Body-language and nonverbal communication

Change (2) and integration

 Change (2) and integration

Some days ago I talked about change, mergers and development in China and Europe. Today I want to line out another model of approaching change.

To begin with I want to remind you about how a merger usually functions in western countries.

Mostly there’s a strong partner and a weak partner. Mostly the strong partner tries to get the small partner (though often this is not addressed too directly and openly). Then, to make it short, management tries to find synergy effects, tries to reduce costs and to bring people together in a team or in a unit being convinced that if the employees are put together they will work together sufficiently and successfully.

As I told you already this kind of management fails in about 70-80% of those mergers.

If change develops like this, this process often …………..produces more costs, less synergy-effects and produces often some kind of demotivation.

Scientists and managers just like Stephan A. Jansen from Friedrichshafen University developed another approach. I want to put it into a little picture to make it understandable:

Let’s take a merger of an Italian and German company. The board invites the managers and employees to a Kick-off-workshop where everybody can get familiar with the two companies and their cultures. The basic structure of such a workshop could be like this:

The first day is the Italian day. That means the colleagues from the Italian company organize, moderate and create this part of the workshop in a way how they’re familiar with when they work in Italy. Because they are Italians.  So one will hear Italian language (of course English and German also), you will have an Italian dinner and Italian snacks and drinks. You will be introduced to the Italian way of moderating a workshop, an Italian way of visualization and so on.

In the evening there’s some Italian cultural program.

The second day is the German day:  German moderation, visualization, German food, German cultural program.

The third day is the day of making and respecting differences as well as trying to find out more about connected thinking, similarities and so on.

The basic aim is not to establish a new, third culture to the Italian or German culture. All the people, get familiar with the differences which stay different. Or to put everything in one shaker and shake it like a cocktail. This doesn`t work.

The last day is the day to find out what the one can take over from the other. Or it is the day to find out if both companies, the Italian and the German need an additional new approach which is not Italian and not German.

First survey-results show that this approach at least in the context of Western Europe, is quite successful. Of course this approach takes longer time to follow, of course it costs more money and of course it is an unsecure process because you don’t know where it will lead to exactly.

But of course, and that is part of the results, change is characterized more often by sustainability. I just think of a very traditional model of organizing decision, connected thinking, experience cultural change and decision making.

I wonder how it will look like if we follow such a role model in the field of interculural integration. 😉

I will talk about it later this month. You will find my ideas and experiences in the chapter “palaver- about traditional African decision making.”

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