Lost sales. Friction. Inefficiency. These are dirty words in the world of business, and they are inevitabilities for companies that don’t watch their language, so to speak.
Harvard Business School Associate Professor Tsedal Neeley believes that to accommodate the communication challenges of a global marketplace, it is imperative for multinational organizations to have clear language strategies. Neeley has coauthored a September Harvard Business Review article with HBS Professor of Management Practice Robert Steven Kaplan on how companies can turn language from a profound challenge into a distinct competitive advantage. While sometimes difficult to implement, Neeley and Kaplan argue that organizations that effectively marry language strategy with their global talent management process gain a leg up on the competition.
Christian Camerota: How do you take people who are working at the highest levels of their industry and ask them to learn the basics of another language that you want to make the basis of communication in your company? Aren’t they going to feel like a student in high school?