An entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist and intercultural problem solver dedicated to helping you thrive beyond borders personally, professionally and cross-culturally.
Culture - A lifelong love story
Do you know these people? You know the ones who claim to be different? I do. I’m one of them. Although I never claimed it growing up people did a pretty decent job letting me feel I was. And back in the DDR (German Democratic Republic), a state ruled by socialism and conformity that really wasn’t a good thing to be. You rather had to fit in and adapt to the commonly accepted codes of conduct and social standards.
I however, was a very rebellious unconventional spirit that didn’t give much about that, because my Mom always had my back. I was seeking for wisdom and got passionately curious about different behaviors and ways of life, when as a young child I realized that there was great unhappiness in the world. In people’s hearts, in school, in families, in societies.
Not fully understanding what happened around me I grew into being an observer and a conversationalist at age 5, that asked people around her a million questions and luckily mostly provoked genuine answers. I could see that in peoples expressions. That’s when I began to read people intentionally, their body language, their facial expressions, the way their voices changed in connection to their emotional states and it was fascinating!
I quickly got pretty sharp senses and I had huge trust in my instincts, because I also realized when people thought they could lie to me, because I was still such a lovely little girl, no one had to take seriously in their eyes. And when one day I overheard a foreign family speaking to one another, where I couldn’t understand a single word they said, I completely and irrevocably got hooked.
Fascinated by the fact that they were understanding each other just fine regardless, just like me and my folks. It really puzzled me. It felt like the key moment in my young life that lead me to developing an obsession to study people, their differences, what’s connecting them regardless and what made them happy or sad. Especially which kinds of experiences let them to those feelings and what role their individual perception played during the process.
That hook holds on to me until this day forward and I know it’ll never let go! Therefore, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, because it let me to one of my greatest life passions and my purpose in the world.
Helping people to understand themselves and their cultural conditioning as the source of their behavioral patterns, as well as helping them to understand others, connect with them and build very profound relationships no matter their differences.
That's what makes me thrive!
My passion about culture is a lifelong love story of many acts that I share with my clients in great detail through stories, fun facts, metaphors, photos and videos throughout my products, services and my free content.
But growing up in DDR (German Democratic Republic) we didn’t have the same access to cultural artefacts like our western German neighbors. So fun fact, due to listening lots of Michael Jackson and Billy Idol songs and watching the iconic „Dirty Dancing“ movie and I unconsciously started learning English as a toddler, because my Mom got her hands on a not synchronized tape and we loved music and movies.
Ever since, I soaked up song texts only by listening in many different languages without any lessons received and singing them pretty decently. Speaking about useless or useful talents.
Consequently, as a teen my Mom send me to London on my first language study travel. I fell in love with the city and the people I met in an instant. And as the years passed, cultivating and fostering many international friendships and acquaintances assured me that my passion only grew stronger about making this my professional path.
So, I choose my vocational business education at age 16 as International Management Assistant where besides International Management and Administration I learned about International: Marketing, Law, People Leadership, HR Management, Accounting & Controlling, Business English, Spanish and Russian.
Almost 2 decades of professional experience in Cross-cultural Management, intense academic studies in the field of International Business Management and People Leadership, a huge personal circle of friends from all around the world and an even greater passion about my life’s calling later, my customers love me and my team for helping them achieve their international business goals, for supporting them through their cross-cultural leadership challenges and for making it easier to negotiate deals or mediate conflicts interculturally.
That ensures them to thrive beyond borders and it helps us build a Culture Savvy Society globally that profits from great cross-cultural experiences as professionals doing important business for their companies and everybody impacted by their actions.
I know from several of my own experiences – looking forward to sharing them with you in my programs and materials – how challenged you can feel. How overwhelming it can be to establish trust in people to then be able to create something great in a different culture.
When usually, on top, English is the common ground language, but not spoken on the same level of competence by everyone involved. This creates a strong emphasis to read between the lines.
And smashing you directly into the process of assimilating what appropriate actions to take in high and low context cultures, or where regardfulness is key to master your leadership in cultural environments build on literal or non-literal language use.
You see, helping you achieve your goals will create a great experience for you and everyone involved in the process. Which leaves all of you open to new cross-cultural encounters and sharing your lessons learned with others yet in lack of such positive experiences. And that my friend creates a positive spiral loop that ultimately brings more peace, unity, fulfilment and joy to everyone on earth.
Whereas negative experiences naturally bring opposite dynamics making the world more vulnerable to hate, conflict and separation. Therefore, I chose to be a force of love in the world and bring a new economic paradigm to the table through real life prove and the quality of human interaction globally.
Greatly supported by that mindset I mastered most of my own cultural challenges with flying colors judging by the recommendations of my former superiors. Here is a little extract of one:
“Isabells extraordinary social competence has made it possible for her to very successfully lead a challenging team of native French speakers without even a basic knowledge of the French language.
She was able to win the other team members’ trust and loyalty within a very short period of time and was able to make them follow her positive and motivated mindset, even those who had decades more experience than herself. Her ability to sense concerns and problems and outline a necessary cause of action is invaluable especially when it comes to team spirit, people leadership and partnership. We would like to mention here that Isabell has become an example to her team members in behavior, showing a professional attitude and having no fear of challenges or difficult environments.
We would like to say that it is pleasant to work with Isabell; she is an authentic, intelligent and straightforward person with a good sense of humor.
She questions and challenges her business partners, supervisors and the corporate structure to improve the culture of partnership and constructiveness in which the right decisions can be made so that both people and results can exceed expectations.”
Mr. Jacques L’Huiller and Mr. Dominique Grandi (former Credit Suisse AG Management)
Those were great times that I hold in my heart very dearly.
Back than I was already used to people reaching out to me for advice and guidance trying to replicate the effects my work had.
Clairity & fulfilment
This was when it finally became clear to me that in order to claim my full potential I needed to step up my game and create my own platform where it could beautifully unfold and grow to ultimately thrive beyond any borders and help my fellow colleagues and their managements make the same rewarding experiences by partnering up on their international assignments.
Which is what I have been putting my soul into ever since. And damn am I grateful for the amazing people, experiences and opportunities this lifepath continues to provide me with!
Welcome side effects for our customers, my team and me include increased levels of happiness, extremely rewarding cross-cultural experiences that fuel my vision of a peaceful global society, a heightened sense of purpose and fulfilment career wise and personally, as well as the certainty to make the world a better place for generations to come, due to the traces and the legacy we leave in people’s hearts all around the globe.
Thank you so much for being part of my world and this rewarding life journey!
Living up to what I preach, the journey of becoming and staying competent working internationally is a lasting one requiring efforts and awareness while watching globalization reshape the cultural landscape.
Therefore, we dig deep into the science of culture and its latest conclusions as well as into my network resources to find explanations and solutions to any problem you might face. Lifelong learning, neuroscience and NLP are concepts that influence my work sustainably. I constantly improve my comprehensive practical methods expertise by reading great books that help me tie together methods, systems and philosophies tailoring state-of-the art programs, services and solutions to help YOU become culture savvy and outperform your business goals while enjoying a great international career.
As member of Toastmasters International© my communicative competence and my speakers skills are cutting-edge and in my role as local Head Mentor I take pleasure in helping you and my fellow new bees in achieving the same.
Since language use and communicative competence make or break our intercultural success, my language skills in English, German and French are the tools helping me to inspire, influence and move people the most. Also, empathy, body language and mimics I speak and understand like a champ.
And amongst other efforts, through extensive exchange and dialog with my fellow trainer and coaching colleagues my understanding of branches and businesses stays sharp and effective at your service.
However, these days the greatest source of my professional success and Culture Savvy Society’s I consider to be my extensive cross-cultural networks containing intercultural professionals from all walks of life.
Working, living and studying with and in different nations I feel so blessed and grateful for all the amazing friends I made along the way. Not just because we build great memories together, had lots of fun, great conversations and cherish each other deeply. But very many of them have become my constant professional companions.
So, as this wonderful enterprise „Culture Savvy Society“ grows into my comprehensive vision of becoming the best and most valued partner in cross- and intercultural Management on the global market in education and ongoing support, more and more I reached out to this awesome circle for quality insight or right away included them in the support process of coaching and training. Today, my international team of highly educated professionals in culture and languages grows with quite some speed supporting you as my clients and my dream.
Last but not least as a valuable driven person Business Ethics contains a set of values that I hold in very high regard and therefore Corporate Social Responsibility is one thing I take very seriously. As a giver, to me our combined success creates means to share with less fortunate, especially children and teens that need education to build a different future for their loved ones and themselves sustainably.
Thank you very much for your interest and time to read through! I’d love this to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between us. And so, I’d love to hear from you next how we can help you most. The best way to share that and stay connected is to make sure you become one of our Culture Savvy Society Members – just enter your name and email.
Even though I run a digital company, I spend as much time offline as possible. I’m not super committed on social media, so if you want to get me behind the scenes, our members list where you find it. You’ll hear from me 1-2 a month; or if something is time-sensitive or important.
Plus, you’ll get our ultimate checklist to prepare and ensure success at any cross-cultural undertaking.
Thank you so much, I’m thrilled we’re connected and I’m excited for our continued the journey ahead.
With all my love,