Introducing this month’s speaker: Graeme Cooper

Author: Tom Perkins   |   Date: 28th September 2018   |  Tags: ,

In this blog post the speaker for this month's meeting, Graeme Cooper of Cultural Finesse, reveals some background to how he got started in his business.

Tell us about your business?

My business these days is: “Cultural Finesse”, and I help people and organisations, both small and large, to work more successfully with people and businesses across cultures and continents, I do this through designing and delivering training workshops, 1-to-1 coaching sessions and presentations. With the emphasis on recognising and adapting to cultural influences – national, personal and business – over and above what might be called “typical” soft skills training. My difference from competitors is that I’ve been there and done it – my messages are all gained from real-life experiences around the world, living & working in 15 countries (and visiting on business more than 15 others!) and engaging with organisations from a really diverse assortment of countries & industries, sectors & sizes. And I typically follow up a training workshop with individual 1-to-1 coaching on-site with delegates.

When did you start your business?

I set up my business in 2000 – so I’m another Millennial!

Give us an idea of the size of your business

There’s just me running my business, but I do often work with a number of associates – sometimes as a consultant for larger firms in the training & development field, and sometimes with colleagues to form our own larger unit and put together a proposal for more complex pieces of work where more than one set of skills and knowledge is needed. I do quite a bit of work on team-building/working and communications skills in this way.

What led you to start your own business?

I’d been travelling around the world for 25 years with Barclays Bank International, in lots of different roles such as Dealing Room Operations Manager, Branch Manager, even Chief Internal Auditor (in Switzerland), Assistant to the Secretary General of a European banking industry organisation in Brussels and lastly Course Director at a residential multinational management training centre near Frankfurt, when my UK department was outsourced and I left the bank. I got head-hunted to be Head of Learning & Development at in Europe but I was “let go” from there when they restructured their operations after the 9/11 attacks, and I decided that I was never going to work “for” a large organisation ever again. But I have certainly worked “with” many since that time – just on my terms, not theirs! And as I had already changed horses in mid-stream and re-qualified in Learning & Development, that was the route I’ve basically followed since. Starting my own business was a natural move forward.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

I’m really excited by my new Cultural Finesse direction, using the great reservoir of knowledge and experiences that I’ve developed over the years – without even realising it! I wish I’d thought of it earlier, actually! So I see my business evolving multi-nationally to take advantage of my background and I’m currently aiming to open a virtual office in Tampa, Florida to tap into the demand there for American businesses to expand abroad – something I do know a lot about.

To hear Graeme give his thoughts on How to win more clients and create stronger relationships, why not come along to our next meeting for free.