Working With The British
Working With The British
Allyson Stewart-Allen (International Marketing Consultant) gives expert video advice on: What common mistakes do Americans make when working with the British?; How do the Americans view the British?; How do the British view Americans? and more...
What common mistakes do Americans make when working with the British?
The common mistake of Americans when they work with British people is the assumption of slightly different accent. UK is different country with a different culture to the American people.
How do the Americans view the British?
Allyson Stewart-Allen: I think Americans general views of British people in business is they're a bit more formal. That they may be a bit more creative and slightly more chaotic and less procedural than we are. They don't necessarily have processes in the same way that Americans do in the same way we have processes. So I think that Americans are sometimes intrigued and maybe confused about how British executives pursue their objectives because they are not as linear as they are in the US. The other thing that we're aware of that is different is the qualitative arguments come into it in the UK, whereas in the US it's all about the numbers. Now if the numbers make the business case work then we go with it. Whereas in the UK there's a bit more balance. There's the numbers then there is also the qualitative side and we're not so used to that. So the more we know about it the better off our own business culture will be.
How do the British view Americans?
I think one of the things that you find that British people say about the way Americans do business, is that it is impersonal. It isn't about me necessarily, it's about the money that I potentially represent to the company. I think they find that impersonal element slightly uncomfortable and not necessarily very rewarding. I also think what is confusing for British people is the lack of geography knowledge the American colleagues have, or even interest, in the UK and other parts of the world sometimes.
What does the average Brit worry about?
I think one a thing that you find inj British people in business, is that they don't worry about losing their jobs. Jobs security in the US is something really does concern Americans along wth, the value their pension and private heath care. Whereas, in the UK there's a stronger sense of job security which therefore means that british executives can worry more about how the company can advance, there's more loyalty towards their employers company, in Europe, and in the UK in particular than the Americans demonstrate. So I think that the real concern for the British executives is actually,"How can I help my company advance and make for money, grow in new markets, and generally succeed more?" I am not sure that you find than the US where it's actually more about my individual performance and looking after me, whereas in the UK it's about looking after my company, and team as will as me.
How is success' defined in the British business world?
I think for the British executives, success doesn't always looks like money and cash in the bank in the way like it does for the American. Success in the UK looks like knowledge, looks like network of contacts, look like numbers of years you work for a company/companies or share price improvements to some extent.
What are the main cultural differences between North and South England?
I think there are differences between the North and the South of England. I think what you find in the South of England is it's in a way much more American, friendly enough, it's a bit relatively speaking, it's more transactional, and less personal than it is in the North of England, where people want to get to know you, know a little bit more about you. You're interesting, and then let's go down to the pub, and actually do a deal then, but I want to get to know you. And I think in the South, it's taken on some of the American tendencies, maybe in part because there are so many American companies in the city of London and the South East. Generally that could be, but certainly the American business culture feels like it's more present in the South, because in part of that transactional way of working.
What might improve Americans understanding about the UK?
I think one of things that's important to help Americans appreciate it is that the UK is an extremely diverse country or set of countries. And I think the US sees the UK as all one place and I don't think we understand the nuances and the differences that exist between Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, England, and that, that's a really rich tapestry and different histories actually. And I think for the US it's sort of over there and it's one big land mass and it's pretty homogeneous so I think the more the Americans can understand these nuances and these cultural differences even within the UK the better off they'd be.
Is there a business culture divide between small towns and big cities in the UK?
Some things you find also in the UK is the different between business people in the cities and business people that in more rolling placed --- in villagers or towns and I think there is suspension of this two groups of each other, so I thinks people who comes from cities in a business maybe assume people who lived in town and villages and made business their maybe are they school up they don't understand the internet they are also in the presumptions that they really not up to speed of current affairs and current trench, receptively. People in towns and more parts in the UK assume that people from the city are too polish are in sincere are very transactional maybe are bit last real able? I think that an inters ting the economy because inters ting that also exist very much in the US the different between the view people in the cities versus the view people in the small towns.