My personal experience from countless business interactions around the world was a useful starting point – but not nearly enough. I began to compile an extensive list of facts and inputs from a wide range of sources, from Hofstede, Trompenaars and the GLOBE study to negotiation-specific works, as well as many online resources like Executive Planet or Kwintessential, to name but a few. Based on the resulting collection of data, I structured the country-specific book sections such that they followed a consistent pattern and started writing. Inevitably, far more information is available for some countries than others, but I feel I ended up with at least a fairly comprehensive overview for all of them.
The final step was crucial: working through my network, I identified about 70 people with first-hand experience from working in one of the targeted countries, as well as in at least one other country, meaning they understood the difference between inside and outside perspectives. Everyone in this group was generous enough to review a country section and provide their feedback and suggestions.
It looks like the result proves the effort worthwhile: reader feedback has been very encouraging and today, the book to my knowledge is being used at more than 35 business schools around the world. Even the U.S. Marines and Air Force use sections of the book to prepare soldiers for overseas assignments.