I just found this and thought I’d share it with you.
It provides an interesting perspective on English being adopted as a company’s universal language much to the horror of many non-fluent staff members.
Over time, it has proven to be somewhat of a culture leveller – allowing this company’s staff to say things more directly and easily than in their own steeply hierarchical culture.
They were also able to recruit more diversely and be more culturally and financially relevant on the international business stage. Sure, there were some staff that needed extra training and coaching to bring their English up to a functional level, but this brought other benefits too… Read on…
“Five years ago, I stood before several thousand mostly native Japanese speakers and addressed them in English. From now on, I told them, Rakuten – Japan’s largest online marketplace, of which I am the CEO – would conduct all of its business, from official meetings to internal emails, in English. I still remember the shocked…”