Seizing opportunities in international collaboration
How to increase competences in international collaboration during times of a pandemic?
For our article we had the chance to talk to Christian Czupalla, the founder of weEmpower. The expert in the field of intercultural collaboration and digital communication shared his insights on how to increase intercultural competences in order to seize the opportunities of the situation.
Christian Czupalla founded the leadership academy called weEmpower. He completely adapted the strategy and switched to online services during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. With this new format of their training and consulting activities, the company found a way to adapt the own services to the new demands of their audience. Their offering helps participants and clients to gain practical knowledge in order increase their leadership competences.
With the new dynamic of their offering, the clients of WeEmpower can incorporate the sessions into their regular workday even easier and faster. Which gives them a handy tool during times of rapid change which can be observed globally.
Christian Czupalla emphasizes:
“International collaboration means learning, it is equally important to reflect and understand the own culture as well as gaining an understanding for the other culture”
To him international collaboration is exciting and dynamic since requirements like laws for example can change suddenly. Therefore, openness and adaptability are crucial in any situation. From Christian Czupalla’s point of view, the dynamics in international collaboration are being shaped and defined by the various effects of COVID on the business world. Patterns of the past are being re-evaluated constantly and methods for improvement can be identified and implemented to adjust to the situation.
There is a big chance when It comes to interaction, since there is a significant advance in communication technology, many actions can be coordinated more easily.
For example, the simple collaborative editing of spread sheets which used to be a big challenge without being able to share the screen. Examples like this offer many opportunities to prevent misunderstandings and speed up a wide range of processes.
When speaking of the ASEAN region there are many challenges and chances which can be observed. The biggest challenge South East Asian countries must face at the moment is the controlling of the supply chains, since COVID caused rapid demand changes. With a variety of products or product components produced in this region, the effects are particularly noticeable. Nevertheless, the offering of solutions and the willingness to be a part of the solution rather than the problem, is a big advantage of the region. In Christian Czupalla’s experience, the agility is particularly high in this regions and solutions are always offered quickly.
“The golden rule in collaboration is, that the relationship decides on what is possible.”
According to Christian Czupalla the new digital opportunities will make it easier to maintain professional relationships. This factor is going to improve intercultural communication and understanding fundamentally.
There is room for improvement in online communication, when it comes to the implementation of guidelines, which can simplify the “forming phase” at the beginning of every collaboration.
We can benefit from the advantages of nonverbal communication, even in a digital setting, if the cameras are switched on for example. Therefore, defining those aspects in advance will help us to increase the effectiveness for each participant.
Another key factor is the choice of the tool, which can determine the success of an operation. Therefore, the available options must be evaluated carefully when planning a project.
With those insights in mind, the change which is pushed by the pandemic can be applied optimally and the advantages of the innovations and strengths of each region can be utilized to the benefit of all parties involved.
But despite all the digitalization and closer direct collaboration, the success factor is and remains the understanding and relationship between people. The degree of the relationship determines what can be achieved together.