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Getting Started in the Field of Cross Cultural Learning and Organizational Development

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Here is advice on how to embark on a career in cross-cultural learning and organizational development from John Bing, founder of ITAP International. The presentation begins with a consideration of one's motives for seeking a career in this field. It suggests where one might look for work. It then discusses John Bing's career path starting with his service in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan. After founding ITAP, John Bing collaborated with Geert Hofstede in the creation of the Culture in the Workplace QuestionnaireTM (CWQ).

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Getting Started in the Field of Cross Cultural Learning and Organizational Development

  1. 1. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Getting Started in the Field of Cross-Cultural Learning and Organizational Development Advice from John Bing, Founder of ITAP International, Inc.
  2. 2. Career Advice from John Bing • John Bing, ITAP’s founder, has 50+ years experience in cross-cultural learning and organizational development. • Here is his advice for those seeking to work in this field. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2
  3. 3. Caveat: Experience-Based Advice • The advice in this presentation is grounded in experience, not research. • Research might contradict some of the advice in this presentation. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3
  4. 4. Personal Reasons to Enter this Field • People choose a career in cross-cultural learning and organizational development for personal reasons. • For John Bing: Growing up with parents who had different cultural backgrounds. The excitement of binocular vision and seeing two cultures in depth. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 4
  5. 5. Idealism as a Reason to Enter this Field Cross-cultural learning and organizational development is one of the few areas of work that can counter provincialism and nativism and encourage cosmopolitanism and cross- border understanding. • It may not save the world, but the field nudges the world in the right direction. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5
  6. 6. Many Potential Employers • Individuals with expertise with crossing cultures can find employment as practitioners and or researchers in: 1. Higher education 2. Nonprofits 3. Government 4. Business ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6
  7. 7. Many Potential Employers: Academia and Government For deeper insights into opportunities in academia and the government, consider that • Academic journals can suggest the departments in colleges or universities in which cross-cultural research is the strongest. • A number of government agencies conduct cross-cultural research, including the Peace Corps and the Department of Defense. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 7
  8. 8. Many Potential Employers: Small Businesses • Small businesses: Some start their own business while others join a small group of practitioners: – Caution: Starting one’s own business requires sufficient financing and a strong business plan. Any deficiencies at the start may become part of the business’ DNA. – Small businesses rarely have the resources to conduct meaningful research. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 8
  9. 9. Many Potential Employers: Consulting Organizations • It is rare to find positions exclusively for cross-cultural consultants in large consulting organizations. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9
  10. 10. Many Potential Employers: Large Businesses • Large progressive businesses sometimes have specialists in Human Resources or Organizational Development who focus on development or organizational change that incorporate cross-cultural research. – Geert Hofstede’s research began at IBM. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 10
  11. 11. Bridging Research and Practice • The use of research-proven approaches is meaningful to many clients and develops a scientific foundation for the profession. – Consider making research part of your practice. • Practitioners that bridge research and practice are in a strong position to add value to their clients’ organizations. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11
  12. 12. John Bing’s Career Path • Peace Corps in Afghanistan. • Peace Corps Office of Training. • A nonprofit in Estes Park, Colorado, where he developed the first Peace Corps cross- cultural training manuals based on an experiential approach. – Until then, the training has been based on area studies lectures and readings. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 12
  13. 13. John Bing and ITAP • John Bing founded ITAP in 1986 (formerly International Training Associates of Princeton). • Forging strategic alliances with other firms, ITAP serves global clients across multiple geographies. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13
  14. 14. Four Windows Approach • Early on, a client of ITAP wanted insight into cultural differences within a group. • This led to the “four windows” approach to differences. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 14
  15. 15. Four Windows Approach to Differences Within a Group (1 of 2) • Individual (or personality): Can be measured by personality inventories such as the MBTI. • Cultural: Can be measured by approaches such as Geert Hofstede’s and the Culture in the Workplace QuestionnaireTM that John Bing developed in collaboration with Dr. Hofstede. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 15
  16. 16. Four Windows Approach to Differences Within a Group (2 of 2) • Environmental: Primarily economic measures, such as GDP, unemployment, degree of inequality, etc. • Organizational: Organizational practices, as they influence employees. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 16
  17. 17. The Four Windows Approach • Each of these factors influences individual behaviors. They’re important to consider when teaching clients about other geographies. – Practitioners may add additional factors. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 17
  18. 18. Bridging Research and Practice • John Bing forged a business agreement between ITAP and Geert Hofstede. • ITAP developed the Culture in the Workplace QuestionnaireTM (CWQ) based on Hofstede’s Values Survey Module (VSM). ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 18
  19. 19. ITAP’s Research • Recent analysis shows that the data collected through ITAP’s Culture in the Workplace QuestionnaireTM and Hofstede’s VSM are correlated. • The research helps show that Hofstede’s results have been consistent over time. ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 19
  20. 20. ITAP’s Work with Clients ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20 Clients turn to ITAP for help with: 1. Global talent retention and development 2. Effectiveness of the senior team and mission critical global teams 3. Global leader and global workforce development 4. Cross-border transformation and change Ensure that culture is an asset, not a barrier in your global business.
  21. 21. 21 Clients often testify to the positive results achieved from ITAP’s tools & approaches You showed your commitment to building our relationship by giving us content up front, before we even had an agreement. German/US American Medical Devices Company This is impressive work. You have captured the voices of each of the groups. Thanks – we know you've gone beyond the contract. VP of Diversity at a global pharmaceutical company Without hesitation, ITAP exceeded our very high expectations. We will look forward to partnering with you again in the future. Organizational Effectiveness Group Manager at a global financial services company ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. 22 Questions? Call us... Catherine Mercer Bing CEO, ITAP International, Inc. Managing Director, ITAP Americas, Inc. 353 Nassau Street, First Floor Princeton, NJ 08540 USA (W) +1.215.860.5640 (M) +1.609.937.1557 http://www.itapintl.com cbing@itapintl.com SKYPE: CatherineBing ©2016 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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