Corporate Culture Integration Workshop
1 Facilitator – 30 People maximum
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This corporate culture integration workshop is designed to improve collaboration and accelerate the cultural integration process after a merger or acquisition. The typical scenarios can be but are not limited to:
- Two newly merged companies who need to accelerate operational momentum fast.
- To integrate an acquired company, make sure that there is a common understanding of goals and objectives.
- Improve collaboration with subsidiaries.
- To kick-start or improve the collaboration process with an outsourcing partner.
Integrating corporate cultures is not about compromising. Actually, we don’t believe compromises are a good solution at all because none of the parties involved gets what they originally aimed at. With the Gugin Corporate Culture Integration Workshop, you will learn that there is a different way where we build on the strength each culture has. Think of the situation where you are eating a meal with a Knife, a Fork and a Spoon. The three tools are very different, but by combining their individual strengths you are able to eat a huge variety of food. Your brain does the cultural integration automatically. We want you to think the same way when it comes to integrating people i.e. from different companies, different departments, from different professions from different countries and so on.
Purpose of the Corporate Culture Integration workshop
The purpose of the cultural integration workshop (which is actually 3 workshops) is to learn how to leverage cultural diversity instead of seeing the differences as an obstacle to moving forward.
Fear of losing face, control, power and status combined with uncertainty about the future is the reality for most people getting involved in mergers, acquisitions or outsourcing. We usually don’t express our fears explicitly but wrap them up in typical management issues, withhold information and develop unnecessary personal contingency plans.
That is why it is so difficult to deal with integration and that is why it is crucial to have an external facilitator to take the parties through a process where they gain knowledge about how to cope with different cultures and embrace diversity. We can easier get to the root of the tree because the parties will be more direct and open with us because we are not a part of the political agenda of the companies involved.
The purpose is to equip everyone involved with cross-cultural communication skills, a tool to reconcile potential cultural conflicts and make the parties involved more curious and less contemptuous towards each other.
The processes, tools and techniques are brought to life by working with a real key culturally related challenge from the company.
The outline of the process is as follows:
- Determination of a key strategic and/or operational challenge that has arisen due to cross-cultural issues. Gugin will find that challenge together with the program sponsor.
- Identify examples where this challenge has influenced communication, decisions, operational excellence or motivation.
- Gugin plans the 2 1-day country workshops based on the findings. The workshops are described more in detail later in this document.
- Carry out the workshops in company/country 1 and company/country 2 respectively. There will be 2 instructors/coaches at each workshop and at least 1 will be fluent in the native language of the country where the workshop is being held.
- Assess the results of the workshops and work with the program sponsor on identifying and prioritising the issues we have to work on within the 3rd workshop
- Carry out the 3rd workshop where all parties participate. At this point, both parties have a higher cultural intelligence so we can work with eliminating misunderstandings in communications, reconciliation of the prioritised issues, defining quick wins, a game plan and success criteria.
The Cultural Integration workshops
The 2 first workshops “mirror” each other while the 3rd brings it all together.
The workshop for each group.
Dealing with culture and cultural differences is a challenge because, like an iceberg, most of it is hidden under the surface.
The first subject of the day is to create an awareness of how our cultural background affects our norms, values and behaviour.
We then give an introduction to the cultural dimensions developed by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner, who also developed the dilemma theory which Gugin has developed further over the past 10 years.
This section is finalised with a comparison of the 2 cultures in relation to the issues raised and the typical dilemmas they face in communication.
We present each group’s observations/frustrations to the other and explain each observation/frustration from a neutral point of view putting them into the Trompenaars’ cultural model.
We seek an explanation and possible solutions to as many observations as possible.
We end the day by refreshing the reconciliation tool.
PS: At least one of the instructors will speak the participants’ mother tongue fluently so that the team can express themselves in their mother tongue. All documentation will, however, be in English.
The Reconciliation Workshop
The third workshop is where we bring it all together. The participants are now aware of each other’s frustrations, why they arise and how to deal with it. They also have a level of cultural intelligence that should prevent them from becoming contemptuous and instead work towards common goals with an open mind.
We facilitate the reconciliation process, the identification of quick wins and a game plan for overcoming the identified issues. Our experience shows that the majority of cultural related problems arise due to misinterpretations of behaviour and other artefacts, so a greater awareness of these issues will boost the communications a lot.
After the Cultural Integration workshop
We wrap up all the findings, resolutions, agreed objectives, agreements and game plans and present them to the teams. We can – if desired support the teams further in the implementation and act as a mediator in cases where cross-cultural communication might be a barrier to success.
The ideal group sizes are from 10 to 20 persons in each of the 2 first workshops. Ideally, all participants from the 2 first workshop participate in the 3rd workshop
Why should you choose Cross-Cultural training from Gugin?
From we started the company in 2001 we knew we would need an engine that could keep us ahead of the competition and constantly deliver world-class consultance and training. The world is constantly changing and we need to change with it and indeally develop services that addresses the agenda of tomorrow. Gugin stands on 3 pilars: Consulting, Training and Research. They fuel each other with great ideas for innovation and service development. When, for instance, we are helping a company with corporate cultural change we might discover cross-cultural issues, we haven’t seen before. We then reseach it further and find a great solution to the client and we can upgrade our training portfolio.
So you will NEVER experience us using 50 years old research, like Hofstede’s cultural dimensions that promotes cultural stereotypes based on nationalities. In fact our research has shown that these stereotypes don’t exist and that if you are promoting stereotypes like “the french are like… and the canadians are like…” you will just create more conflicts.
In everything we do, we focus on how you can synergies from the cultural diversity and our approach is generic. Bringing different nationalities together is no different from bringing different companies, different professions, different age-groups or different sub-cultures inside a company together. All our training gives you generic tool for levelraging the cultural diversity, no matter where it exist.
We develop generic cultural intelligence you can use every where
All our 1/2-day corporate training modules are designed as intensive, interactive learning modules. You can combine the training modules almost as you like. They can also fit into your existing training programs or corporate university curriculum. We also have longer, more in-depth courses. Please see the complete list of standard courses we offer. We also design a lot of specialised training and coaching programs together with our clients if the existing courses don't meet the needs.
Prerequisites for attending
The attendees are expected to have personal cross-cultural experiences that include having been in situations where they were uncertain about what to do because they were outside their cultural comfort zone.
You will organise the venue - everything included - and manage the participants. Gugin will provide instructor and course material. Gugin can also be a full-service course organiser, but usually, our clients want to organise the practicalities themselves. You can invite 12 people to each course module.