Worst of both worlds

Question “Ok, we understand the idea that the overall goal of integration is bringing together the best of both worlds – German approach and American approach. For example, German thoroughness and American speed and flexibility. But how do we react when we find ourselves bringing together the worst of both … Read more

Persuade with processes

Question “I’ve always been baffled by how Germans can attempt to persuade by referring to processes and certificates. That is certainly a cultural issue which even after 14 years I’m not willing to accept.” UC You are baffled. When Germans refer to processes and certificates it does not persuade you. Why … Read more

One right solution

Question “Why do Germans believe that there can be only one right solution?” UC This is a complex question. Let’s pull it apart and focus on a few key aspects. “Alle Wege führen nach Rom” “There‘s more than one way to skin a cat”, an American idiom which communicates that … Read more

Help! What can we do?

Question “Germans love processes and procedures and rules. Our American point of view is: “Processes are man-made. We can change them.” Customers in the U.S. find it difficult to do business with us as a German company: “Too inflexible.” We are constantly debating internal business rules. We struggle to get things done. … Read more

HQ vs. Region – II

Question “Company based in Country A. Headquarters is in Country A. Manager is native of Country A. Manager is working in Country B, however. And customers are in Country B. Headquarters makes product changes without input from countries. Customers in Country B do not like the product changes. Danger of losing customers. … Read more

HQ vs. Region – I

Question “Company based in Country A. Headquarters is in Country A. Manager is native of Country A. Manager is working in Country B, however. And customers are in Country B. Headquarters makes product changes without input from countries. Customers in Country B do not like the product changes. Danger of losing customers. … Read more

Just trust the system

Question “In the U.S. market everything is done in a hurry. Shipments come from Germany. We in the U.S. want to know when the shipment will arrive. Germany: “I did my part, can’t help you.” We have to chase down the shipment. Where is it in the process? Our minds … Read more

Tradition vs. New

Question “Why do Germans seem to support (maybe even promote) using traditional engineering design versus newer, less complicated, and in most cases, less expensive design? It seems that even experienced engineers will not question or go against established engineering practices even when there are good reasons to do so. Why?“ … Read more

Admired German companies

Question “What German companies do Germans admire the most? And do Germans feel that those companies receive their fair market share in the U.S.?“ UC I suspect you can Google that question. I recall reading a few years back that Porsche and Aldi were the two most admired companies in … Read more

The American. The German.

Question “Is it accurate – and helpful – to refer to the American? What do a New Yorker, a recent Mexican immigrant in Texas, and a Californian have in common?“ UC There are several aspects at play here. Let’s go one at a time: Broad and deep consensus This is … Read more