The Need for Cultural Understanding in Business

Nicholas Janitsary has spent more than a decade working as the founder and managing director of Singapore’s New Dimension Group, a business development firm particularly active in the aviation space. In addition to his work in Singapore, his work with the group has required Nicholas Janitsary to spend time in the Middle East in attempts to help Middle Eastern business professionals understand the Asian business culture, and vice versa.

Bridging the cultural divides that separate one part of the world from another has long been paramount to the success of international business, and now analysts are saying that cultural awareness training is a necessity for all businesses. The bane of any efficient executive’s existence is miscommunication, as it inevitably leads to decreased productivity and costly mistakes. The likelihood of miscommunication is always high in today’s fast-paced, increasingly digital business world, and cultural misunderstandings only serve to compound this issue.

Contrary to popular belief, cultural miscommunication in business goes far beyond a simple language barrier. Small and middle-sized businesses in America, in particular, need to start fostering international business relationships in anticipation of payoffs down the road. This business strategy stands in stark contrast to the American business notion of making a profitable deal that yields immediate results.