The world’s your oyster: High leaders share their recommendations on managing international groups


Coping with cultural variations

Jennifer Watkiss, head of promoting communications, Adestra

Within the UK individuals have a tendency to not need to impose, and the best way that manifests itself in our UK workplace is that you just don’t ask somebody for a favour except you’ve actually thought of it. Within the US, nevertheless, there’s a way more informal strategy; a few of our US colleagues wouldn’t assume twice about asking a query, figuring out full nicely that they’re more likely to hear a: ‘No’ or: ‘Not proper now’ and being okay with that. This led to individuals within the UK feeling put upon, and US colleagues not figuring out why they have been being handled as if they have been annoyingly high-maintenance. Fortunately, everyone seems to be now extra used to one another: the US group are extra thought of with requests, and the UK group have turn out to be extra comfy pushing again.

Georgiana Verdonk Sim, VP, The B2B Advertising Lab, Asia

In lots of international locations, somebody’s place is predicated on their capability and obligations. However in international locations that worth hierarchical construction, age is usually an enormous issue in the case of promotion. A number of years in the past, I appointed a group chief on a world venture and discovered that sure individuals in my group thought she was too ‘younger’ for the function. I didn’t attempt to repair the problem straight away; as a substitute, I waited for the ‘youthful’ group chief to show her talents, and consequently, those that have been initially sceptical ended up altering their minds. I’d additionally say that not all leaders are a pure match for a world group; generally it helps if the particular person in query has expertise residing and dealing overseas.

Sarah Donnelly, s

trategic advertising and marketing director


In my earlier function there have been some large cultural variations: these within the UK, for instance, have been predominantly proactive when it got here to concepts, clear on the place they wished their careers to go, and eager to get in entrance of senior leaders. Conversely, these in Asia would not often give an opinion or supply an thought and wouldn’t essentially see a must report again to people who weren’t their direct supervisor. As a chief you must be respectful of cultural variations and recognise that completely different individuals want managing in another way. In the event you’re new to a world function, ask for coaching round cultural consciousness in case you haven’t had it.

Stephanie Robotham, VP of company advertising and marketing, Optimizely

It’s not nearly variations inside the group, however variations between markets. We ran a digital occasion not too long ago within the US following an enormous buyer analysis convention and it went down nicely with the US govt decision-maker viewers. Nonetheless, we all know it will by no means have gone down so nicely in EMEA. Folks simply have completely different attitudes and alternative ways of pondering.

Corinne Sklar, CMO, Bluewolf

Collaboration in advertising and marketing is essential (it’s why I really don’t encourage my group in San Francisco to do business from home an excessive amount of), and this stays true whether or not you’re speaking about native or regional groups. True moments of inventive genius come round when persons are free to take what they learn about their area and run with it – don’t attempt to impose what works in a single market on one other. As a rule, it received’t work.


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