Intercultural coaching of a Franco-German team

Assignment

Coaching an intercultural team in the context of the acquisition of a German renewable energy company by a French company

Issues : Supporting growth
Services : Leadership Consulting

Context

  • A German company in northern Germany is acquired by a French company of a similar size
  • The French management team wants to optimise collaboration with its German counterparts, to enable the German subsidiary to mold into the group’s culture and to help it to grow both locally and internationally
  • Initial contact with the manager of the German GmbH highlights significant differences in managerial styles, internal communications, reporting and governance. These differences are a potential source of misunderstandings which, if not resolved, may turn ino conflicts
  • The German manager tends to dig his heels in when he contacts his French colleagues while they don’t accept the German team’s desire for independence
  • This situation worries the French CEO because such behaviour may prevent the collaboration of the French and German teams and compromise the group’s strategic plan
  • In this context, E&A suggests intercultural team coaching for managers who are to work together. This participatory approach aims to provide performance drivers which cultural diversity will enable them to achieve

Eurosearch & Associés involvement

  • E&A meets with the 2 managers, along with one of its Partners, a Certified Coach, to present the team coaching approach. The aim is to help the management teams to develop a relationship of trust, kindness and direct communication to enhance the unique nature of the Franco-German team and to strengthen its focus on the objectives
  • In this context, E&A recommends a 4-month approach with 6 days of coaching, including one day of individual interviews
  • An initial meeting with the Franco-German team of managers and key managers with Eurosearch & Associés’ certified coach enables them to determine the added value for collective performance
  • Keen to start working, the Franco-German team asks to establish a schedule with an immediate start. The 6 days of coaching are scheduled
  • Identifying the differences between French and German work cultures is an important step
  • The use of an internationally recognised intercultural coaching tool makes it possible to establish the individual cultural profile of each team member and the collective cultural profile of the team as a whole, highlighting specific cultural dimensions, such as timekeeping and line management

Results

  • Each member is informed about the specific characteristics of his/her individual and cultural profile and is able to identify, accept and incorporate the differences of his/her colleagues’ profiles
  • At the end of the coaching, team members share a consistent vision of the strategic objectives to be achieved and express a real desire to contribute to the team’s collective performance
  • The team feels ready to make the right choices as part of the company’s strategy, particularly in terms of the positioning of the subsidiary within the German market
  • Relationships of trust are developed between members Cohesion within the team is at a high level. The team is prepared in terms of behaviours and skills with which to implement decisions and to turn goals into individual action plans