German Approach

An intelligent decision, in line with the essence of the situation, is a decision which provides continuity, ensures quality and minimizes risk.

German View

Because their American colleagues are willing to take unwarranted risks, Germans feel the responsibility to apply stringency and methodology.

American View

Germans are too risk-averse. Decisions are made too late, too carefully, via an overly complicated process. Forward momentum is lost. Opportunities are missed.

Advice to Germans

Your ability to analyze is strong. You strive for objectivity. But what about your "Bauchgefühl," your gut feeling, your intuition? Trust it or at least take it into consideration along with your objective analysis.

Be willing to take a little more risk. There is no such thing as a perfect decision. Every decision, if made in a timely manner, can be revised.

Advice to Americans

You know that your German colleagues anticipate, calculate and react to risk in ways different than you do. It is imperative that you engage in a discussion with them about the positive and negative impact of a given decision.

Quantify (measurables) and qualify (non-measurables) the down-sides as well as the up-sides. Anticipate your assessments being askew: Germans focus more on what can go wrong; Americans focus on what can go right.

Prepare convincing and detailed arguments for why your assessment is realistic, fact-based. It is fine to rely to some degree on intuition, but be sure that you can explain the concrete experience behind that "gut feeling."