Since I was introduced to Lucille’s Kitchen a few months ago, I have looked forward to and cherished the weekly gathering of concerned and upright residents of our community, as they deliberate on the complex issues we continue to face. Since I was introduced to Lucille’s Kitchen a few months ago, I have looked forward to and cherished the weekly gathering of concerned and upright residents of our community, as they deliberate on the complex issues we continue to face. Every Tuesday, I admire the music and people, but limit myself to being just a listener.
The discussion on Sept. 24, 2002, addressing international business and marketing, caught my attention and challenged my silence, since I have researched and lectured on this topic for a long time.
Thelma Young, International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Export Assistance Center and Dr. Ronald E. Kramer, Minneapolis Director, Commercial Division U. S. Department of Commerce and all of the Jamaican representatives must be congratulated for the manner in which they handled the topic. I, however, felt a major dearth was left, due to the limited time allocated for the program. The issue of the effects of cultures and traditions on international business and marketing should never, ever be forgotten or trivialized, whenever the topic is under the microscope.
Realizing the importance of the topic, I decided to do a follow-up in the paper, to inform our audience, male and female, who might be contemplating business activities in the global arena, that a thorough knowledge of the values, beliefs and norms of their prospective stakeholders must be pursued and understood. This article is intended to create awareness in prospective global business people and inform them that ignorance of a culture is no excuse in global business and could cost you dearly. Beware.
The brother is invited to visit his Middle-Eastern partner. The average Black person, man or woman, really loves children and will not hesitate to hold, touch or play with a child. Remember, it is a no,no if you choose to complement a Middle-Eastern partner’s child by acknowledging her/him on the head with your left hand. The left hand is seen as unclean and unwholesome. Anything considered beautiful or precious should not be acknowledged with the left hand.
Also, please be careful how you greet people’s spouses. Men should be more careful when their international partner introduces his wife. If the woman does not stretch out her hand to greet you, brother tie your dog (keep your hands down). Most cultures around the world do not tolerate open and free discussions between strangers and spouses. This is serious.
I would like to visit different parts of the world and deal with the “NO, NOS”, but it will take a lot of space. Instead, I will give additional “NO, NOS” that are general and hope that you adhere to them religiously, as you pursue your dream of selling globally.
No matter how essential a commodity might be, its success will be in double jeopardy if the marketing of that commodity makes it offensive to the culture/tradition of the prospective customers. Let us have additional insights into some activities that might not go well on the international platform.
An African American man wishing to do business in Japan is given the opportunity to meet a potential Japanese partner. At the meeting the Japanese ask the brother, “What is your name?” I am sure the average brother would say, “my name is Mr. Smith,” if he is Bobber Smith. Brother Smith will be put in the category ARROGANT because the Japanese culture does not allow a man to refer to himself as MISTER. So, please do not refer to yourself as MISTER when you interact with a Japanese.
The meeting with a Japanese may be held at his/her home. Please do not go to a Japanese home without a gift. This is a “NO, NO”. The value of the gift does not matter. It could be a cheap toy-like object, wrapped in many layers of paper and sealed in a medium-sized box. Finding the object amidst the many layers of paper is the beauty of this exercise, and a major part of th