This month some of the Comtec team have been on the road attending conferences and roadshows in the Midlands and London. James Brown and I took a trip to the IoD Open House on the Road at the National Conference Centre, and then Daniel Jacob and I attended the Business Show at ExCel London.
We spoke to all kinds of companies that are interested in doing business globally; from small boutique marketing agencies at the Business Show to large manufacturers based here in the Midlands. Big or small, there are common challenges when communicating and doing business overseas.
Our guide to Languages in International Business is a good starting point for addressing many of these challenges. Download it here.
Cultural differences in global business
At the IoD event, James and I both enjoyed a talk by Malcolm Johnston, of Re-Formation Associates Ltd, on “Managing Cultural Diversity”. Company culture in different businesses varies significantly, even between UK companies, so it can be even more of a minefield when factoring in global cultural differences too.
Business etiquette in different countries can throw up a few curveballs, which can make negotiating with clients, suppliers or distributors a challenge. Also, if your business is planning to develop a base in another country, you’ll need to manage a multicultural team, and this adds a different dimension to HR.
As our clients in global HR departments can testify, it pays to get an in-depth understanding of the culture to ensure high levels of employee engagement and productivity.
Inspiring global business stories
Another talk we found very interesting was “How I Set Up Abroad”, delivered by Julian Turner, CEO of Westfield Technologies. He spoke about how he has successfully sold Westfield Technologies’ ground-breaking autonomous vehicle, PODs, internationally.
Julian told us of the journey he and his company went on, touching particularly on the organisational and leadership challenges that come with global expansion. It was a great insight for business leaders and an inspiring story.
Understanding how translation teams can help
Daniel and I spent a day networking at the Business Show at ExCeL London and found out about how other companies understand the translation sector. It was great to have the opportunity to clarify things for some people and also learn about their priorities. We know how complex our industry can be!
All these insights and feedback will be used to improve the way we work and drive efficiencies for our clients.
We’re also looking forward to catching up with the people that we spoke with at the event. It was a great show!
Is your company looking to do business globally? To get you started, we’ve got a handy guide to Languages in International Business. It provides lots of advice for building your company’s language capacity and communicating with diverse cultures. Download your free copy below.