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Overcoming cultural differences at BSP



Bridging cultural differences was the topic of the day when expatknowhow Director, Claire Snowdon, delivered BSP’s penultimate International Business Seminar. The seminar focused on two trends within corporate organisations; global mobility and cultural awareness, and how these filter down into SMEs.

Addressing global mobility, Claire described how the greater range of generations and cultures within the workplace is making it harder for businesses to understand their employees’ differing needs. Furthermore, with a widening range of modern mobility methods, such as reverse transfers, global nomads and virtual mobility, there is a greater need for businesses to form a strong international HR policy.

She spoke about how the millennial generation would embrace group and corporate cultures globally, rejecting traditional cultural “baggage”. This shift in emphasis from generalised and often outdated cultural assumptions to a focus on understanding individual cultural sensitivities is the key to success in business.

Drawing upon her twenty years of living and working overseas, Claire explained how cultural awareness allows you to build stronger working relationships by avoiding common mistakes, demonstrating sensitivity and creating a positive impression.

Delegates were encouraged to share their experiences of how to avoid cultural gaffes. Monika Szkudlapska of BSP tenant Microbial Solutions commented ‘I found it very useful, as working for a small company you may not have time to concentrate on cultural differences. This aspect of HR really interests me and hearing someone with the relevant knowledge gives me the confidence to look into it further.  I have attended a number of the international business seminars; Begbroke always finds interesting topics and speakers.’

If you missed the seminar and would like further information please find the slides here. Find out more about expatknowhow at

The final seminar of the series takes place on 3rd July and will see Alison Haill of Oxford Professional Consulting, share ‘The Secrets of Speaking Global English’.  To book a place on this event email

Ben Roeves