Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about Cranberry’s offerings?

Cranberry offers a distinct value proposition made up of three parts.

  1. Science: the science of intercultural relationships and communication goes back over a century.  The work transformed itself into well-used and user-friendly assessments that show individualdimensions of culture and how they can interact.  These assessments clearly point out gaps between host, home, company HQ country cultures.  It’s important to study these gaps and address them.  The assessments give us the power to focus on the gaps that matter.
  2. Experience and Global Expat Exec Network: in the course of our exploratory work, Cranberry conducted dozens of interviews with expat executives all over the world. This gave us insight to see the signal from the noise.  This network remains at our disposal for especially tough intercultural questions where another viewpoint on the ground is necessary.  In addition, the founder of Cranberry, Tom Roberts, has 11+ years living and working overseas with big teams, big P&L ownership and big intercultural complexity.  In a nutshell, he’s made plenty of the mistakes that are quite avoidable with diligence and an external view.  Combined, the resources of the Network + Experience make a very unique, powerful tool.
  3. Custom Approach: Each client is different.  Each situation is different.  Using all of the resources above + the client’s unique cultural circumstance, Cranberry builds a plan that is bespoke and powerful.  All custom plans include the science of assessments + the network of experience + the client’s unique complexity.

I just need to learn about my host country, right?

This is a common misconception that holds back true breakthrough and success. There is more at work than simply the host country culture.  

By learning the host country’s culture, you are learning about how they “operate”.  By comparing and contrasting the individual dimensions of the host’s national culture vs your home culture vs your HQ’s home culture vs any other influencing cultures, you will see exactly where the gaps and pinch points are.  This is powerful information as it allows us to create a specific plan to address specific needs…saving time, resources and cultural headaches.  You will become successful, faster.

Why not just learn some of the language and pleasantries?

It is critical to know some language and pleasantries and customs of the host country.  However, this is in addition to the deliberate and rigorous study of how cultures interact.  Language and pleasantries are the “what” to do.  Studying the cultural impact of your home culture vs host culture and HQ culture is critical to learning how to interact in complex inter-cultural situations.  This study represents the “how” to interact in highly complex intercultural situations.

 

Why should we not hire a local cultural coach?

Local cultural coaches certainly have a place in learning.  They can provide one viewpoint on how things are done in a local community or country.  However, Cranberry’s approach is different.  Through the science of intercultural communication, cultural parameters are broken down into dimensions such as individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and autonomy.  These parameters differ from society to society and are what make up “culture.”  By employing a local coach, you will learn a lot about how one country works.  With Cranberry’s approach you will learn where the gaps are between all the cultural influences you are encountering.  This discovery will teach you about your own cultural preferences and biases…and help you navigate the intersection between all the cultures you will encounter.  Indeed, you will learn about the science of culture and how it applies to you…not just the culture of one country.

 

Has Cranberry’s team actually worked in my country?  Is this important?

There is a strong possibility that part of Cranberry’s extensive Expat Executive Network has experience in your host country. These connections can be tapped into when a country-specific situation or complexity arises.  However, Cranberry’s approach is to go deeper into the established norms and dimensions of your host country, comparing it to the norms of your home, HQ and other relevant cultures.  With this multi-cultural approach, it is important to see all angles, not just your host country angle.  To ensure success, we will look deeply into that intersection point and drive strategies and tactics to bridge the identified gaps. 

 

This is a pretty big investment.  Isn’t it just executive coaching?

One key element of Cranberry’s approach is coaching the client through the complexities of intercultural work.  However, before that, the “real work” comes in the administration, examination, execution and in-depth discussion of the cultural assessments.  These assessments are included in the cost of Cranberry programs. The work to interpret these reports is extensive.  Depending on the complexity of the situation, the report can be up to 20 pages in length!  The data is extensive and critical to a rigorous and science-based approach.  The endpoints will be defined by the results of the tests and the metrics will come from improvement observed against them. 

 

Are there opportunities to work with the client’s team to help in team dynamics?

Absolutely.  Team cultural dynamic sessions are great ways to help the team identify the same issues and complexities that the client is learning.  Upon discussing the assessment results with the client, we can discuss if and how team dynamic sessions are appropriate.  A session or series of sessions could turbo-charge the positive effect and generate a lot of value for the organization.  (Team sessions are bespoke and not included in the original plan unless specifically requested.) 

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