When will change management fail?

As a cross-cultural consultant, I am not surprised companies are struggling with the concept of change management. I understand too well that it is – again – an American concept that European companies are copying thinking “it should work here as well”.

To make it simple, let’s say that the American culture think in terms of HOW’s. And Europeans think in terms of WHY’s.

Allow me a simplistic example. We are walking together and have to reach point B before a certain time. The manager realizes we are going to be late. If it is a European team, he’ll better summarize the situation and explain the reason of the effort and people will start to run. The American culture focus on actions and can observe in my example the fact that they change pace: from walking to running. The European will focus on objectives, and will consider action as a mean. My advice is to change the terminology in function of the local culture.

Have a cross-cultural consultant in your team will help you to be more efficient in global organization!

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