In a previous posting we discussed “4 Essential Building Blocks for Managing Overseas Operations”. One of these “blocks” focuses on how essential it is to bring cultural awareness and in-country experience to this process. As an international provider of aviation services, we at Skycore Aviation often find ourselves faced with distinct cultural attitudes and norms that can significantly impact our ability to perform on the ground in new countries. As part of our pre-deployment process, we research the history and customs of each country, engage with employees and local vendors to get real time information on political and grass-roots trends, and work to build a strong local network to better understand the customs specific to each area.
Recently, we reviewed the Towergate Insurance interactive online report called “A Cultural Guide to International Business.” This well-researched tool uses six differed key metrics to compare cultural norms in over 100 countries. The authors demonstrate that analysis of these core metrics provides businesses operating overseas insight into the unique aspects of cultural standards and provides valuable lessons on how to design projects around these realities. While this online tool is no substitute for actual in-country experience, it does offer an interesting and useful perspective.