Culture Resource Centre

COLUMN: People Leaders Who Drive Outcomes Across Cultures

In my ongoing quest to support People Leaders to become more effective when interacting with and managing professionals from different cultural backgrounds I recently came across a number of interesting findings. Trapp  in his Forbes article ‘Why Successful Leaders acknowledge Cultural Differences’ for instance refers to Meyer who says that “in the age of globalization, acknowledging – […]

COLUMN: Knowledge Transfer Across Cultures

Knowledge Transfer

Whether you are instructing professionals in multicultural classrooms, training multicultural teams, or lecturing culturally diverse or international students, these three activities share at least one major challenge: differing instructing styles and learning styles due to culturally diverse backgrounds of the trainer, instructor or lecturer on the one hand, and the professional, team member and student […]

COLUMN: How to Increase the Value of Cultural Training

Cultural Training

According to a McKinsey Quarterly survey report1 about the value of training, of the organisations which participated in the survey and were spending resources to develop highly capable employees, 90% said that ‘building capabilities’ was a top-ten priority for their organisations. Only 25% of survey respondents said that their programs were effective at improving performance […]

COLUMN: How Bicultural Professionals Can Apply Their Unique Skills to Create a Global Competitive Edge

Organisational success in a ‘globalised environment’ is increasingly dependent on effectively mapping cultural differences and bridging cultural gaps. Also of importance is the ability to integrate diverse cultural knowledge into organisations and build cultural competence. What Is A Bicultural Professional? A ‘bicultural’ is an individual who identifies with two (or more) different cultures ― someone […]

COLUMN: Lacking the Motivation to Learn about Cultural Differences

I Did It My Way Last year we encountered two interesting cases within multinational organisations where both managers’ lack of motivation to learn about cultural different behaviour negatively impacted the effectiveness of their multicultural teams. First Case – Cultural Different Behaviour Explored In the first case we facilitated training for a group of managers responsible […]

COLUMN: Trust Is Key To Success

Trust is Key To Success

Research (1) indicates that high levels of trust in business correlates with innovation, competitive advantage, support for change and increased productivity. It is therefore wise for international and multicultural organisations to invest in building and maintaining high levels of trust. However, while research may prove that trust is key to success, why do we so often […]

COLUMN: When Humour Does Not Travel Well

International Business

An airplane takes off from the airport. The captain is Jewish and the first officer is Singaporean-Chinese. It’s the first time they’ve flown together and it’s obvious from their silence that they don’t get along. After thirty minutes, the Jewish captain mutters, “I don’t like Chinese”. The First Officer replies, “Ooooh, no like Chinese? Why dat-lah?”. “You bombed […]

COLUMN: Improving the Effectiveness of Intercultural Conference Calls

A cultural training workshop was recently held for a multicultural team within an international organisation. The team consisted of a manager, supervisors and sales staff from Australia, China, Japan and South Korea. The setting was their annual sales and marketing meeting. The Difficulty With Intercultural Conference Calls After discussing verbal and nonverbal communication behaviour across […]

COLUMN: How To Remove The Bamboo Ceiling And Retain Staff

Cartoon of the Bamboo Ceiling

A few years ago our clients started paying attention to this ‘Bamboo Ceiling’ phenomenon – labled by us more broadly ‘Cultural Ceiling’ – as their culturally diverse staff were leaving the organisation in higher than average numbers. It therefore makes sense to consider why some organisations have a higher than average staff turnover among their culturally […]