As businesses grow, so does the appetite to expand into new territories and seek new skills and markets.
Apart from the fact that this opens up new partnerships and revenue, what feels just as important is the way it brings different cultures together to share ideas and approaches.
Sharing ideas and different cultures and languages is good for business. It helps expand experiences and expand the minds of its people.
To paraphrase Orbium (a wealth management company that is part of Accenture Wealth Management), company cultures are “the beating heart of an organisation”, providing a working blueprint for how to engage, inspire and collaborate.
The expansion of a business’s footprint across the globe is exciting. It demonstrates growth, success, ambition and customer acquisition. The list goes on. It also allows for the sharing of a business’ cultural identity. It’s the growth of a culture – of a ‘business’ family.
Overseas expansion also poses clear challenges, not least hard work. Identifying new locations and offices, setting up teams, telecoms, developing business relationships and working with language differences are all equally important. But it also presents an exciting journey – both a physical and cultural one.
Expansion provides the opportunity to forge a widening network of business relationships. It also provides the benefit of bringing cultures together through sharing ideas. On top of this, expansion improves thoughts and views, and creates a greater cultural bond. There will be new business meetings, new attire, new cultures, foods, landscapes and etiquettes. This all expands the mind! An expanded mind can’t be a bad thing. It can absorb and embrace more, and its thirst for greater experience and knowledge will also grow.
The recent insights from our headhunter in Malta perfectly capture this. From Essex boy to Maltese Falcon, his life experiences have changed drastically. So, from a recruitment perspective too, cultural collaboration is hugely powerful. It is attractive to new recruits because it offers something different to the 9-5 local office environment.
There is also a resilience that can develop from building a global footprint. The knowledge that a business has global capacity, global customers and a global supply chain builds a certain confidence. One not to take for granted of course – as no business should assume success – but one that does drive the appetite for further success.
Just the use of different languages alone creates a feeling of cultural diversity. These also help people develop new skills, trying out new languages and sharing knowledge. Colleagues will explain simple phrases such as salutations, but this first small step develops into a fully-fledged linguistic expert!
It’s a great feeling to speak other languages at work and mix with other cultures. The opportunity for staff exchange gives people new perspectives and knowledge. Someone with a broader experience, better linguistic skills and good cultural awareness can only be a good thing for a business! It’s the mark of a successful business too – one which encourages the expansion of minds and opportunities as much as territories.
By David Bootle
David Bootle is Global Head of Corporate Marketing for Northern Gas and Power. Formally a national news journalist, David has extensive experience of international marketing and an equally extensive network of media, broadcast and advertising contacts. With Northern Gas and Power, David has provided positive brand profile with trade and international media, Chambers of Commerce and the CBI to name a few.