March 11, 2010: Culturally incorrect
Cultural concerns aren't limited to international interactions, though. Within American associations, cultural differences exist between membership-based organizations and public interest groups (and lots of other demographic segments, too).
In a meeting of membership-based association CEOs, for example, most attendees will be Caucasian, the majority will wear business attire, and they'll all be polite to each other, even when debating controversial issues.
Rather than criticize something, they'll say, "this works better for me," or "I would try that," or, "have you analyzed the expenses for that project?" Political discussion will be cautious, as individuals will likely cover the gamut of ideological positions.
A group of public interest CEOs, on the other hand, will be more racially diverse. Few will don business suits and some may even wear blue jeans. Discussion will generate strong comments, like, "I don't think that will work at all!" Political opinions will be voiced without reserve, and in some groups, a mainsteam Democrat will be the most conservative person in the room.
Cultural differences exist everywhere. We're careful when dealing with international audiences because we don't want to offend anyone. In groups of American execs, not everybody worries about being offensive.