George Jon has long recognized the global nature of the 24/7 eDiscovery world, and has spent two decades building an international coalition of technologists, security specialists, Database Administrators (DBAs), and deployment hubs to serve clients on six continents and in virtually every time zone. We listen to and learn from each and every one of our team members, absorbing their viewpoints and life experiences to enhance our worldview and daily operations.
One of the great, unwritten benefits of having a multicultural, international, and world-wise workforce is exploring the cultural nuances that sometimes act as barriers, but more often serve as teachable moments, to help us better understand each other and how we can efficiently conduct business in a variety of environments. What makes us different ultimately unites us in our quest to thrive in every environment, developing empathy and understanding to benefit our client base. We feel that international culture can become business culture, embracing and incorporating the experiences of our far-flung team to establish a holistic understanding of international commerce and diverse client needs.
Along these lines, we thought it would be interesting to share some stories from international team members, reflecting on their interactions with American counterparts and cultural norms.
On education in America:
“Due to events that happened during the times of great divisions in Europe, I had to attend university with unusual delay, only after I arrived in America. In Europe, typically in Germany and France, if you do not get to attend university at a certain age, this chance is lost. It is so much different in America! My classmates at the University of Nebraska were more than 20 years younger than me but at no time I would feel the age difference. Several times, at the start of the semester, when I went for the first class, the students thought that I was the professor for that subject! This, and many other examples, make America the ‘Shining City on the Hill’, as described by President Ronald Reagan in his 1989 Farewell Address to the Nation.”
eDSM Lead Systems Maintenance Engineer | Albania
On business meeting etiquette:
“In Latin American culture, especially in Mexico and Colombia, meetings don’t just start with the business at-hand as in the United States, Germany, and the UK. Participants are expected to socialize (ask about family members, discuss current events, etc.) for an extended period of time – neglecting to do so is considered very rude. Adherence to this ‘ritual’ is extremely important to build trust and camaraderie with key stakeholders. I found this both refreshing and time consuming.”
Director of Delivery Management & Strategic Operations | USA
On communication style(s):
“Working for an American company, while so similar in culture, definitely has subtle differences. One of these being the use of the honorary words such as Sir and Ma’am. In Australia is it not common practise to use these words, yet I have found myself more frequently using the word ‘Sir’ in my day-to-day work life. While this can be controversial, I value the respect and intent behind the use. Old fashioned but polite.”
Global Infrastructure Manager | Australia
On mixing business and pleasure:
“I enjoy the fact that, as a global, US-based eDiscovery infrastructure specialist, my American colleagues can uphold the utmost level of professionalism, but still make time for some light banter. It builds rapport and enables me to communicate more open and honestly.”
eDSM Application Engineer | New Zealand
On accents and automated communications:
“Since I am used to British accents, I have managed meetings and other communications without any issues. But with Dell automated service calls, finally I learned how to pronounce the word ‘Server’ in an American accent besides other words. Kudos Dell automated service call!”
eDSM Application Engineer | India
On time differences:
“Initially it took me a week to fill out my timesheet properly due to the time zone difference! Other than that, now I am used to many new slang words (****).”
eDSM Application Engineer | India
So next time you have an urgent need for support or infrastructure from the team at George Jon, remember that our experienced professionals around the world are working hard for you 24/7/365. Our team is hard at work around the clock to make sure you can sleep soundly at night.
About the Author
Reynolds Broker, Chief of Staff
As a strategist, consultant and implementer for George Jon, Reynolds positions the company for sustainable growth and long-term success through business and technology roadmap development, cross-functional process and structural improvements, strategic initiatives management, and holistic data-driven reporting. His eclectic work and scholastic backgrounds are rooted in and delineated by a successful track record in the Technology (eDiscovery), Corporate Finance, and Government Affairs sectors. Reynolds holds an International MBA in Corporate Finance & Spanish (University of South Carolina) and a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs (University of Georgia).