As Keith Warburton travels around the world on client assignments he is faced with a kaleidoscope of cultural dilemmas and challenges. Whether it is issues around integrating teams into a JV with a State Owned Enterprise in China, working with colleagues in India in an outsourced project team or helping lawyers communicate more effectively with global clients – Keith has experienced it all.

Most of the challenges he sees are generic and can be experienced by any organisation in any sector because they are generally interpersonal issues and Keith distils these messages and learning points and writes about them in a series of regular blogs posts.

Recent blog topics have included such varied subjects as ‘Is it possible to have a functioning global appraisal programme?’ through to ‘Developing a Global Compliance programme’. The blogs don’t follow a pattern or a set sequence because Keith is reacting to situations as he finds them and when he finds them.

3 reasons why global law firms need to develop global cultural fluency

Over the past decade, I have worked with some of the world’s greatest international Law Firms and I have been heavily involved with their globalization processes. This has been a fascinating journey and I’ve learnt an enormous amount along the way. Many of the firms have grown from local powerhouses to global super powers and… Read More


Off-Shore Partners in India

Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of major projects where U.S. or European companies have looked to transition work from their home countries to outsourced facilities in India. The drivers behind these projects have been many and varied, but I suppose that cost reduction is always a major component of any such… Read More


Global Compliance and Global Cultural Difference

A report published by Control Risks titled ‘International Business Attitudes to Corruption’ succinctly highlighted some of the extreme challenges faced by Compliance Officers within global organisations.  As regulators increasingly extend their global reach whilst at the same time anti-corruption laws become ever more comprehensive, Global Compliance comes face-to-face with culturally differing norms around the world…. Read More


You really need to build your own levels of cultural fluency

I really believe this statement is true if any person is to be able to work really effectively across the barriers of culture, language, geography and time. The basic problem is that people are not born with an innate understanding of how business works in areas of the globe they don’t know and maybe have… Read More


Lots of our clients are WEIRD

cultural awareness training

It’s probably not a great idea to start a post by appearing to insult most of our clients – so I’d better quickly explain what I mean by calling you WEIRD. Joseph Henrich, Steven J Heine and Ara Norenzayan issued a research paper a few years ago showing that most behavioural science theory is built… Read More


Global Compliance in a Culturally Complex World

A report published by Control Risks titled ‘International Business Attitudes to Corruption’ succinctly highlighted some of the extreme challenges faced by Compliance Officers within global organisations. As regulators increasingly extend their global reach whilst at the same time anti-corruption laws become ever more comprehensive, Global Compliance comes face-to-face with the often uncomfortable on-the ground reality… Read More


English as the Global Communication Language

global virtual teams

Like it or not, English is the common global language adopted by most international companies. The trouble is that language levels in English vary around the world – even within one organisation. Native speakers often assume that ‘if somebody is working in my company, they have to have really high levels of English.’ This is… Read More


5 Reasons your Organisation should become culturally fluent

Lots of organisations seem to face huge capability gaps when it comes to successfully implementing global strategy. The strategy may be fine as a concept but individuals within companies very often lack a sufficiently global mindset to allow them to implement the strategy successfully – and that’s when things can go badly wrong. Many of… Read More


10 Golden Rules for Working Globally

I am often asked about the key elements of effective international collaboration and whilst there is no secret recipe for success, these ten points might help you to navigate through the complexities of international cross-border working. The list is not exhaustive but I hope these hints and tips are a good starting point: Avoid making… Read More


Globalisation gap and global strategy

The findings of a recent Boston Consulting Group report highlighted the fact that many companies face a huge capability gap when it comes to implementing their global strategy. The strategy may be fine but if individuals within the organisation lack the global mindset to enable them to implement the strategy successfully, then things can go… Read More