Discussing Strategy Across Cultures

by Leonard M. Fuld

I can’t stand it when someone writes “obviously” at the beginning of a sentence. Nothing is obvious to everyone, especially when it comes to appreciating the impact a person’s culture has on interpreting—or preventing the acceptance of—information.

A case in point: I facilitated an important global marketing meeting in Beijing not long ago with a U.S.-based multinational food company, which had just purchased a specialty food product line from one of its rivals. The newly adopted subsidiary had recently become a market leader under its old ownership, based mostly on very good market research that was informed and driven by a deep cultural understanding of the habits and behavioral ...

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