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Training and Development issues in Europe


What are the major People Challenges Regarding Training and Development in Euorpe?
Abiy Hailu Gebreselassie

2 Responses

  1. Differences Make the Difference
    I have spent much time working throughout Europe mainly with Sales and Management teams. The challenge is multi-faceted, and depends on a lot of cultural norms, and the relationship between the parent organisation and the various branches coming under the microscope.

    People have their pre-conceptions about how they expect different countries to behave, and by and large I have observed that the cultural stereotype is true. If this is something that you need to overcome then I find working with very small groups of people to position new ways of ‘learning’ which may be going against the usual grain is one way to make positive progress.

    I think the big challenge is ‘How Dare HQ tell us how it should be done’. I have observed this ‘intransigence’ where UK offices, get fed up with USA HQ dictating, annd with UK HQ dictating to Germany how it should be done, but I have observed UK satellites of German, Swiss and French organisations failing, becuase of a lack of understanding not just ‘How the locals do it’, but ‘Why the locals do it the way they do’.

    I think it is better to allow Training and Development in a pan-Euro model, actually cross fertilise beliefs and understanding to accrue the positive attributes of any particular region and build bridges of understanding.

    Also if you have not been to any particular area where you will have influence/control, you need to find a ‘cultural guide’, then you can get closer to the heartbeat of those who will benefit from you programs.

  2. People challenges
    As a Trainer and Lecturer in Marketing here in Brussels I have a multiplicity of Students from around the globe – 18 nationalities in my two classes (50 students). I agree with Pete King that one of the main problems lies in the area of foreign HQ domination of local markets. Usually done by executives who have no knowledge of anything other than HQ methods and attitudes.
    Plus my own experience has shown that a great many expats. who travel out to other countries have the ‘compound mentality’ and never mix with the locals anyway.
    For a foreign student the main area of development is to try and choose Training that is international in reality and not just presentation. I would recommend UBI in Brussels as being in that category.


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