A strong signal for the next "Weltweitinnovationszentrummannschaft"
Updated: Mar 31
I started my career in 2004 in a French diagnostic company of around 1200 employees, generating over 200 millions euros sales. At this time, despite the international ambition, our R&D center was mainly recruiting French people and the working language was 100% in French while most of our scientific interactions were abroad. I left the company in 2009 and I have been very impressed by its transformation. The company has turned into a global specialty diagnostic company, in particular after merging with an USA based market leader. The company today makes over 800 millions euros sales with close to 3000 employees. One of the strong sign, or this partly family owned company, is that they recently recruited an American CEO in their Paris headquarter. I have only a few connections with the company but I am very impressed how it has turned into an international company. Today, with R&D sites all around the world, I am convinced that strategic meetings are not conducted in French anymore.
The only thing, I can think of, is dropping an "H" when speaking in meetings - enjoy Thierry's video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxxAwDHgQhE
To compare, today I work in a 50.000 employees European company in their Global Corporate Innovation Lab. When I Started in 2016, the management team had a mix of culture and background with managers and their team members coming from international regions such as American, African, Indian areas.. and even East and West European (including France...) areas. Of course the working langage is in English, we are growing over 100 employees and our outreach has become more and more international. Following this international openness, one of our manager has recruited new colleagues from South Europe, Asia and Africa, trying to keep our team as diverse as possible.
And this clearly reflects the interculturality of our direct C-level line management.
Unfortunately, I see that it is not always the case, in each every Global innovation labs.
I would thus recommend, for those international company, to have a management team reflecting the multiple nationalities of their teams and even more when most of their senior reports are coming from the local country.
As I explained, I experienced that lack of multiculture in France 15 years ago, while now it has progressed so much. And I still see the same happening today in some places, like in Germany, where local units ends up with .. not easy to write .. Weltweitinnovationszentrummannschaft.