Testimonials & Results
Optimizing Global Virtual Teams at Martin Marietta
“Our company has been witness to a major cultural shift over the past few years, the result of a very successful partnership with an India-based IT firm. The skills and knowledge this relationship brings have been very fruitful, but not without challenges. There are language barriers, complexities of managing offshore teams, and cultural differences that can be perplexing if not understood. Highroad Global Services helped us navigate this complex subject, guided us in methods of creating effective offshore teams, and gave us tools to bridge the cultural gap. They built a custom program to meet our needs, which included a combination of interactive webinars and onsite training sessions. Our entire IT staff based in the U.S. and India completed the training sessions, and it was a hailed as a great success. I cannot speak highly enough of the breadth of knowledge that Vicki Flier Hudson brings to this subject matter. Her knowledge of Indian culture was praised by our Indian participants, and was enlightening to everyone. Her presentation style is friendly and relaxed, and she is able to easily garner active participation from the attendees. I highly recommend Highroad Global Services to any company in a similar situation. I just wish we had done this earlier!”
-Steve Acosta, Senior Manager of Enterprise Applications, Martin Marietta
Exceeding Expectations for Remote Training
“I wanted to share that this was one of the best remote [webinar] trainings I have had the pleasure to attend. The differentiating factor being your well put-together materials and excellent collaborative media ensemble. Three other managers shared with me the same positive feedback…well done!”
-Shawn Calderon, Director, IT Service Management, ICON Clinical Research
Uniting Global Teams with Full Tilt Ahead
“I have had the pleasure of working with Highroad Global Services on a number of interactive webinars for a multinational software organization over the last eight months. Our work together continues to instruct and enlighten me. Chief Collaboration Officer Vicki Hudson has developed web-based training and concrete strategies for working successfully in global virtual teams. These solutions have yielded visible positive results in the cross-border environment in which many organizations now operate. Highroad Global Services offers its customers a significant leg up in dealing with inherent and challenging conditions that get in the way of interacting effectively with globally-dispersed virtual team members. From tangible, actionable steps to deeply insightful analyses of employee perceptions and challenges for management, Vicki and HGS allow an organization to focus on the business of their business. They help teams remove the obstacles that can erode trust, foster resentment, de-motivate, and ultimately reduce productivity in employees. The Highroad team consists of world travelers with extensive planning skills, fastidious follow-through, and a highly engaging facilitation style.
I recommend Vicki Flier Hudson and Highroad Global Services without reservation for organizational culture analysis, cross-cultural effectiveness training, and strategic planning for global virtual teams.”
– Adarsh Char, Executive Vice-President, Full Tilt Ahead
Building Bridges with the Japan-America Society of Georgia
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of The Japan-America Society of Georgia, I highly recommend Ms. Vicki Flier Hudson’s workshop and presentation to any group looking to obtain a deeper insight into intercultural and cross-cultural business management. Vicki’s interactive and engaging talk about her experiences working with people from a wide variety of cultures will captivate any audience, particularly for international businesses, bi-lateral chambers of commerce, professional associations and certainly for other Japan-America Societies and Japan-related organizations. Vicki’s multi-media introduction of intercultural business management issues and her willingness to explore her personal history helped bring the topic into context and put a face and personal story in front of the statistics and studies that have been done on the subject. Vicki’s presentation served as a relevant reminder to participants of the need to be open-minded and flexible when working with people from different backgrounds. This event in Atlanta was the third time we featured Vicki at an event and has attracted 50-75 participants each time, drawing a diverse group of people form the community including JASG members, university students and faculty, Japanese-Americans, business men and women, and people interested in multicultural collaboration.
Feedback from participants has all been positive, such as one person saying “Great seminar! Very informative! I got a lot of new ideas that I can immediately apply to my work.”
As such, the JASG strongly endorses Vicki Flier Hudson and her workshop, and commends her efforts in raising awareness about the importance of being culturally sensitive, and understanding the best practices of working most effectively with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.”
– Yoshi Domoto, Executive Director, Japan-America Society of Georgia
Ceridian Corporation Builds a Stronger Offshore Team Partnership with India
Situation: Highroad Global Services interviewed Lauren Ledford, Vice President of Quality Assurance at Ceridian Corporation, a global company providing payroll, tax, and benefits services. Her team had recently completed phase one of the Highroad Offshore Initiative and we wanted to find out what initial results had emerged. Mrs. Ledford described the situation as follows:
“Ceridian has chosen to pursue an outsourcing strategy and while we have been in that model for several years, delivering many successes and building positive relationships, there is always the opportunity for improvement. With our legacy products, we were also moving towards a managed service model which means greater partnering with offshore vendors, and my personal goal was to make that partnership as strong and effective as possible.”
Results: Mrs. Ledford and other members of the team reported that since the completion of the Highroad sessions and coaching, a visible difference exists between those who attended and those who didn’t. Team members now show a greater willingness to work together and exhibit deeper empathy toward each other, which has led to increased collaboration between the U.S. and India counterparts. The associates who attended the sessions also report improved management of time zone differences and more effective meeting planning. They created a time zone protocol and are already implementing many of the strategies they learned.
Mrs. Ledford had this to say about the Highroad Offshore Initiative:
“The educational program that Vicki delivered in the US has opened my eyes about working with others (and I thought I was a pretty open-minded before). What more, both the Ceridian resources and onsite Cognizant resources who participated have expressed and demonstrated their increased awareness and consideration for cultural differences. I have been amazed by the transformation! Just understanding backgrounds and appreciating its impact on behavior has opened communication. I think of all the confusion and frustrations that could have been prevented had we conducted these sessions earlier.”
Air2Web Promotes Collaboration with Their Team in India
Situation: Air2Web provides the technology and strategy for their customers to launch successful mobile marketing campaigns. The company has a global presence with customers all over the world, and headquarters in the USA and India. As Air2Web consistently seeks to enhance collaboration between the US and India team members, they recently participated in phase one of Highroad’s US/India partnership initiative.
Results: Here is what some of the participants had to say after the session:
“The session was really helpful for everyone at Air2Web and I am confident that it will have a positive impact on how we manage the US-India team dynamics in our company going forward. I will apply the “mission rules” learned today to my interactions with the India team.”
“Vicki is highly engaging, an excellent facilitator. The information provided was done in such a way that you can retain it and have great “take-aways.” With the acquisition, I will be more involved with India, and therefore focus on getting to know my colleagues and view them as part of the team.”
“This session is very effective and brings up that’s it’s not the differences themselves that need to be addressed, but how to identify that there IS a difference on both sides and how to address that gap.”
“Vicki is an extremely insightful, intelligent person who truly understands the challenges of a global team. I’m now open to reconsidering any of our current practices.”
“AppRiver approaches business with a focus on creating a positive customer experience from first contact to post-op support. In fact, the company provides around-the-clock customer care to more than 45,000 corporations around the globe with the objective that our clients achieve maximum value from our IT security services. In order to maintain consistently high levels of service, we require our staff to participate in continuing education programs designed to increase cross-cultural awareness and competencies.
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Vicki Flier Hudson on several occasions. From “Presentation Zen” to “Cross-Cultural Competency” training courses, we continually seek out Highroad Global Services to augment internal communication flow and relationship-building skills across borders. I particularly enjoy how Vicki seamlessly incorporates AppRiver’s unique Phenomenal Customer Care™ principles into each lesson plan. The feedback is always overwhelming positive, not just from Appers, but from outside organizations as well. The Customer Service Institute of America, for example, recently recognized AppRiver for our exceptional customer service and named the company winner of its International Service Excellence Award. There is no doubt in my mind that Highroad Global Services helped us achieve this success.”
– Michael Murdoch, President & CEO – AppRiver, LLC
“Vicki Flier Hudson was invited to facilitate a Diversity & Inclusion training on cultural differences, providing a deeper understanding of the American culture in particular. While our Corporate Headquarters are located in Duluth, Georgia, US, many of our DAILIES Supply Chain Leaders and their teams are based outside of the US, namely in Singapore and Germany. Close collaboration of these sites is key to guarantee consistently high quality of our DAILIES brand, the most selling one-day-contact lens globally.
Vicki gave our team a concise as well as a comprehensive introduction into the roots and basics of the US culture. With her outstanding knowledge of her home country’s culture, combined with her in-depth and real-life studies of many other cultures, she was able to teach and to inspire superbly our team.
We took away both energy and insights for an even better collaboration and deeper friendship across our three sites and the Global team.
Vicki, you are excellent. Thank you for helping our team grow.”
-Dietrich Fechner, Global Head DAILIES Supply Chain, Germany
“I recently attended a presentation given by Vicki Flier and Todd Shinholster for the German American Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was brilliant! I enjoyed every minute. It never got dry or boring, and many of their ideas and tips really stuck with me when I walked out.
They discussed different belief systems about time which opened my eyes to the question why certain cultures seem so relaxed. What they said and showed made so much sense and gives me a much better understanding. It will help me to “relax” in the future when dealing with different cultures.
Then they demonstrated how American colleagues might receive any discussion about a “problem” versus a German colleague. And guess what? Today, I used these two slides to explain to a teammate of mine that when we have discussions with criticism none of it is personal – because I truly appreciate her excellent work and attitude. It is all about the “problem” and finding a way how to resolve it.
You know what … IT WORKED! I will definitely recommend Highroad Global Services to our organization as well as my German customers!
-Hans Hilgenstock, Sales Manager for leading global logistics company
ICON PLC Improves Communication and Training Effectiveness between Global Team Members
Situation: Participants from the USA were brought into a global team session on collaboration with India to help solve communication challenges and bring about more team cohesiveness.
Results: In a follow up survey six months after the training, 100% of respondents reported increased communication flow between the USA and India.
Here are some of the things participants had to say:
“Get ready to absorb things about India you never knew, and will never, ever find on Google! I have a lot of takeaways from today’s session. My team is ready for additional responsibilities and with that will naturally come challenges and mistakes. This session showed me how to effectively communicate so that we continue as a cohesive, integrated team.”
“I will think a lot more when providing constructive feedback to my colleagues in India. From this training today I look forward to working with my Indian colleagues and also feel a lot more confident in doing so.”
“I have never had a training session with India go over time and last night we went 20 minutes over because there was so much participation! I am amazed to see that all the things you taught us made such a difference in just one attempt! They laughed, they asked questions, and they participated in discussions. Thank you so much for your help and continuous support!”
“Training classes are much more beneficial and impactful since participation and communication has increased dramatically.”
Brookhaven Rain Barrels Finds Success in China
Situation: Brookhaven Rain Barrels makes high quality, attractive rain barrels for retail and residential customers. CEO Pat Magee wanted to grow the business by creating high-value rain barrels in larger quantities than he had made in the past, and he needed a supplier that he could trust. He found a supplier in China but over time began to experience challenges. If something was wrong with the product, the supplier would not fix it in a timely manner. Mr. Magee also struggled with time zone issues and communication across borders, and the quality was not always up to his company’s high standards. As Brookhaven Rain Barrels prides itself on quality, he needed to change suppliers urgently. Mr. Magee contacted Highroad Global Services, Inc. to assist him in understanding Chinese culture, as well as finding a new supplier that could meet his growing demand.
Results: Highroad consultants helped Mr. Magee plan a trip to China and meet prospective suppliers in person. We provided a roadmap for the supplier search process, and Mr. Magee now has two suppliers in Nanjing, China that he is very satisfied with. He is now able to focus his energy and time on his customers.
When asked how Highroad Global Services helped him, Mr. Magee had this to say:
“You gave me an idea of what it would be like to embark on the supplier search, and laid out a road map for finding the right match. You gave me specific places to stay in China and gave me confidence about traveling there for the first time. I learned how to be patient and build relationships, not to be too critical or to be in a hurry. You provided a website for starting the supplier search and clued me in about protecting my intellectual property. The follow up from your company was excellent! Thank you for helping us find our new suppliers in China.”
MFG.com Sees Reduced Errors and Increased Revenues
Situation: A recent survey was conducted with MFG.com, an online marketplace that saves clients time and money by instantly matching a buyer’s drawings and specifications to qualified suppliers. The survey asked MFG.com leaders and staff to describe the results they have seen since a series of global excellence programs were brought on site.
Results: Here is what the survey showed about the value this organization gained:
- 100% of those surveyed experienced improved communication flow, increased teamwork and improved relationships across borders.
- 75% of those surveyed experienced decreased errors, improved work processes and productivity
MFG.com’s Senior VP of Global Business Development, Sherwin Krug, had this to say:
“We have seen increased profits and revenues since these programs. Our office in China has now grown to 100 plus employees and employees that travel now do so with greater ease and less fear of creating international incidents. International cooperation including friendships are now commonplace. Vicki is both highly personable and extremely knowledgeable on cross-cultural business and social customs. Her insight was both practical and helpful and will no doubt help the MFG.com team from creating “international incidents” as we continue to embark on our worldwide expansion. Vicki’s has an engaging style and I would not hesitate to recommend her as a presenter to companies large and small.”
An MFG.com staff member said this:
“Our product is released with fewer errors than before. Since training we have formed better relationships with our Chinese colleagues. We have general conversations with each other rather than just talking about work.”
In November of 2009 Highroad Principal Consultant Vicki Flier Hudson spoke in at a conference in Pune, India on the following topic: “Connecting Worlds: Offshoring to India from the U.S. American Perspective – Strategies and Solutions” Here’s what some of her participants had to say after seeing this presentation:
“This was a very informative and effective session thanks to Vicki’s great usage of real life examples and pictures.”
“Insights FROM BOTH SIDES of the cultural divide looking into the communication issues facing the outsourcing world.”
“The case study and exercise used made sure that we all had practical take-aways from this session.”
“Vicki’s enthusiasm is great, she really made sure all her audience was engaged!”
“Having worked in a global company for many years, I felt confident in my understanding of multi-cultural issues and cross-cultural communication. As a Baha’i, I deeply value diversity and appreciate how it contributes to the richness of our lives. Even though I have many years of international experience working with people from all over the globe, I recognize, as a life-long learner, that I would benefit from additional cultural training. I was drawn to High Road Global Services because I wanted a local coach with global experience. I also wanted specialized cultural training in order to increase my effectiveness when working with colleagues in France, and your country-specific coaching program was perfect.
When we began my coaching sessions, we reviewed my objectives and you listened carefully. Throughout the process, our conversations were insightful and at times, inspired. As a listener, you are always seeking to understand – not just on the surface but on a deeper level. My homework was very practical, yet it prompted me to reflect. By asking an additional expert with real-world experience to join us for one of our meetings, you enriched the program for me and added value to my experience.
I found my overall experience to be extremely enlightening and the results profound. Not only did I receive some practical suggestions and advice, which is what I expected; I also received something more, which was unexpected. I walked away with a deeper understanding of myself as well as a wealth of additional resources to further my learning.
Vicki, you are extremely good at what you do. Thank you for helping me begin to see my real potential.”
– Al Viller, Sr. Manager Internal Communications – Orange Business Services
“Vicki is a great trainer, speaker, and storyteller! Not only did she prepare superb visual aids and training activities for AppRiver’s Cross-Cultural Competency Training, but also customized in-class scenarios that helped to incorporate our unique Phenomenal Customer Care™ methodologies. In the weeks leading up to her visit, I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with Vicki. I helped her gather examples from various members of our management team for her to better understand the company’s culture and goals. This made her training initiatives even more relevant and meaningful to our employees. Her energy was inspiring, and each session offered tangible ways for students to implement the lessons learned. We are planning future sessions with Vicki to expand our cross-cultural competence in order to meet the needs of the clients we serve in the global marketplace.”
– Gretchen Clarke, Director of Training & Development – AppRiver
“Ms. Flier, I would like to thank you for the superb experience that you have provided us today. I would say with confidence that this is the best cross-cultural presentation that I have ever experienced. Your passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject are admirable. The preparation, the flow, the pace, the materials, the clear communication, the professionalism, the sophistication, the confidence, the intellect, the effectiveness, the funny stories and the useful exercises were beyond any of my expectations. [This class] was a true eye opener!”
– Stefan Andretti, Senior Consultant, CGI
“As the 7th fastest growing community in the nation, Forsyth County continually attracts new businesses from across the globe. Highroad Global Services has helped our community to identify and address the unique needs of our community’s 65 international companies. The team at HGS did a phenomenal job of helping the leaders of each international firm to develop strategies to grow their companies within the US market. Their hands-on approach was extremely personal and effective!”
– Randall Toussaint, Vice President Economic Development, Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce
“It’s been said that ‘You can’t please all of the people, all of the time’, but our recent experience with Vicki Flier at our 2006 Global Meeting leaves us to question how this statement could be possibly be applicable to her flawless presentation of the Cross-Cultural Skills workshop. From over 80 guests, representing countries including Singapore, France, Germany, UK, US, Japan, China, Brazil and Mexico, we received no greater positive feedback during the 3-day meeting than at the close of the Cross-Cultural Skills workshop. The consensus of the group was that the training was a “real need, not a perceived need” and that Vicki gracefully delivered relevant information that would be useful in our day-to-day business interactions. Please extend our gratitude to Vicki for offering cultural enlightenment and providing the skills we need to improve our global interactions.”
– Damali Noel-Lockett, Marketing Communications Manager, Arch Chemicals
Yesterday I attended a training class in-house with Vicki Flier Hudson called India Insider: 10 Secrets to Successful Business With India. It was EXCELLENT — one of the most beneficial classes I have attended here. I HIGHLY recommend this class for all our associates — especially since we deal with Indian colleagues on a daily basis. This class addresses not only the cultural differences between Indians and Americans, but, more importantly, gives specific techniques and methods of improving our working relationships. You will come away with techniques you can employ immediately. I encourage you ALL to take this class. It will do MUCH to improve out working relationships.
– Karen C., class participant, Quality Assurance Lead
“I love the 4 Step Process. I’ve shared it with many of my leaders because not only can you use it for resolving cultural differences but interpersonal differences as well.”
– Dan Sax, Human Resources, Intercontinental Hotels Group
“This was by far the most comprehensive and best presented class that I took for my TESOL certification. You raised the bar regarding our knowledge, and in doing so you raise the value of the certificate.”
– Patricia Anzilotti Shaw, Kennesaw State University
“The world is figuratively shrinking but at the same time becoming more complex. Vicki Flier’s stimulating and well organized workshops help shed cultural baggage and enable all to reveal more about themselves as well as people in other cultures. Everyone in the session I attended expressed awe and delight at the cultural insights gained and life changing attitudes learned.”
– Richard George, class participant, Air Force public affairs (ret.)
“In my time working with Vicki Flier, I have found her to be effective, diplomatic, dedicated and highly competent in cross-cultural business skills. Her education and training programs are invaluable.”
– Traci Burnley, Supplier Management, Philips Medical Systems
“Vicki Flier Hudson facilitated a dialogue with panelists at the GE Energy – NAAAP Atlanta (National Association of Asian American Professionals) Asian Heritage Month program on May 6, 2010. Time appeared to go by so fast – and I believe it was because of the expert facilitation by Vicki. Vicki, you asked thought provoking and relevant questions about Asian American values and impact on work productivity. The dialogue was focused and Vicki drove home many learning messages garnered from the panelists. Vicki’s personal stories about cross cultural interactions were relevant and helpful. It was a successful program. Thank you, Vicki!”
– Fabian Rozario, President – National Association of Asian-American Professionals
“Thank you very much. We all learned a lot from your very interesting seminar! You are a great presenter and the material was fun, and very needed for everyone in this competitive world…especially all the interpreters.”
– Cristina Franco, Atlanta Association of Interpreters and Translators
“Ms. Flier was a valuable resource to me and to the entire Distribution team. Her training programs, testing and follow up were professional, well planned and, most importantly, effective. As the largest and most diverse department at Immucor, the Distribution Department has employees of all colors, gender, ages and backgrounds. Through it all she found a way to provide quality training programs that produces effective and measurable results.
– Richard Renix, Customer Service Supervisor, Immucor Inc. , Norcross, Georgia
“Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV) works to break down cultural barriers and increase global understanding and awareness. Who better to speak on the topic than Vicki Flier Hudson! Vicki made several Citizen Diplomacy presentations to our membership on topics like globalization, effective cross-cultural communication and self-awareness of American culture. Our members couldn’t say enough good things. They really liked how Vicki included easily-applied practical tips in her presentations and that the information benefited them both professionally and personally.”
– Shell Stuart, Executive Director, Georgia Council for International Visitors
“You were a great help in making all the many pieces of our new puzzle fit into a picture. You turned theory into practice and …always with patience and a smile.”
– Elaine-Waering Schultz, Export Manager, Medizinische Diagnostik GmbH, Rodermark, Germany
“I really meant it when I said you are one of the best speakers I have been to see in a very long time!”
– Lindsey Giffin, International Business Society, University of Georgia
“Dear Vicki, With cross -cultural training gaining mainstream acceptance and as a major part of HR, the MBA students feedback showed that your talk and discussion on cross-cultural communication was interesting, very informative and gave them a better insight and understanding on using it as an effective communication tool. They look forward to meeting you again for more interaction.”
Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with the MBA students.
– Dr.Chandra Niranjan, Dean, IBMR Business School, Bangalore, India
“Vicki, your session was very good and I would like to say that your engaging and inclusive style allowed the team to speak up and share their views openly. Also, your flexible approach gave us the space we needed to have a good conversation. We now have a better understanding of working in a virtual team environment. Thanks!”
– Ashish A., Team Lead for multinational consumer goods company, Mumbai, India
“I had the pleasure of attending Vicki Flier Hudson’s presentation to PMI (Project Management Institute) Atlanta at the March 2011 Professional Growth session. Not only were Vicki’s energy and enthusiasm highly contagious, but she used an effective interactive approach to engage her audience and convey a truly useful message. Encouraged to volunteer actual case studies they themselves had experienced, attendees shared real-life examples of difficult workplace situations. This approach helps all of us learn from one another and obtain better results when facing future problems and issues. While Vicki facilitated an excellent discussion aimed at cross-cultural project management, she specifically highlighted the challenges inherent in the finance function. Undoubtedly, contributors to this function must be the most vigilant among their colleagues regarding deadlines. Depending upon where each of us has grown up, gone to school and gained work experience, attitudes toward deadlines can be amazingly diverse and lead to all sorts of conflict, in some cases even disastrous results. This point is well taken and was the deciding factor in my decision to invite Vicki to speak to the newly formed PMI Atlanta Finance LIG. We look forward to her presentation in September, 2011.”
– Whitney Waters, PMP, Project Management Institute