Author Archives: Angie Weinberger

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This German booklet on intercultural competence gives a good overview of the topic and uses layman language to explain basics of intercultural dimensions, culture standards and differences based on research by Hofstede, Trompenaars, and Hall. The booklet also gives ideas on how to develop intercultural competence and has pragmatic examples, that are relevant in today’s business world. An example is feedback culture and how German managers are often perceived as harsh and unfriendly when giving feedback. German managers are willing to listen to such tips as often they do not intend to be unfriendly, but it is the way they are brought up. It would be helpful to have a similar booklet in English, especially if you would like to give it out in training. If you are a German-speaking internationally mobile manager the booklet is ideal for you especially when you are confronted with intercultural communication for the first time. Due to the readable pocket book size, it can be easily read on a plane or train ride to your next international business negotiation.

I recommend this booklet with 4/5 stars.

Angela Weinberger

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*** From 1 July to 15 August the “Club Sandwich” will be taking a summer break ***

Feel free to email us for guest posts. We are still operating so please contact us for appointments.

by Juan Gonzalez

Before talking about the trends that could help you, let’s talk about some of the issues you might face in your company. A clear identification of those issues is key for address them accordingly. Since technology is running too fast and you may find a lot of solutions out there that can help you, it is usual that those solutions just address certain problems in the short term but in the medium and long term, you will find that you pay for something that isn’t adding value at all.

Being in front of many customers selling solutions help me understand that not always I can provide the tool that matches and solves all the problems, but if I can understand their needs working together, I would help them understand the impact of the solutions within their companies, affecting people, processes, technology and overall business itself, a plan can be launch to later look for the best solutions that will cover almost all their needs. This consultative approach sometimes is missed by providers and at the end is not making any favor to your company.

For instance, a few years ago, I met a customer that was requesting a solution to dynamically allocate resources according to business needs and also provide management capabilities to monitoring certain pieces of their IT environment. While the customer already has certain software pieces that will allow him to address this, some other pieces were missing and was part of my approach; set up some phases to build up upon their current infrastructure taking care of the limited budget and addressing their needs. The issue was that having this limitation, he would like to address as much as possible in one single transaction. The customer decided to buy a solution from one competitor and start the project. Since there were other projects in this customer I could know the progress of the Dynamic Allocation project. To make the story short, a couple of years later, the customer was looking for alternatives again to solve almost the same problems, I had the opportunity to talk about this project again. You can find a lot of stories like this one.

The point here is that even he could find a provider he didn’t find a partner. That is the reason for a good planning phase. Could take longer against some variables within the company but could certainly avoid future problems.

Now, in the range of the problems that currently companies are facing in the IT arena, we can identify that security, mobility, and business continuance are the top priorities around this explosion of devices to access information. This also moves you on the social media and online services you may want to explore. So, in your company, how are you addressing these topics? Some companies could answer that there are no enough resources (people, money, time) to think of this strategic approach to IT but the discussion at the end is to take some time to see how these elements affect your business that clearly is what you focus on.

 

unnamedJuan C. Gonzalez is a experienced IT consultant. He works with and for customers to get as much from IT trends and technologies and apply them within their companies. Passionate for IT but also for supporting people. 

You can reach him via Twitter @juancgonzalez74.

 

 

 

GCWB Front Cover Epubli copyWe are celebrating a book launch party of The Global Career Workbook.

The book launch event will take place on 7 July 2016 from 6 pm to 8 pm at GAINSBOURG in Seefeld, Zurich.

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[tweetthis]Walking is not only exercise. It also helps you to download and sort the information bytes that your brain sparks out like fireworks.[/tweetthis]

 

Do you sometimes feel that your brain is overloaded with information and that you need to outsource parts of it in order to function? Some of us hire an assistant or get married to have another person to support us with all the little details modern life entails. Despite smartphones, apps, calendars, productivity seminars and personal optimization, we still have moments where a little error disturbs our manicured perfectionism.

 

Often in other countries and in transition we feel those little errors more. We are pushed out of our programming. Some errors are dangerous, others are just purely stupid, still others cost us a lot of money. Have you ever noticed that decisions taken under stress (or the influence of alcohol) are not the best decisions in your life?

 

I travelled on a funicular the other day and while I paid I was chatting to my mum and also making jokes. I took back my credit card and a receipt. When we arrived on top I thought the receipt would be ticket but it did not fit into the ticket slot of the machine. I saw other people had real tickets. I went to the conductor and told him that I must have forgotten to take our tickets. My mum wasn’t even paying attention. He called the person at the bottom. Somehow, this person could not remember what happened to our tickets.

 

Meanwhile, I was getting angry at myself and tears kept creeping up. I felt like a child of 10 who had made a stupid mistake. The conductor was very friendly and said it wasn’t an issue but I felt so stupid. You might have similar experiences especially when you are new in a country. Your natural ability to function and get things done is interrupted continuously. Being self-reliant and independent is a strength I feel very proud of. I hate it when I am dependent on others (one of the worst experiences for me was being hospitalized even just for four days around 10 years ago.). Interestingly, when I was younger this experience would probably have ruined my mood for the whole day. Here it was a reminder to stay humble and be alert. We were in a different country after all. Even though in South Tyrol almost everyone I met was a German speaker.

 

After hiking away for about 2 km I had forgotten the incident and focused on the surrounding. It was amazing. Beauty all over. I enjoyed light conversation, a cup of coffee and we walked on in a zig zag. Rain did not stop us. We also had a bit of trouble with orientation. I blame it on my inner state of mind. I was seeking direction but took a few turns, detours and sometimes I felt like we were going in a circle. At the end of the hike, we heard a thunderstorm coming up and while I am a big fan of facing your fears, I frankly did not need to sit in an outside chair lift with the prospect of lightning.

 

The afternoon was full of ruins, castles and churches. My mind was opened up like a beer can. I could enjoy the beauty of old buildings and wooden altars from the 14th century. The more I walked over the next two days, the more I felt that baggage dropped, puzzle pieces moved into empty spaces like Jenga stones and my strength developed from inside out. With every new walk, I gained clarity.