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.

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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  • 1. Managing Across Caribbean Cultures Framework Consulting High-Stake Interventions. Nov 9th, 2006
  • 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. Agenda
    • Background Studies
    • Starting Points
    • Challenges
    • Recommendations
  • 4. 2001-2002
  • 5. Study of intra-company Anti-Trinidadian Sentiments 2006 Study: Trinidadian Executives in Jamaica – 2006 (underway)
  • 6.
    • Surveyed 38 staff members in the company in focus groups, individual interviews and online surveys
    • Interviewed 30+ Trinidadians outside the company
    • Secondary research
    • “ Why Workers Won’t Work”
  • 7.
    • “ Is there a significant anti-Trinidadian sentiment?”
    • NO – but there will continue to be anti-Trinidadian “rumblings”
  • 8.
    • Starting Points
  • 9. False Assumptions A Home-Country Bias
  • 10. A Cultural Difference Exists
  • 11. Trinidadian vs. Jamaican Workers Educational Difference Emotional Workplace Maturity Respect, Disrespect, Pride and Shame Informers and Authority
  • 12. Educational Differences and Disempowering by Following-Through
  • 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. Emotional Workplace Maturity: “ Switching Gears” seems like duplicity
  • 15. Respect and Pecong / Informality
  • 16. Informers and the Greater Good “ Informer Fi Dead” Loyalty to a person? Where is the greater loss?
  • 17. Authority, Status and “All a We is One’
  • 18. Heavy community involvement vs. Shareholders first? Cosmopolitan Assertive: – the best
  • 19. Boardroom Challenges
  • 20. Developing the Caribbean Manager
  • 21. Demanding Regional Posts
  • 22. Preparing Your Family
  • 23. A Capacity to Self-Reflect
  • 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. Sensing the public mood Gauging key relationships Crafting communication
  • 26. Sensing the workforce mood Hearing and making sense of “mutterings” or weak messages
  • 27. Gauging the “space” or “mood” of a live group
  • 28.
    • Non-verbal cues
    • Active listening
    • Following intuition
  • 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. Other Recommendations
    • Decide: The company’s shared culture is missing (there is only a Trinidadian way.)
    • Repair: Use the re-creation of a shared culture to repair the relationship with workers
    • Create: A 2-way orientation program for managers and new staff (and board)
    • Offer structured regional rotations
  • 31. Agenda
    • Background Studies
    • Starting Points
    • Challenges
    • Recommendations
  • 32. Follow-up Information
    • Trinidad Exec Study Report: Join FirstCuts by sending email to
    • Discussion: Visit our blog at