• Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Patti McCarthy and I have a business called Cultural Chemistry, which has nothing to do with science, but everything to do with helping people from different cultural backgrounds to bond rather than repel. I have spent about 2/3 of my life as an expat, so I have a clear understanding of the challenges people face when bumping up against a culture different to their own.
• What is your brand philosophy and how does it give you a competitive advantage?
If I have one – and I’m not sure I’d call it a brand philosophy – it’s only that I won’t work with clients whose products or services I don’t feel comfortable with. This means my training is more likely to be successful, and that’s good for growth.
• What customer-centric strategies do you use and why?
All my coaching and training is tailored to suit the needs of the client. While there are commonalities, no situation is ever the same, there are hundreds of variables and every person deserves to be treated as an individual
• How does your business recruit and retain your employees?
I’m a sole practitioner, but I have partnerships all over the world with consultants who share my approach and my values
• What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your business and how did you overcome it?
When I lived in Australia, I found it very difficult to sell the idea of cross cultural management and cultural intelligence. You just have to keep knocking on doors – or move to Europe!
• What inspired the launch of your business?
I have been an expat most of my life and been through some difficult times. I wanted to help others to have more positive experiences of cultural differences – challenge can also mean opportunity and different doesn’t always have to be difficult!
• What is the number one factor in your business success?
Experience. Whether they are moving countries, expanding their business or nurturing their employees, I give my clients strategies that I use or have used myself and that I know will work for them too.
• What makes your business unique?
Being able to combine intellectual rigour with real-life experience
• Explain your growth-funding path?
Be more realistic and value both my time and my IP. Potentially nearly everyone could be a client, but realistically not everyone has the budget or the desire. Recognise those people who want you to share your IP for the price of a coffee
• What technology has made the greatest difference to your business?
Video calls like Skype and Facetime. They allow me to maintain rapport and a real relationship with my overseas clients.
• What future advancements do you foresee in your market and how are you preparing for them?
Clients want more online & digitised learning because it is cheaper to deliver. I am happy to incorporate these strategies, so long as the personal element is not removed entirely.
• What’s your favourite business book?
The Business of Happiness by Ted Leonsis
• How could you become a better leader?
If I had a team, I would need to learn how to delegate.
• What will you discuss in your BIO2018 presentation?
That cultural diversity is great for business, but only if we understand how to manage it. Working across cultures is not business as usual
• Who is the Target Audience for your BIO2018 presentation?
SME’s and larger companies who either have expatriate employees who need supporting, or have culturally diverse employees and clients whom they would like to motivate, engage and generally build stronger relations with.