Through the quantify exercise﹣together with your colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic﹣you have identified and quantified the influence of the topic Conflict on the success of your collaboration. It is now time to understand that influence. This is the basis for combining the respective approaches.
Step 1 – Respond
Go to the topic Conflict and respond to its survey and case study under Discuss. Respond in English. If that is your native language, express yourself in clear, straightforward English, keeping in mind that many participants speak and read English as a second language. If English is not your native language, you are not alone in the international business context. Don’t worry about writing in perfect English. Keep it simple.
Step 2 – Reflect
You have responded to the survey and case study. Now read and reflect on the responses from your culture, as well as on the responses from the other culture. The responses may include those from other CI members.
Look first for the way of thinking within the two respective cultures. Then look for the differences between those ways of thinking. And remember, similarities are good, differences are better. In differences lie the opportunity to combine cultural approaches.
Step 3 – Learn
Finally, read CI’s research-based analysis about Conflict. Approach describes the pattern of how the two cultures think. Under Examples you have pieces that make up those patterns. View is how one culture‘s approach can be (mis)perceived by the other culture. Advice contains CI’s thoughts on how to anticipate and prevent those (mis)perceptions.
You responded to the survey and case study. You then read and reflected on the responses from your culture and the other culture. Your eyes are focused on identifying patterns in thinking.
Then you read CI’s research-based analysis about Conflict. Approach contrasts patterns of thought. The Examples describe those patterns. View is about misperceptions. Advice is how to anticipate the misperceptions.
Step 4 – Deepen
Under Discuss read the Stories about the topic Conflict. Then read the questions and answers uploaded to Ask CI. Both of these provide more insight into how the two cultures approach Conflict.
Step 5 – Discuss
Now enter into a discussion with colleagues from both cultures. The questions below might be helpful. Who participates in that discussion, how it is structured, and the mode of communication used, is your decision as a team.
Describe an example in your culture (non-business) when a conflict was escalated too quickly. When too late. What happened in each situation?
Does you country‘s legal system allow for hearings? How are they conducted?
When resolving a conflict in your society, what different kinds of evidence are there? Are some of them more important than others? Which ones? Why?
Choose a popular team sport in your culture. When does a conflict within a team begin to threaten its cohesion?
Are so-called win-win resolutions to conflicts in your culture always helpful? When would it be harmful?
You responded to the survey and case study on Conflict. You read and reflected on CI’s research-based analysis on the topic. Stories and Ask CI gave you additional insight. After that you engaged in discussion with colleagues from both cultures.
You now understand key cultural differences between Germans and Americans when it comes to Conflict. You and your colleagues are ready to apply that understanding by combining your respective approaches to Conflict.
Step 6 – Formulate
Create an apply-team within your culture. Based on your newly gained insights, formulate a combined approach to Conflict. Write in simple, clear English how the two approaches﹣German and American﹣could be combined. Do the following:
Review the key success factors you identified in the quantification. Single out those areas and interactions where conflict can and does occur. Conflict not only within the organization, but also between it and your customers and suppliers – meaning in your ecosystem.
With the cultural differences in the forefront of your mind, address the following questions: How can you best anticipate and prevent conflict? If conflict occurs, how can you best resolve it?
Step 7 – Prepare
Send your proposal to your colleagues in the apply-team on the other side of the Atlantic. You will receive their proposal. Study it carefully, first individually and then as a team. Prepare to engage in discussion and decision with your colleagues from the other apply-team.
Step 8 – Apply
Go into the apply-workshop with a clear and open mind, and with the determination to convert cultural differences from a liability into an asset. Your mission is to find the best way to combine the inherent strengths in the German and the American approaches to Conflict.