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Working with Americans

Working with Americans

How to build profitable business relationships

Allyson Stewart-Allen, Lanie Denslow

May 2002, Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN13: 9780273656265
ISBN10: 0273656260
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Anybody who has ever done business with Americans can testify that there are more differences than similarities between Americans and most business cultures in the rest of the world. There are differences in cultures, values, etiquette and even ‘common’ business language – which is quite often, well, uncommon.

When it comes to building relationships and doing business deals with Americans, understanding and appreciating these behaviors, culture and business manners is vital to success. Everybody wants to work with people they relate to, who they believe they can trust -- and ultimately who ‘speak my language’.

Working with Americans not only illuminates why Americans think and operate as they do, but also shows what you can do to play to your US colleagues’ preferences and business practices.

This is the guide to understanding Americans in business, their culture and thinking which will make you a more informed and confident manager and envoy. With confidence enhanced, you can be more relaxed, have fun, and focus on building lasting, profitable relationships.

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Introduction
I. BACKGROUND
1. The tea party and the great frontier
2. Open space (we've got lots) or bigger is better
3. We the people
4. Everyone knows
II. FOUNDATIONS
1. Do it now
2. Who's the boss
3. I'll do it myself
4. Hi, my name is Jason
5. Send me a memo
III. BUSINESS
1. It it's new, it's great: innovation and entrepreneurship
2. Professional advisers
3. Fight or flight
4. Let's make a plan
5. Who are they? American Corporate culture
IV. CREATING CONNECTIONS

1. How about those Mets
2. Let's do lunch
3. What did you say?
4. You look wonderful darling
5. Suggested reading

V. SUMMARY
Index

  • How Big It Is: It’s hard for people to understand the size of the US. Think in terms of a business flights: An hour from London you’re in another country. An hour from Los Angeles you’re still in California! Four hours from Paris takes you to Moscow. Four hours from New York doesn’t even get you to California.
  • My Way or the Highway: Americans are independent and spirited. Believing that everyone is created equal, they also hold the idea that each person is special and entitled to ‘express themselves’. A fast food chain slogan "We make it your way" responds to this attitude. Whether it is structuring the hours they work, ordering coffee, or buying a pair of jeans Americans want choices and to make their own selections.
  • Lawyers:Although the US has only 5 per cent of the world’s population it has 70 per cent of the world’s layers (about 1,000,000). Although the world thinks all lawyers in the US are simply there to sue someone, in reality they serve as business advisors helping US corporations craft detailed contracts aimed partly to AVOID lawsuits.
  • Clock is King. When dealing with Americans its critical to recognize their focus on time, schedules and agenda. Best advice: Be on time, stick to meeting agenda, know that your US based counterpart doesn’t intend to be rude when they don’t chat; they just feel rushed all the time.
  • Amazing Variety. America founded adventuresome pilgrims and continues to welcome people from throughout the world. The cities, marketplace and business cultures reflect the unique attitudes and experience of these immigrants. In addition, the US has well defined regions (West, East, South and Central) each with its own special food, speech and business rhythm. Further, Americans vary by age, education and experience. Before you come know that all one-size, one approach does NOT fit all.

Allyson Stewart-Allen is an American (Californian!) based in Europe for the past 2 decades, from where she advises a broad range of companies and industries – from professional sports teams to legal services – wanting to build their US presence and profits. Before establishing and running her Los Angeles and London-based consulting firm, International Marketing Partners, she was a marketing consultant with PwC, PA Consulting Group and Hay Management Consultants after earning her MBA under the direct tutelage of Dr. Peter Drucker at Claremont Graduate University. Allyson appears regularly as a marketing expert on CNN International, is regularly quoted in The Wall St. Journal Europe amongst other publications, and has a regular column in Market Leader and Marketing News magazines. She is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences around the globe. Allyson is recognised in The Female FTSE Report 2014:100 Women to Watch list produced by Cranfield’s International Centre for Women Business Leaders You can contact Allyson on allyson@workingwithamericans.com

Lanie Denslow is an innovative Californian, with a strong retailing and marketing background. She is International Director of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, a private college headquartered in Los Angeles. In addition, she founded World Wise Intercultural Training and Resources, to provide business professionals with seminars and customized programme to enable professionals conduct business effectively in and outside their home countries. Lanie has an MBA and a Masters of International Business from Pepperdine University. She has lived in France, is fluent in French and works regularly in Europe. You can contact Lanie on lanie@workingwithamericans.com

"If you are working for or with USA Inc., the authors’ detailed analysis of American corporate culture is an invaluable roadmap."

David Nelson, Producer, Sky News Business

For many people, Globalisation means Americanization, but successful economic development also needs cultural understanding and trust. This book will give you a real insight into how to build successful relationships with the wonderful folk from "God’s Own Country".

Sir Paul Judge, Chairman, British-North American Committee

The best thing in management is cross fertilization.

The best in cross fertilization is cultural integration.

The best in cultural integration is to combine American management good sense and simplicity with European flair.

This book not only helps you avoid misunderstandings, but more importantly makes you understand how this unique combination can work.

Philippe Bourguignon, Chief Executive, Club Med (former Chief Executive, Disneyland Paris)

"the book I wish I had written… the book I hope you will read!"

Ed Reilly, President, American Management Association

"…I am extremely impressed by the quality and the new enlightenments of Allyson and Lanie's book."

PY Gerbeau, Chief Executive of Xscape and former Chief Executive of the Millenium Dome"Two Americans give us the inside story of how to work with the apparently mystifying yanks and takes the time to cover the vast world between middle America and the coasts. For an American, it’s a fascinating insight into what you always thought was just a personal peculiarity and now realize is a cultural characteristic. For a non-American the book will clear up such mystifying behaviors as volume of speech, approach to deadlines, etiquette at a business lunch and proper business dress code. " Brand Channel

"provides vital information... It not only illuminates why Americans think and operate as they do, it also provide clear guidelines on how to be effective in playing to these preferences and business practices so as to build more effective and profitable relationships" - Business Book Review, January 2006