considering there were 19 students in attendance, that’s a pretty internationally diverse crowd.
You might think that it would be difficult to account for cultural, political, economic and financial variations represented within such a global group. A real “Turtles and the Moon” situation. And as I personally deal with a clientele from literally every continent, I do often hear:
- We don't DO it that way in (insert name of country here)
- Our accounting practices in (my home country) just don’t work that way
- (the territory in question) has a totally different business environment because of government and banking regulation.
- Comparing (our system) to that in the U.S. is like comparing “turtles and the moon.” Or “chalk and cheese.”
- Executives are busy and don't like to have their time wasted.
- Executives always care more about their own company than yours.
- All top executives have gatekeepers and there is always a way past them if the message is sufficiently compelling.
- Executives can always pull 15 minutes to hear a summary of such a proposal-- if they can be convinced that it represents an opportunity to measurably improve their businesses in ways that are consistent with their strategic and financial objectives.
- Executives’ primary goals and objectives are financial-- revenue, profit, growth and shareholder value.
- Every company has assets and liabilities (both current and long-term) and equity of some kind. Every company as some source of income, and expenses, both fixed and variable. Every C-Level executive knows this and thinks about each of these components daily.
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