Erin Meyer, Senior Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Paul Saunders, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Course Objectives:
As today’s business world becomes ever-more global and virtual, executives and managers are expected to work harmoniously together with counterparts from a broad array of cultures and backgrounds, often without leaving their desks. But when you throw people together who come from starkly different backgrounds and cultures, the result can be interesting, even sometimes funny, but can also lead to misunderstanding and confusion. In this seminar, Professors Erin Meyer (author of The Culture Map) and Paul Saunders offer a highly practical and timely perspective on one of today’s most pressing business issues: how do different cultures influence the way to do business when working globally? Even those who are culturally informed, travel extensively, and have lived abroad often have few strategies for dealing with the cross-cultural complexity that affects their team’s day-to-day effectiveness.

This KMC provides a new way forward with vital insights for working effectively with one’s counterparts in the new global marketplace. This seminar will help you build a more cohesive and successful team: one that will work together to bridge gaps, transform differences into assets, and ultimately grow your business.

You will learn:

  • To improve your own ability to communicate, influence, build trust, and negotiate deals with those from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.
  • To analyze the positioning of one culture relative to another on a series of behavioral scales, so that you can decode how culture is influencing your international collaboration and develop strategies for working successfully across the world.
  • How culture impacts business effectiveness – and from there how to develop tools to influence clients, suppliers and colleagues from a variety of countries

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, participants will be able to adapt their leadership approach and communication style to engage employees, and produce good results when working in a complex multi-cultural, virtual environment.  Participants will:

  • Gain a more open outlook: Improve your communication across different cultures.
  • Create more influence across borders: Build the confidence to influence clients, suppliers and colleagues from a variety of countries.
  • Enhance your ability to adapt: Benchmark your individual management style against preferences from around the world – and learn to adapt accordingly.
  • Lead across cultures: Motivate and Manage performance of team members from a variety of world regions.
  • Negotiate better deals: Increase your ability to build trust and negotiate effectively with collaborators from other countries.

Summary of Course Content
Whether in Düsseldorf or Dubai, Brasilia or Beijing, New York or New Delhi, we are part of a global network – not just in the office or meetings – but virtually, through e-mail, video conferences, Skype and phone. Success depends on the ability to navigate through the different cultural realities of how people think and get things done.

In this seminar participants, will learn to decode cultural differences impacting their business success and bridge cultural gaps with a special focus on these areas:

  • How to communicate effectively across cultures
  • How to evaluate individual performance versus corporate culture and national culture
  • How to lead a global, virtual team
  • How to provide negative feedback
  • How to be persuasive in a multicultural world
  • Criteria for identifying good bosses and bad bosses: leadership, hierarchy, and uses/abuses of power
  • Decision-making process: do’s and don’ts
  • How to develop (nourish and strengthen) two types of trust
  • How to disagree productively
  • How to manage scheduling and cross-cultural perceptions of time
  • How to overcome barriers that often arise on virtual teams stemming from language differences

Who Should Attend?

  • Any one whose business success relies on their ability to work with internationally-based clients, colleagues, or employees
  • Global team leaders who manage the collaboration of team members located across the world.
  • Business development and sales and marketing experts who negotiate deals and sell products to clients in other countries.
  • Senior managers currently (or about to be) posted abroad.
  • Executives based at headquarters who manage international activities
  • Managers in charge of international outsourcing activities, international sales, or cross-border M&As.

Required Pre-work: 
Before class please complete and return the short pre-program questionnaire: Questionnaires should be completed by August 16th and returned to

 Required pre-reading:

  • Navigating The Cultural Minefield: Erin Meyer, Harvard Business Review 2014

Reading during the KMC:
Each evening during the KMC you will be given a small amount of reading from the book The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business. This book will be handed out in class.