Prominent French, German and Atlanta institutions have combined their efforts to help Georgia executives conduct business in overseas markets, organizing a five-part "Go/Global" intercultural training program set to begin in October.
The Alliance Française of Atlanta, the German Cultural Center-Friends of Goethe, the Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for International Business Education and Research and GlobalAtlanta have teamed up with Gean Overseas Inc., a Decatur-based international consulting firm, to offer training seminars on doing business in foreign markets.
"A lot of businesses try to do it on their own, and there is a very high rate of disaster," André Teissier du Cros, president of Gean Overseas, told GlobalAtlanta about some of his past U.S.-based clients who tried to expand internationally.
Dr. Teissier du Cros, who has helped industrial manufacturers expand their businesses globally over the past 30 years, is to lead five training seminars beginning Oct. 8.
The seminars are designed to help businesspeople negotiate deals, build relationships and avoid problems with potential international partners. The seminars are to begin by offering general information on preparing to go overseas and are to evolve into regional and country-specific training sessions. Two November seminars will be completely devoted to doing business in both Germany and France.
Dr. Teissier du Cros said that when individuals are introduced to a new culture, they are often faced with a number of unfamiliar signals that can easily distract them from a business situation and even create barriers between potential partners. He cited a lack of attention, lack of morale and the development of a defensive behavior as common reactions from businesspeople in new cultures.
"People favor reactions that are defensive in nature…that can then turn very quickly into prejudices," he said, noting that learning about the culture beforehand is the best way to avoid such cultural misunderstandings.
While the seminars this fall will focus on European markets, Dr. Teissier du Cros told GlobalAtlanta that he plans for the program to encompass other countries by the spring of 2006. He also hopes that trade commissions and other professionals skilled in international business coaching will be eager to take part.
An introductory information session and press conference is to be held Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the German Cultural Center, 1197 Peachtree St., N.E., Colony Square, Plaza Level.
For more information, contact Dr. Teissier du Cros at (404) 284-1828 or visit www.geanoverseas.com.