Mind Your Own Business, Mate!

With the U.S. and Australia sharing a language and business customs, an American-Aussie business venture doesn't quite fall into the category of a cross-cultural alliance. But executives in the two countries hold significantly different attitudes toward networking and the making of business contacts, cautions Larraine Segil, a Los Angeles-based management consultant on strategic and other kinds of business alliances and a former industry executive. Australians generally are go-it-alone types who regard openness, especially around competitors, as foolish, says Segil. Americans, in contrast, are ardent networkers who believe that from sharing their business goals with gusto the right partnerships will develop.

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