Workers told, ditch local languages for English – CNN.com
According to Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, companies that don’t adopt English as a standard for their entire organization will, at some point, “experience some form of bottleneck.”
“It depends on what the company does, but if you’ll have members in different countries needing to collaborate — whether it’s to integrate technology platforms or cater to customers worldwide — it will become more important that even middle managers and employees with international assignments will need a common language in order to interface with others.”
Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Nokia, Renault, Samsung and Microsoft Beijing have all mandated English as their corporate language, writes Neeley in the May 2012 edition of Harvard Business Review — and she says more than 70 Danish companies have now migrated to English.
In 2010, Japanese internet services company Rakuten made headlines when it announced it would become an English-only organization, with all communication, verbal and email, in English.
“English is the only global language,” CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told CNN at the time. “We’re doing a global business. I think this is the only way a Japanese service organization can become a global organization.”
“If you want to become successful in other countries, you need to internationalize the headquarters,” he added.
To help make the transition, Japanese language signage was removed from cafeterias and elevators. Mikitani even conducts performance reviews with his Japanese executives in English, according to Neeley.
Strange Random English Language Quote:
- Time for businesses to go ‘English only?’ (edition.cnn.com)
- When Global Enterprises Go English-Only (globalenglishblog.com)
- Useful, yes. But mandatory? (economist.com)
- West Contra Costa students reach language milestone (mercurynews.com)
Posted on May 23, 2012, in Article and tagged Airbus, CNN, Doug Larson, English language, English-only movement, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School, Neeley, Nokia, Rakuten. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.