German Approach

Germans regard an individual step in the decision making process as completed only when significant amounts of information have been gathered and analyzed with rigorous analytical tools.

American Approach

Americans prefer gathering limited, but highly relevant, information, and fast. Comprehensiveness must be justified by its value. Analysis is pragmatic. Americans trust their intuition.

German View

Americans are too pragmatic, too inexact, too tolerant of insufficient analysis.

American View

German analysis is overly complex, cautious, scientific, tool-oriented.

Advice to Germans

Reduce the overall scope of your information gathering and analysis. Focus on the most relevant questions. Americans have less of a need than Germans for depth and breadth, as long as the key factors have been addressed.

Advice to Americans

For Germans, comprehensiveness and completeness are a virtue. If you opt for less depth and breadth in your information gathering, be prepared to provide the reasons. If possible, place a monetary cost on the extra work involved.

Demonstrate how there is limited value added to the decision making process (resource conservation). When it comes to your approach to analysis, your German colleagues will expect you to describe the process, methods and tools you employed or plan to employ.

Germans seek scientific objectivity and avoid “gut-based” approaches to analysis. From their point of view, your results will only be as good, as reliable, as convincing, as the process/method/tools you used to arrive at them.