Managing Across Caribbean Cultures 2006


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A presentation made in November 2006 to a company client on how best to operate in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region.

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Managing Across Caribbean Cultures 2006

  1. 1. Managing Across Caribbean Cultures Framework Consulting High-Stake Interventions. Nov 9th, 2006
  2. 2. If you can see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it. S.I. Hayakawa
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Background Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Starting Points </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul>
  4. 4. 2001-2002
  5. 5. Study of intra-company Anti-Trinidadian Sentiments 2006 Study: Trinidadian Executives in Jamaica – 2006 (underway)
  6. 6. <ul><li>Surveyed 38 staff members in the company in focus groups, individual interviews and online surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewed 30+ Trinidadians outside the company </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary research </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why Workers Won’t Work” </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>“ Is there a significant anti-Trinidadian sentiment?” </li></ul><ul><li>NO – but there will continue to be anti-Trinidadian “rumblings” </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Starting Points </li></ul>
  9. 9. False Assumptions A Home-Country Bias
  10. 10. A Cultural Difference Exists
  11. 11. Trinidadian vs. Jamaican Workers Educational Difference Emotional Workplace Maturity Respect, Disrespect, Pride and Shame Informers and Authority
  12. 12. Educational Differences and Disempowering by Following-Through
  13. 13. Emotional Workplace Maturity -- starts with an ability to identify, name and manage one’s emotional states - being able to enter emotional states and recognize them in others
  14. 14. Emotional Workplace Maturity: “ Switching Gears” seems like duplicity
  15. 15. Respect and Pecong / Informality
  16. 16. Informers and the Greater Good “ Informer Fi Dead” Loyalty to a person? Where is the greater loss?
  17. 17. Authority, Status and “All a We is One’
  18. 18. Heavy community involvement vs. Shareholders first? Cosmopolitan Assertive: – the best
  19. 19. Boardroom Challenges
  20. 20. Developing the Caribbean Manager
  21. 21. Demanding Regional Posts
  22. 22. Preparing Your Family
  23. 23. A Capacity to Self-Reflect
  24. 24. On Teaching Reception Skills to Engineers: Module 1: The Nature of Problem Solvers Concepts Learned: How the very qualities that make problem solvers successful tend to cause difficulties with interpersonal interactions.
  25. 25. Sensing the public mood Gauging key relationships Crafting communication
  26. 26. Sensing the workforce mood Hearing and making sense of “mutterings” or weak messages
  27. 27. Gauging the “space” or “mood” of a live group
  28. 28. <ul><li>Non-verbal cues </li></ul><ul><li>Active listening </li></ul><ul><li>Following intuition </li></ul>
  29. 29. Recommendations to Augment Reception Skills Rough Success Measure: No Further Rude Surprises Use a personal coach. Attend skill training in reception skills and giving feedback. Group and Interpersonal Create and use best-practices in communication. Workforce Appoint an Executive-level Company Spokesperson, and devise a multi-year brand strategy for the company. Public
  30. 30. Other Recommendations <ul><li>Decide: The company’s shared culture is missing (there is only a Trinidadian way.) </li></ul><ul><li>Repair: Use the re-creation of a shared culture to repair the relationship with workers </li></ul><ul><li>Create: A 2-way orientation program for managers and new staff (and board) </li></ul><ul><li>Offer structured regional rotations </li></ul>
  31. 31. Agenda <ul><li>Background Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Starting Points </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul>
  32. 32. Follow-up Information <ul><li>Trinidad Exec Study Report: Join FirstCuts by sending email to </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion: Visit our blog at </li></ul>