Preparing employees for work in Iraq

Preparing employees for work in Iraq

An energy company fine-tunes the intercultural skills of its employees in order to ramp up quickly on a new project and reduce potential risks.


Following a significant investment in an oil-field project in Iraq, one of the world’s leading energy companies quickly recognized that its expertise and industry leadership alone could not maximize the potential of this new and highly complex strategic venture. Although there was no shortage of global experience and technical skill within the current employee base, there was relatively low awareness of Iraq’s country and culture. The additional factors of geopolitical sensitivities and aggressive production targets meant that thoughtful preparation would be required in order for the company to be an effective international partner and operator in the country.


Drawing on a team of cross-cultural specialists while partnering closely with senior corporate leaders and local Iraqis, Aperian Global designed a Working Effectively with Iraq session to be delivered to all international employees supporting the Iraq operations. In addition, Aperian developed a tailored Iraq Country Briefing that would be available online to supplement the hands-on culture and business sessions, as well as being a long-term resource for employees newly assigned to the Iraq project.


One hundred employees who would be working remotely with or rotating immediately into Iraq participated in the Working Effectively with Iraq sessions, which took place in both the United States and Dubai. Participants commented on their increased awareness of work-style preferences and improved ability to interact effectively with people in Iraq. Once operations were up and running, Aperian Global collaborated with project teams on various issues surrounding talent integration and organizational leadership.

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