With production as well as customers and partners across the world, OJ Electronics in spring 2014 wished to increase the global communication skills in the Development Department. C3 Consulting carried out a customized global communication training programme where the participants acquired tools to help them communicate with awareness, precision and efficiency in their global collaborations.
The goal of the training was to increase the cultural intelligence of the participants and to strengthen their global communication – internally in the organization as well as externally in relation to customers and partners – and in that way minimize the risk of misunderstandings and maximize the outcome of OJ Electronics’ global activities.
The 14 participants consisted of leaders, project managers, developers and other employees at OJ Electronics’ Development Department.
They all work in Denmark but communicate and collaborate daily with colleagues, customers and other stakeholders from, for instance, Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, the USA – and a whole list of other countries and cultures.
Some of the employees function as Development Coordinators which mean they coordinate product development with external partners.
In cooperation with OJ electronics, C3 Consulting customized a training programme aimed at strengthening the participants’ skills in communicating and collaborating efficiently across cultural and national borders.
The programme was carried out over 3 months in spring 2014, and consisted of 3 half day workshops focusing on global communication.
Prior to the first workshop the participants answered questions about their own work tasks and global challenges, in order for the trainer to target the specific issues that OJ Electronics was facing. At the same time the participants were encouraged to reflect upon their own cultural baggage.
Between each of the workshops the participants implemented the new knowledge and tools in their everyday work.
For instance, each of the participants chose one or more focus countries that they needed to know more about in order to optimize their daily work. By using C3’s 4R-model, which focuses on the 4 important cultural dimensions Rank, Risk, Responsibility and Relationship, the participants investigated through their own research and interviews what it is important to be aware of when communicating with partners and colleagues from the countries in question.
“We have experienced that we need to be very clear in our communication with both our customers and our external partners that make either parts of or entire products for us.
We export more than 95 %, so our customers are typically not Danish. When we communicate about requirement specifications etc. it is important for us to understand exactly what it is they are saying and writing.
After the training I think we have become quite a lot clearer when talking with our customers so the subject is brought to the table – why is that, what is it that we’re talking about, what do we have to accomplish etc.
We also have a function in the Development Department which is called Development Coordinator. It is this person that the external partner communicates with when reviewing or discussing technical solutions. And the persons in this position increased their competencies because they now have an understanding of what goes on at the other end of the telephone line, Skype and e-mail.
Some of our employees have never received cultural training before, and it has really been an eye opener. They now have a completely different understanding of how to interact with our partners and customers.
And Annette is THE best trainer I have experienced in my professional life. It is very evident that she has real life experience and at any time can come up with examples that match our reality and relate to our ‘world’.”
OJ Electronics A/S is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of temperature control solutions for electric and hydronic floor heating and a leading manufacturer of controls and power for HVAC. Headquartered in Sonderborg, Denmark, and with subsidiaries in England, US and Poland, OJ Electronics A/S employ more than 150 people. The company exports 97 % of its production.
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