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John Warmbrunn

Ego Pharmaceuticals,
Middle East North Africa Business Manager

Ego Pharmaceutical’s business in the Middle East represents a significant proportion of our world-wide business. As our business has grown more complex, cultural differences have  had a much greater impact.  

We were aware that for some functions, such as planning and forecasting, our teams were operating under starkly different paradigms and that in general, communication between Australia and the Middle East didn’t always go to plan for either party. Sitting in between both groups it was clear that there were some frustrations and issues that our internal processes, procedures and values were not adequately addressing.

 

Based on a thorough situation analysis, Dearin & Associates put together a training program for Ego Pharmaceuticals across a wide range functions that have some interaction with, or are impacted by the Middle East. This involved providing some models to explain the basis for the differences but more importantly, lots of interaction and discussion of real issues and misconceptions.

Following on from the feedback from this training Dearin & Associates then put together an “Australian” training session for Ego’s senior management team in the Middle East.

The program forced participants to confront the reality that there are some big differences between how Australians and Arabs view the world. There were many “aha” moments for both groups as they discussed examples of “strange” behavior that, in fact, turn out to be perfectly normal if you understand the differences in culture between the Middle East and Australia.

The training covered a wide range of topics but what really stood out were the changes in behaviour from staff who have regular contact with each other. At its simplest, the clear message from the training and subsequent interactions is that if both parties make a genuine effort to appreciate their cultural differences, things do work better and in fact, working together actually becomes far more enjoyable.

Dearin & Associates‘s feedback also helped senior management to identify some key areas to focus on and provide support for.

It is easy to feel that our challenges are unique to Ego Pharmaceuticals. Dearin & Associates unpacked this thinking and helped us to understand that the challenges are exactly what many companies experience and that with a bit of extra effort that our “challenges” do, indeed, become “opportunities”.

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