ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, EMILY SHAPIRO and MELISSA GRIFFIN, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A nor’easter is closing in on the Northeast U.S., where it’s set to drop 1 to 2 feet of snow and possibly bring near-blizzard conditions.“This could be the biggest storm in several years,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned.The latest:By Wednesday evening, heavy snow will be ongoing in northern New Jersey, New York City, Pennsylvania and some of southern New England.Winds could reach 50 mph in some areas, especially along the coast.Overnight, snowfall rates could reach 1 to 2 inches per hour with near blizzard conditions possible in New York, New Jersey and New England.The heaviest snow — 1 to 2 feet — will be from central Pennsylvania through New York’s Hudson Valley and Catskills, and into southern New England.The forecast:DC, PhiladelphiaSnowfall is underway in Washington, D.C., but it’s expected to quickly change to a wintry mix and rain. The rain and sleet ends Wednesday night, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of snow behind.Snow is also falling in Philadelphia, but by the evening it’ll mix with sleet and rain. The city could see a total accumulation of 4 to 8 inches, while suburbs to the west and north of the city could see 1 foot or more.New JerseyIn New Jersey, where over 1 foot is possible in some areas, Gov. Phil Murphy has declared a state of emergency beginning at 2 p.m.New YorkIn New York City, snow begins around 4 p.m. The area could see 6 to 14 inches of snow.New York City has issued a travel advisory, urging residents to stay off the roads as much as possible.Indoor dining is already banned in New York City and outdoor dining will be suspended Wednesday afternoon, when the sanitation department’s “snow alert” goes into effect.Restaurants, which are required to remove or secure outdoor furniture and remove their electric heaters, will be permitted to reopen when the “snow alert” ends.New York City’s snow will end around noon Thursday.BostonBoston’s snow is expected to begin around 10 or 11 p.m. on Wednesday, continuing with heavy snow overnight and reaching a total accumulation of 6 to 12 inches.Boston Public Schools will be closed Thursday as the snow is expected to continue through the day.Behind the storm, the coldest air of the season will hit the Northeast. Wind chills — what it feels like — will fall to the teens and single digits Thursday night into Friday morning.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Comments are closed. Companiesare losing business simply because they fail to recognise their internationalpartners have a different way of working. Pepi Sappal looks at how this cultural hurdle can be overcomeJusta few months ago, SwissAir HR director Matthias Molloney complained thatfinding leaders with global skills and multicultural experience to help expandthe business internationally, was extremely difficult. “We’re not justlooking for languages, but transnational thinking. People with these qualities,however, are a scarce commodity,” says Molloney. It’sa common complaint. Although international companies have been around for manyyears, cultural nuances still get in the way of doing business. “Westill hear tales about Westerners walking away from meetings under theimpression that a deal has been struck between them and, say, their Easterncounterparts, but they are often shocked to discover that there’s actually nodeal when they arrive home, and can’t understand what went wrong,” saysRichard Little, international consultant at UK-based training firm Impact.”The problem, it seems, is that we’re still struggling to produceinternational managers capable of dealing with cross-cultural dilemmas. Thismakes it difficult to reach business goals and profit targets, whether theyarise from cross-border alliances or within international teams.”Arecent study by professional services firm KPMG confirms that relationalaspects of cultural differences and lack of trust are responsible for as muchas 70 per cent of all cross-border alliance failures. And HR directors and CEOscontinue to complain that cross-border alliances and acquisitions just haven’tbrought the results they expected.Businessguru Fons Trompenaars of Netherlands-based cross-cultural firm THT Consulting,and co-author of Riding The Waves of Culture, blames this inability to producemanagers capable of conducting successful international business on trainingand old-fashioned attitudes. “Global corporations have learned that the‘we’re all the same strategy – by standardising business processes worldwide’,doesn’t work. They’ve also discovered that the ‘we’re all different, so let’screate different processes to accommodate for local nuances’ scenario justcreates chaos,” says Trompenaars.”Thistime round, it’s about ‘finding a common or middle ground’ that works for allparties by leveraging on the values we share. And the sooner companies comeround to that way of thinking, the better,” he says.Hebelieves sending managers on short courses that do little more that point outthe differences simply isn’t enough to succeed in today’s complicatedinternational business arena. “This approach can often make conflictresolution far more difficult. So it’s imperative to find courses that look atthe similarities too,” he says. “Only then can managers find middleground that everyone will be happy to work within.” He describes thisskill as the ‘transcultural competency’ – the ability to not only recognise andunderstand differences, but reconcile them and leverage them for businessadvantage. ProfessorFred Seidel, of French business school EM Lyon, agrees. “As companies goglobal, you need managers that are able to build a bridge between their ownculture and others,” he says. “To do this, they need to understandthe differences, then look at where they can build commonalities in order towork with their international colleagues effectively,” says Seidel.”This way no one culture dominates another, which is where conflictsusually arise.”Yetskilled ‘transcultural managers’, capable of finding ‘a common ground’ arerare. But it’s not all bad news. Trompenaars claims that this transculturalmindset can be learned, and once mastered, can be transferred from one countryor culture to another with ease. That said, it’s not something that can belearnt overnight, but acquired through a combination of training courses andpersonal developmental skills.”Globalmanagers must acquire cultural sensitivity and savvy at two levels: genericunderstanding independently of the countries involved (cross-culturalpreparation) and country-specific understanding of the dos and don’ts ofbusiness etiquette and practice (country preparation),” says Lisbeth Claus,professor of international HR at the Monterey Institute of InternationalStudies in California.”Ashort cross-cultural course will help acquire a generic cross-culturalunderstanding. This will give an insight to how cultures differ, based on theworks of cross-cultural gurus such as Trompenaars and Geert Hofstede. Forexample, they will learn how other cultures value life. Is it an individualistculture like the US, or a collective one like Japan. Once they have that kindof knowledge they will find it easier to manage and reconciledifferences.” Claushas developed a Transcultural Competency Toolkit to help understand these basicdifferences. It helps to compare cultures and increase cultural savvy ininternational business situations. “It allows firms to compare theimplications of say, offering an overseas promotion to say a British personfrom a highly individualistic culture and an Argentine person from acollectivist culture, which is also highly paternalistic.”Theconcept of ‘commonalities’ is also beginning to appear in short courses aswell. “Working on what we have in common is a strategy we use to buildrapport and an element of trust between, say, an international team,” saysPhilippe Nitzer, senior trainer at Farnham Castle, the UK-based internationalbriefing and conference centre. “One way we do this is through sharingemotions – such as fear, joy or excitement – that are common to everyone,through action or role play. This helps to develop a genuine trust betweeneveryone. Once this bond has been established, the differences don’t seem to betoo big, and they can then find a way to negotiate and work on theirdifferences.”Theoryalone, however, is not enough. Experiential learning, via exposure tointernational business through overseas assignments or working in multinationalteams, is also important. Through a combination of experiences andcross-cultural training, international managers will learn how to get the bestout of people, by knowing which buttons to press. To make a joint alliance betweenChina and the US work, for example, managers must adopt two differentapproaches to get them working together to reach the same goal. “Soto get the Americans on your side, you need to talk about future goals andobjectives, forecasting the type of return they would get as they arefuture-orientated,” says Claus. “But for the Chinese, who arepast-orientated, the way to get them on your side is by referring to historyand what their ancestors would have done, because that’s what they respect.”Thosebeing groomed for international leadership positions, however, will needfurther cross-cultural development and international training – usuallyacquired through a longer course, preferably at a business school. “Here,they’d get a deeper understanding of culture on top of international businessskills. For example, an understanding of institutions like education systemswill give a clue about the way certain cultures learn and solve problems,”says Seidel. “This can be done by analysing environments by looking atcompany growth patterns. For example, why the Japanese have been able to buildhuge organisations, whereas the Chinese haven’t. As the Chinese rarely trustpeople out of their own clan, their businesses tend to be smaller and familyowned. Again, this gives a clue as to just how trusting and loyal certaincultures are.”OngoingsupportOncemanagers acquire these skills, they will be able to go to any country and findtheir own way in business, claims Seidel. “They’ll be able to distinguishwhat is important and what isn’t. They’ll know how to go about finding theknowledge they need – and in many cases, eliminating the need for culturaltraining briefings each time they go to a new location, because they’ll knowwhat information they need and how to get it in order to adapt to the new workenvironment quickly and effectively.”Butit doesn’t stop there. Skills must be continuously topped up with just-in-timecountry-specific preparation and supporting skills. “It’s amazing how manyUS firms will acquire a European firm, thinking they can fire at will, likethey do in the US,” says Stephane Brahey, director of interculturalmanagement training, at Cendant International Assignment Services, based at theChicago office. “So firms send staff to us for tactical training, to helpprepare staff who are about to negotiate a joint venture in China, for example.We’ll give them an insight in to how deals are done there, help them understandthe legal implications, and so on, with ongoing coach and support along theway.”Theneed for transculturally competent managers will steadily increase, not onlyfor overseas postings, however, but on companies’ home countries as well.Considerable labour movement is occurring throughout the member states of theEuropean Union, and the face of the US domestic workforce is also becoming moremulticultural: Hispanics are likely to become the US’ largest minority group by2020, and according to the US Department of Labor, two-thirds of the USpopulation increase between now and 2050 will be due to immigration.Inshort, cross-cultural training is a time-consuming investment, and adapting toa broader view of bridging the cultural gaps a considerable commitment, forindividuals and companies alike. But long term, those investments pay off. AsFons Trompenaars points out: “Leaders such as Michael Dell and RichardBranson have this transcultural mindset that can deal with ambiguity. Not onlywill those who have this skill thrive in business, but so will those firms.”Cross-culturalsavvy and how to acquire itAcquiringcross-cultural savvy does not happen overnight, says Lisbeth Claus, professorof international HR at the Monterey Institute of International Studies inCalifornia. She offers some tips that can help HR and their staff increasecross-cultural skills within their organisations:–Make globalisation an integral part of your company’s mission. Increase globalawareness among your employees by communicating your global strategy, byeducating them about your international suppliers, customers and competitors.Help increase their understanding of global interdependence–Know your own culture: an in-depth knowledge of your own culture is aprerequisite to identifying and eliminating stereotypes about other cultures–Do not stereotype others: having a global mindset requires us to be flexibleand adaptable to change. Do not base assumptions about others on stereotypes,but on an understanding of a culture’s various value dimensions and howbusiness is conducted–Recruit staff with cross-cultural and language skills: an increasing number ofpotential employees already have an international background, education andexperience. It’s easy to teach new recruits about your business practices andindustry than it is to develop non-existent cultural and language skills–Promote people from different cultural backgrounds to management positions. Bydiversifying the cultural background of your managers, your company will beless likely to view the world solely from a domestic perspective–Provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning and languages. Consider theacquisition of cross-cultural and language skills as a part of your employees’personal development. Provide them with learning opportunities through education,training and international assignments. Working in a global environmentrequires people to become proficient in at least one additional language.Language acquisition is the basis of socialisation into a culture, and acompetitive advantage to conduct business better in that new environment–Learn from your international experiences: share the knowledge of yourinternational successes and failures with everyone so that everyone may learn–Shift your emphasis from short-term task accomplishment to long-termrelationship building. This will make it easier to conduct business incountries such as Asia and Latin America–Remember the global rule: treat people from other cultures as they would liketo be treated Broadening your horizonsOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.