Cross-Border Cultural Differences
Cross-border collaboration offers unique challenges when managing international projects. Here are a few examples of some of the issues you can expect to face, and with which klimeck consulting has a wealth of experience.
While an egalitarian and collaborative style works well in some countries, many nationalities prefer a more detached leader who maintains a strict but respectful personal distance from subordinates.
Sense Of Time
While in some countries, time is a flexible concept, others are serious about it. Cross-border project managers must ensure that everyone involved understands the meaning of a deadline and the consequence of missing it.
People working in cultures with strong hierarchical structures may expect a different amount of deference than you are accustomed to, although you might be playing a leadership role in handling a project. Similarly, low-level employees may be more or less inclined to correct a superior, depending on hierarchical expectations.
In some cultures, it is appreciated or common to accept one’s own mistake. But people in many countries take ‘saving face’ very seriously and differently. How errors are discussed can have a significant impact on the authority you convey and the relationships you build.
Time Zone Issues
Time zones may become a serious challenge while conducting real-time meetings, as it may be difficult to find a time that works for all parties. Similarly, employees in some time zones may be accustomed to keeping different business hours than you are used to.
Protecting Different Interests
An experienced cross-border project management company will educate all the team members and stakeholders in how to work well together. Most importantly, it will manage upwards and ensure that the senior stakeholders understand the constraints of this kind of project.
We at klimeck consulting have managed multiple global teams in Europe, Africa and Asia, on top of our main focus on the German and Dutch markets. We have developed significant and valuable expertise on how to successfully deliver large-scale projects across borders.