Doing business abroad is a challenging skill for professionals to master. Each culture has a unique code of ethics that is often contrary to those across the globe. In order to successfully conduct business internationally, it would be ideal for businesspeople to take time consulting with coworkers about past experiences, brushing up on basic language skills, and even participating in detailed training courses.
In reality, there is often not enough time in the day to make all of the ideal preparations prior to a business trip. For business travelers lacking the optimal planning time, there are several applications available for mobile devices that can help them to avoid the most damaging cultural blunders without losing too much of their valuable work week.
Although it is not all-inclusive, this list recently posted by Sarah Kessler on Mashable provides useful iPhone applications that fulfill the needs of most international business users. Whether meeting with customers, suppliers, or their global coworkers, it is important for business travelers to recognize that they are stepping into a new realm of common business practices. Each international region will have minor customs that can mean the difference between a successful partnership and a damaging insult.
For those who do not know how to conduct a business meeting in Japan, the Business Practices application from the Brannen Group could be very helpful. Others more interested in quantitative measurements of a country’s business environment may find that the CultureGPS application is better suited to their needs. This application, based on academic research, provides relative measurements of individualism, achievement orientation, power structure, fear of uncertainty, and long-term orientation for more than 70 countries.
Regardless of a business traveler’s needs, there is probably an application available to quickly debrief them on the most important facts about each global market. Once again, technology provides a solution that saves employees time while bringing relevant information to their fingertips. Quickly improving international business relationships has suddenly become simple and convenient.