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What is Outsourcing?

Education, especially higher technical education, is pretty much standardized across the globe. It can therefore be expected that technicians with a comparable degree have a comparable have technical knowledge. This is also true. Yet, it often goes completely wrong when doing projects across borders and cultures. And then, too often wrong conclusions are drawn about the knowledge, ability, expertise and skills of the foreign team. People rarely foresee how a difference in cultural background can cause that specifications are sometimes interpreted differently. Too often, technical specifications are written as seen from the personal world of experience of the author. Even the best methodologies for writing down specifications cannot cope with this bias. And small, sometimes subtle differences in interpretations can lead to disastrous results.

Some knowledge about how another team thinks, what their background is and how your messages or instructions are perceived, can prevent a lot of costly failures or time and resource consuming re-work. Knowing how to send a message to someone with a completely different culture or background, gives you the chance to get your message across the right way avoiding expensive and time consuming misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Not only is this the case with a team in a foreign country, but this is equally true with team members of foreign origin and with a different cultural background in your own company. The message remains the same, but only when you can pass on your message from the context of the person or team that needs to understand the message as you would like it to be understood, you will get the message through.

To transfer your messages, instructions, targets, specifications and feedback in a good way and thus significantly increase or even guarantee the chance of success of your project, it is particularly useful, time and cost saving, to pause for a moment at the start of a project and to reflect about the culture of your team. This applies to a close team from another company in which a different corporate culture prevails, but even more so for a team in a distant country where there is not only a different corporate culture, but where the team leaders and your contact persons also have a totally different culture and background than yours.

PGS culminates decades of experience working with different cultures around the world world. PGS offers clients culture training on both sides (both the clients and the foreign contractors) to build mutual understanding at the start of projects or through coaching and follow-up during project implementation for efficient and productive communication.