Whether you want to immigrate or simply export to the United States, it is very important to know the country in which you are going. In fact, American culture is very different from the French culture, especially in the business world and it will be essential to master the aspects of this culture before dealing with the US to avoid missteps.
1. Entrepreneurs are Unprepared
Today, French entrepreneurs are not sufficiently trained in cultural differences when it comes to exporting a product or immigrating to a new country. This lack of training often leads to mistakes. For example, consider the concept of time in international exchange; the French often tend to focus on the content at the expense of time. In the US, it is the opposite; delays are considered more important than the content (Source Corinne Saurel). This problem can be seen as a detail, but it is the accumulation of such details that result in complications that can be major, up until the loss of a contract.
There are many problems in international trade and mistakes that can be avoided. If the protagonists of one side or the other are more familiar with the practices and expectations of their employees, these errors may not occur.
If problems continue such as these intercultural misunderstandings, it will only accentuate discomfort and can lead to a breach of contractual relationships.
Implantation in the US
These problems are not solely caused in the case of an exchange between two countries. We could take the example of a company that wants to establish itself. In the United States to create a new production center. One might think it would be enough to “duplicate” their French factory in the United States. But this process is simply impossible. It should, for example, adapt to managerial differences. US employees do not think like French employees. Hierarchy is less present, employees like to express their ideas, and are free to leave whenever they want if they feel that the business does not meet their expectations.
In most states, the labor law is based on the notion of employee “At will”: that is to say that one can return it but he is free to leave at any time! Hence the importance of always giving feedback to salaries, and understand the Open Door Policy: the employee can come at any time to see the manager ask him questions or expose her problems. The Manager is there to meet him and listen to him and “fix” the problem.
French Tech Tour
Another interesting example is the French Tech Tour (FTT), which allows French entrepreneurs to be put in contact with the heads of American companies. Before being admitted to the show, entrepreneurs need to engage in an exercise of presenting their products to several US partners in a minimum amount of time. The famous Pitch! It is in such times that one can see large cultural differences between the French and the Americans.
Indeed, we note that many French people do not meet the expectations of Americans. Not that their products are bad, but they just do not have the right way. The French will tend to present the technological advantages of the product. While Americans prefer to know how the product meets a need.
Some French, despite the fact that they have excellent products, have trouble communicating the way Americans would like. These difficulties in convincing unfortunately often reflected on the results of a company.
3. What Is Intercultural Training?
The intercultural course provides the necessary knowledge of the uses and customs of the US. This can pertain to the world of work or to everyday life. For example, it can help by providing information on US consumer habits to help in developing market research.
This training is essential to prepare a project. Indeed, learning culture takes years. This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the thinking of Americans. And therefore you will save time and money in the development of your projects.
With our partner, we can assist you in this cultural adaption of your employees, your products, your company, which will be a faster success guarantee.