Showing posts from February, 2013

Crisis PR: Are You Ready to Take Down Your Website?

When crisis strikes, a previously unexceptional company website can quickly become an embarrassment  This is what happened to frozen food company Findus when tests revealed that their beef lasagne was actually horse lasagne. At the time that this was revealed the company's website featured the offending product in the center of the home page, which is hardly surprising since this is one of the company's flagship products. More embarrassingly the text on the home page also emphasized "Using only the best ingredients and a generous pinch of imagination", which in the light of the contamination seemed at best inappropriate.The "best ingredients" seemed even more hollow than usual and the "pinch of imagination" ironic. Findus UK Website 9 February 2013 On 9 February Findus took down this page and replaced it with a simple statement about the crisis, in plain black writing on a white background. The text is apparently the text of a press re

Why Culture Factors Make Agreeing Plans so Difficult

Many times people have asked me why it is so hard to get an answer to an email.  There are many reasons for this. It could be simply that the other person is too busy or that your mail is not written very well, but in international business the reasons are often cultural. Sometimes it is because of different ideas about hierarchy or the different value attached to relationships in business (see Three Non-Obvious Ways Culture Affects Email ).  But there is also another culture factor involved that I am seeing increasingly often – the differing attitudes to planning. People who come from the “synchronic” cultures where flexibility is considered a strongly positive value tend to be comfortable about plans that are sketched in roughly and then revised many times.  In contrast, people who come from strongly “sequential” cultures tend to treat schedules as something more rigid that must be respected and feel uncomfortable about changes. One of the effects of this difference is i