Book Review “Cultural Chemistry”, Author, Patti McCarthy, Review by Simon Cordon.

Cultural Chemistry should be required reading for anyone working with ‘someone from somewhere else’.

book mock up

Written with the business professional in mind, it is a powerful reminder that successful partnerships come down, in the end, to successful personal partnerships. As professionals, we are often at pains to present ourselves as subject matter experts, but we may struggle to communicate that expertise and to build lasting relationships.  Working across cultures is rarely ‘business as usual’ and this fascinating, thoroughly researched book includes many real-life case-histories from people who got it wrong.  Patti’s  use of clear, straightforward language makes it easy to read – even for late night travellers and those with English as a second language – and the inclusion of a simple 4-step coaching model gives readers a practical personal development tool.

4 Step Coaching Model

This book should be read by anyone hoping to succeed as a global professional, whether they are already established as one or are an aspiring student, or a local in a multi-national company trying to better understand their expat colleagues who have been posted from head office.

Review – Simon Cordon is Director of Management Consulting at KPMG, Melbourne, Australia.

Where can I find “Cultural Chemistry”? 

The easiest place is on the book’s website where you can buy the book in paper form or pdf.


Author Patti McCarthy

About Patti McCarthy

Patti calls herself a ‘cultural translator, someone who helps people from different cultures to communicate and connect more effectively’. She argues that nobody would attempt to play competitive sport without first learning the rules, yet people attempt to conduct business in other cultures without understanding the local protocol paying due attention to cultural issues.

Originally from England, Patti has also lived in Belgium, New Jersey, Botswana, Singapore and Australia. As a long-term expat herself, Patti appreciates the potential for misunderstanding, conflict and personal isolation. She finds that many expats are completely unprepared for the professional and personal challenges that relocating brings and at around 40%, the failure rate is alarmingly high because of it. Many employees of international businesses fail to take advantage of the opportunities that cultural diversity provides and this naivety can be dangerous and expensive, both professionally and personally.

Apart from her personal experiences in relocating, Patti worked for three years as a relocation consultant and is a Master Life Coach and Master NLP Practitioner. Cultural Chemistry was established in 2008.

Contact Patti UK phone: 07944 636 091


BREXIT Salvation is at hand – 10 Ways to Save the UK from Wrexit

We could always just rely on the Jacob and the Government to sort this out…

Only joking – The Cabinet must have now been briefed to such an extent that even the deafest of them has finally read Sir Ivan Roger’s 10,000 word piece and FULLY and DEEPLY realises the folly and cost of full-on, half on, or any BREXIT at all. So what is to be done? Here are 10 colourful suggestions that would put us on the road to a safer UK, a solution or two to the deep Britain problems that we actually face (as opposed to all those made up ones like bendy bananas and being force to adopt the Euro in 2022 that Good British Brexiteers have been brainwashed to believe), and give us a better chance of keeping our jobs over the next decade.

Reader Warning – If you have a limited sense of humour or possess rabid cult levels of Breximatosis, please do not read further and consult a foreign doctor at the NHS…while you still can.

Military tents. Military scientist. Tent label

  1. An IDEA – A Cross Party Medical Movement

Stoke Mandeville hires 650 surgeons specialising in spinal repair from the EU and sets up a long row of M*A*S*H style green tents in Buckinghamshire to deal with all the MP’s that are currently suffering from Simpering Spineless Servant Syndrome – SSSS. They all have steel rods inserted to replace their current jelly-like backbones, recover from the op, take a collective quadruple espresso and start representing the 54 Million people who did NOT vote leave and the 17.4 million Good Britons who certainly did not vote for this.

With their new found powers, they wake up and respond to the country’s actual impending economic crisis and start endeavouring to reflect the majority of their constituent’s current position on Europe. I.e. they look below the cult zombie tropes, “The will of the people” “Leave means Leave””It’s democracy” etc. to see what citizens ACTUALLY want in their region.

They sweep all the muddled party leaders aside and start to act as one intelligent body as they last did during World War II to get us through the biggest mess since… World War II.


  1. A Positive U Turn

Theresa May resolves her internal crisis of conscience about her, “I want to be Prime Minister for another week, no matter what the cost to my party, my country or greater Europe, and, even though I am a secret Remainer.” dilemma.

Next, she issues a genuinely courageous apology for getting it all so terribly wrong. (triggering Article 50 before she had obtained consensus or had constructed a viable Brexit plan – We are still waiting for a viable Brexit plan that will be better than Remaining.) She is then able to acknowledge the brutal truth of the country’s current perilous position and begins to show INSPIRING LEADERSHIP to take us back from the cliff edge and return to a prosperous and constructive dialogue about fresh relations with Europe.


  1. TV Game Show

Britain’s Got Traitors – Each week, one of the biggest names from party politics, on both sides, is prosecuted for treason with celebrity “barristers” presenting real evidence of their lies, duplicity, political shenanigans, and, immoral self-interest during the referendum campaign and the last 2 years.

If found guilty in the game show, the studio audience then vote on an appropriate punishment for the exposed and disgraced politician.

The programme will be beamed around the world to raise revenues to help reverse the losses in UK income suffered due to frozen foreign investment, unpicked, unsold British fruit and our anaemic pound.

  1. Apology

Jeremy Jezza Corbyn delivers a sincere apology for helping convert a 20 year xenophobic Murdoch media campaign and crazy Tory plot fuelled opinion poll into a real and dangerous law when he should have done the opposite. (the clue is in the name – Opposition party). He is then rewarded for his moral strength with an honorary seat at Oxford University teaching “Social Ethics” and the “History of the Working Class” to confused Millennials. And, we award him an honorary mustard coloured cardigan with pipe and warm slippers.

Vince Cable

  1. Botox

Vince Cable – Simultaneously the brightest leader of any political party and leader of the least likely party to make ANY progress at all over the next decade.

Vince is given a vast prescription for Oil of Olay, Royal Jelly and magnums of Red Bull and put on the speaker’s circuit to spread his wisdom and magic, night and day to the British public in EVERY town hall in the UK.

  1. The Unexciting Voice of Reason

Spreadsheet Phil – Philip Hammond is publicly pardoned for backing BoJo as Maybot’s replacement as PM in a typical Tory moment of madness in the wake of the 9th of June 2017 disaster. As the closest thing to sensible in Government – he takes over the Tory party leadership and Cabinet and begins the difficult task of sorting this mess out beyond Theresa’s Plan A, Plan A and, now, Plan A. The least exciting of all the options but the least worst Tory one.

Edward VIII

  1. Crowd Funded Abdication

Again, let’s get the public involved. When King Edward VIII abdicated in disgrace in 1938, he was paid off in cash and shipped out the become Governor of Bermuda. Let’s have the same for Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, BoJo, Maybot, DD and Psy-Gove-Path. (We can put Mr. Wetherspoons, Lord Digby Jones, James Dyson, John Redwood and Nigel Lawson on the boat too.)

Or, maybe we could have them form a crack leadership team organising democratic elections in Venezuela?

  1. Reparations

Each of the 17.4 million BREXIT voters is asked to pay £2,353.00 compensation for listening to all the Brexit lies and BELIEVING them – Think of it as a great lesson in economics – That choices have consequences. This will cover the economic losses we will face as we spend the next 5 to 10 year negotiating Second Class, non- preferential trade agreements with the EU and the rest of the world. The money is collected and given in compensation to the 16.8 million people who voted remain. This will balance out the costs for the economic damage caused, IF it is REPTEATED every year for the next decade.


  1. The Tower of London

Dodgy Dave Cameron takes his kids to the Tower of London and joins a guided tour. Secret cameras record what happens next. When in the White Tower, he leaves his kids (again) and wanders off to look at one of the cells. A sharp eyed member of the public slams the cell door shut and Cameron, who started this whole fiasco, gets the opportunity for a little contemplation time – to regret and confess his mistakes with quill and parchment. His publisher replaces his planned autobiography (which does not contain an apology), with the new, more honest, tome, confessing the level of his cock up and what he really did with that pig’s head. And, all the royalties from the new best seller are sent as compensation to Polish painters, plumber and plasterers by way of an apology.

  1. Invade Luxembourg!

(Humour alert) We get a jump on Trump and pay a cheque to his mate, Mr Putin, asking him nicely, to send in 1000 vodka drinkers and 500 troops to quietly invade Western Europe – starting with Luxembourg. Our rude and dodgy neighbour, Junkers, is then forced to telephone the head of our somewhat depleted UK army and ask for assistance. We will then, for the first time since this mess began, be in a position to make a few small demands about our Exit from Brexit before we all face Wrexit.

Notice – No Europeans where hurt during the writing of this post.


Lucy Fogarty’s Culture Buff Games and Cartoons

Long time SIETARian, Lucy Fogarty has recently launched a company, Culture Buff Games  (to be found at   that develops country specific interactive cartoon-based games to help adults and teenagers learn about cultural values in a fun and engaging way. We have a suite of interactive cartoon games for British and American culture.

Lucy is looking for feedback on topics such as the use of cartoons as educational tools, the benefits of gamification, something we covered in George Simon’s recent webinar.

Culture Buff