Culture Resource Centre

COLUMN: Virtual Teams Need Cultural Competence To Develop Trust

Cartoon For Trust In Virtual Teams

Virtual teams are an accepted and necessary aspect of global business. They allow organisations to leverage competent professionals without them having to be in the same physical location. Joost Thissen of the Culture Resource Centre believes that having these professionals located in different areas around the world can enable organisations to capitalise on changes in […]

COLUMN: Lacking the Motivation to Learn about Cultural Differences

I did it my Way

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: When Humour Does Not Travel Well

Humour does not travel

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: 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: 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: Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

About the Skills of Translation in Business Translating documents and materials across cultures can cause quite a few headaches. During the facilitation of a training session, a lawyer came to us and shared the following translation experience. After he had put a lot of time into preparing a contract with a future Chinese joint-venture partner, […]

COLUMN: S t r e t c h a b l e Time

Stretchable Time

About the Concept of Time across Cultures During business dealings with people from other cultures, we may encounter that different cultures have different approaches to the concept of time. An interesting example comes from an Indian call-centre: an Indian employee was somewhat confused by a complaint from an Australian client, saying: “It’s very difficult to […]