THE ORGANIZATIONAL AND CULTURAL CONNECTION WITH THE FOREIGN BRANCH
“The organizational and cultural connection with the foreign branch”
Create the conditions for merging the activities of the foreign branch with those of the Italian parent company.
The summary of the intervention
Having one or more branches abroad requires an organic strategy of the various entities. This unity of vision and objectives must then be confirmed in daily actions and behaviors. Many aspects, in fact, push people to behave the opposite way. Geographical distance, sense of belonging to one’s own seat, cultural and linguistic differences, different time zones, little personal knowledge, lead the foreign branches to become something independent, operating according to their own unwanted logic from the Italian parent company and often in contrast with the his strategies.
The intervention works in a way as to overcome these resistance and make the mother house and foreign branches an organic and homogeneous whole, capable of supporting each other, exchanging experiences, helping each other in penetrating the market. Technologies, procedures, specific activities and other actions of the intervention allow to overcome the existing barriers. Companies thus become a single entity, felt as such by the people who work there.
The symptoms of his need
There is a perception that the Italian parent company and the foreign branch live two disconnected and completely independent realities. If this was the strategy of the group there would be no problems, but in reality it is a suffered and unwanted situation. There is no complete exchange of experience and expertise. There is no commercial collaboration, when the union of the efforts between the various entities would allow to seize great opportunities. The production chains are not coordinated, leading to duplications and inefficiencies in the purchases sector, storage and use of materials, the technical department, maintenance. In fact, we note that people do not know each other and do little to involve colleagues from other offices, to whom, sometimes, they seem to have a subtle diffidence.
The course of the intervention
The intervention takes place in various phases.
Initially we understand the strategies of the management regarding the level of independence, or integration, which is intended to be realized between the parent company and the foreign branch. The fact that certain areas operate in connection or in autonomy, must be the result of a precise decision.
The second phase is the one in which the process is created and its structure.
At this stage some objectives must be achieved.
First of all, efficiency given by not duplicating activities already carried out at the parent company, using existing machinery and skills, transferring the experiences from one location to another and everything that allows one to use in one place what is present in the other.
Secondly, independence, leaving the entities free to operate autonomously, knowing the territory, being present where decisions must be taken, being culturally homogeneous to their market. In this phase the various aspects are analyzed and the conditions are created to reach the right mix of connection and autonomy. Procedures will be created, suitable technological tools will be set up, people trained, the right motivations will be created to achieve the desired objectives. The last phase is putting the whole system into service, where procedures and mentalities are tested on daily operations, evaluating the results and making any calibrations.
The human resources involved
The intervention involves management in the part of understanding its strategies and final verification. The management is also kept constantly informed of the progress of the project. The operators of the parent company and of the foreign branch will be involved from time to time, operating in the areas deemed necessary for the intervention. As in any Farnetani Estero Consulting project the impact on the ordinary activities of companies will be minimized, alternating the people involved, limiting their use, and optimizing the interaction with the consultant based on the work requirements of individual operators.
The intervention can last from ten to twenty days of work by a consultant, depending on the size, complexity and spatial location of the foreign company.
In any case, the duration of the intervention is agreed on the basis of a specific quote.
The days are scheduled according to the operational needs of the company.
The advantages achieved
The Italian parent company and its foreign branch operate in a coordinated way, as if they were a single entity. What is done together is optimized and made linear, despite geographical, cultural, linguistic and time zone distances. What, on the contrary, is carried out independently, however, responds to the logic and will of the company and is continually optimized by the parent company.
People, belonging to different locations, know each other, have practice in working together and, overcoming distrust of various kinds, interact without problems in carrying out their work.
The system can be developed and refined, in the following phases, in many ways.
Group integration can be increased by improving IT systems that allow work and information sharing. Further analysis of activities and processes can lead to greater integration and mutual optimization.
Increase of work sharing, internships at other sites, common activities, even non-working, increase the sense of belonging to the group and the relative motivation.