I’m currently dealing with financing from Asia, a European principal, and South American targets. The language barrier can be very difficult, because although we all speak English, there are many words or phrases that can be interpreted in various ways. This has caused many issues during meetings, so we now do everything over email to provide a clear paper trail as to who said what and how. This makes it easier to go back to a conversation and clarify something rather than leaving important issues left up to interpretation.
The cultural issues have also been difficult at times. Understanding that not everything will be done “your way” is key. When that alone didn’t work, we set up compliance guidelines delineating what was expected and the format. Doing that seemed to take forever but it did clear up a lot of issues because the work product was uniform and no longer based on “what’s good enough in my country”.