Translating Business, a book written by Matteo Bortalaso

There is no need to move abroad to find different cultures, nowadays almost all corporations have a global, mixed cultures environment.

There may be a situation where an American company is managed by American executives, but it is owned by a Japanese holding, engineering is directed by a German engineer and purchasing is coordinated by a Korean director (that’s the case of one of my biggest customers for example). It is important to understand the different business cultures of the people.

“An easily understood cheat sheet that helps anyone in need of an uncomplicated guide to international business practices in various cultures”.

As an Italian in USA, I had several experiences where I had to win the trust of the customers, hurt in the past by bad Italian habits. The most significant for me was in 1998.

The customer told me: “I had very bad and frustrating experiences with the Italians in the past, it is impossible to have answers on time, they show up asking for business and then they disappear. You visited us six times in about a year and a half, you always replied to our requests on a timely manner, quoted what we asked, and now you are planning to open a warehouse in US to better serve the market. This is showing reliability and commitment, now I trust you and I am ready to work with you”.

It is vital trying not to impose our own way of working, but adapt to the local mindsets in order to expand internationally. The real challenge is to understand, interpret, and translate between business cultures.

I wrote about adapting to different world cultures and the necessary steps to open and run a subsidiary overseas while doing business internationally in my book TRANSLATING BUSINESS (Amazon)