Making remote partners feel valued and respected

Making remote partners feel valued and respected

Cross-cultural activities and learning give French and Russian pharmaceutical partners a head start in productivity.


A leading French pharmaceutical company entered into an agreement with a Russian partner to jointly develop new products and run clinical trials. With the Russian biopharmaceutical firm located in a remote tundra area, adequate productivity levels on shared projects could be difficult to maintain. Issues surrounding virtual, cross-cultural communication and teamwork caused much concern. The French firm wanted to know how best to work with its Russian partner scientists and researchers.


Aperian Global designed a three-day team-building workshop that was held at a historic site in Lyon, France. The intent of the location choice was to allow the Russian visitors to explore the city and learn more about French ways of living and working. Workshop sessions were delivered in four languages (Russian, English, French, and German), and centered around discovering work-style similarities and differences between France and Russia. Two facilitators engaged the participants via experiential activities to uncover the unique aspects of Russian and French leadership and communication expectations. Exercises revealed the depth of everyone’s cultural conditioning and even created some healthy laughter.


By the end of the workshop, the participants had co-authored “Team Working Agreements” for their future face-to-face meetings and virtual communication. Most importantly, a warm feeling of mutual respect and connection among the participants had been created, with increased awareness about differing cultural perspectives.

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