Cultural Differences

Recently, after declining a large project to a prospective client, he asked me if it was their difficult contract, or if it was culture. The contract was a problem, and he asked me to identify the issues because he thought we could resolve them. But in thinking about it overnight, the problem really was culture.

We teach our project teams to work synergistically with our clients, ensuring the best results possible. Our people are expected to perform, no question about it. But we work in a cooperative manner in our clients’ best interest. This client was accustomed to aggressive and almost abusive treatment of contractors, which is different than our norm. Whenever we run into this type of situation, it does not end well. Though we had reserved the staff to start this project, It was an easy decision. The success of the project for the client was at stake, as well as success for us.

Peter Douglas, P.E.
The Douglas Company

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