Finally, Sandra in Latvia brings us back to the IH Business Cultural Trainers Certificate and how you market yourself as a business cultural trainer. She asks how to raise awareness of the need for cultural training in business, how to market cultural training courses effectively, what are the right words to get the message across? Meaty stuff!
Here is my experience and what I teach my trainees.
* You need to persuade business people to take cultural considerations into account as well as task/job considerations. The best way to do this is to look at the statistics on business ventures that failed due to not considering issues of culture. I have them for UK but you need them, for Europe and for Latvia. The evidence is impressive. Culture counts for more joint venture and merger and acquisition failures or near failures than you might think. One of the most famous is the failed merger between Daimler and Chrysler. Research that.
* To market cultural courses effectively, focus on improvements in performance not on sensitivity. If you can say cultural awareness training will improve performance by X% you can make a case for training.
* The right word isn't culture. It's international management, international performance, market specific briefing. Use business terms to do business training. Anything else is soft, soft, soft!
* I think continental Europe is a more sensitive market than the UK. We are a bit desensitised by the belief that we can get by in English. However, there is evidence that some European firms prefer to do with non-British companies even in English because they find them easier to understand.
Good luck. If you need more help, come back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, Sayonara and welcome to Mario next week. I'd would like to say he is a lesson to us all but that would be culturally terribly ambiguous! Seriously, don't miss him. He is terrific and can shake up your thinking about teaching and learning.
It's been emotional.