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The Benefits of Cross Cultural Competency

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This presentation features a scenario about top managers who have a cultural misunderstanding. Their misunderstanding jeopardizes a key business outcome: The integration of the global retail operations of their employer. The top managers need to develop cultural competency, including the skill of switching behavioral styles. This presentation also includes information about the contrasting problem-solving styles of Germans and US Americans.

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The Benefits of Cross Cultural Competency

  1. 1. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 1 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 1 1 The Benefits of Cross- Cultural Competency ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 2 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2 Why is learning about Culture Important? • There are different expectations and conventions around  the need for information  taking initiative  working in teams...
  3. 3. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 3 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3 Effectiveness is Culturally Framed You need to: – Know how others may perceive you/your approaches – Be sensitive to the differences between your values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, and those of others – Know how these differences might impact your effectiveness
  4. 4. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 4 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 4 Scenario: Integrating Retail Operations • Robert Anderson is a Senior Manager for a retail chain with operations in North America and Western Europe • The company is expanding into several Eastern European countries, and Mr. Anderson has been assigned to work under Andrej Cernak, the VP of Operational Integration for Eastern Europe
  5. 5. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 5 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5 Scenario: Integrating Retail Operations • During their meeting, Mr. Cernak describes the implementation plan and Mr. Anderson's responsibilities as well as the role he is expected to play • Mr. Anderson expresses his enthusiasm for this opportunity – he calls it a fun adventure – and tells Mr. Cernak that he is optimistic about the chances for success • Mr. Anderson assures Mr. Cernak, “It’ll be great fun working with everyone on this challenge!”
  6. 6. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 6 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6 Scenario: Integrating Retail Operations • Mr. Cernak explains to Mr. Anderson that he may need to be cautious and reticent in his interactions with his new colleagues, in order to establish his credibility and let them see that he is a serious professional • Mr. Anderson is quite taken aback by Mr. Cernak's remarks and replies to Mr. Cernak that if everyone approaches this with a positive attitude, the integration roll out will be successful
  7. 7. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 7 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 7 Scenario: Integrating Retail Operations • After the meeting ends, both men are quite concerned as to whether this assignment can be successfully completed
  8. 8. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 8 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 8 Debrief: Managing Interactions Across- Cultures • What may be considered “best practice” in one culture may be ineffective, or counter-productive, in another Robert Anderson smiles. But his expression of optimism is NOT effective
  9. 9. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 9 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9 Debrief: Style Switching • What we do/say might strengthen or weaken our ability to effectively work with, lead, sell to, influence, and motivate others • To work more effectively with Andrej Cernak, Robert Anderson should consider changing his behavioral style • Changing one’s behavior to align with the preferences of others is called “style switching”
  10. 10. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 10 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 10 Style Switching • Style switching is an aspect of intercultural competence, of working effectively across cultures Geert Hofstede: “…intercultural competence starts with awareness … recognition that one carries a particular mental software”
  11. 11. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 11 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11 The Lens of Culture One can describe culture as an iceberg: •There is a lot you can not see •It can be difficult and dangerous •There is more to it than meets the eye
  12. 12. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 12 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 12 What is Visible (above the line) Cultural signs and symbols - language, food, clothing, art, architecture, music, behaviors What is Beneath the surface 1. Our upbringing impacts our assumptions and values 2. Behaviors are shaped by our values Culture as an Iceberg
  13. 13. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 13 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13 Gaining Intercultural Competence To develop his cross cultural competence, Robert Anderson would need to: •Be open to and interested in differences •Build his cultural knowledge •Avoid stereotyping •Withhold assumptions •Remember the needs and preferences of his audience or listener •Express himself clearly (use concise language, enunciate words, limit the use of slang and jargon)
  14. 14. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 14 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 14 Learning about Culture: The Time-Consuming Way • Cultural anthropologists provide deep knowledge about culture as a system of meaning (mostly qualitative research)
  15. 15. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 15 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 15 Learning about Culture: The Time-Efficient Way • Using surveys to discover correlations and differences* (Quantitative approach) • In Hofstede’s framework, cultural values are organized along six dimensions – Each dimension is a continuum – At each end of a continuum is a distinct value orientation *Helga Nowotny, The Cunning of Uncertainty
  16. 16. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 16 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 16 Hofstede’s Comparative Framework • Initially based on employees of IBM subsidiaries in 40 countries around 1970 • Extended to 76 countries and regions • So far, 6 major research programs replicated the framework (elites, employees of other corporations, airline pilots, consumers, civil servants) • Hundreds of others replicates one of more dimensions and their orientations Source: Hofstede webinar to ITAP International
  17. 17. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 17 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 17 Hofstede’s Comparative Framework • Scores show a country’s position on each dimension relative to other countries  See: www.hofstede- insights.com/product/compare-countries/ • Results are very stable – even as cultures shift, they shift together so relative country scores remain valid Source: Hofstede webinar to ITAP International
  18. 18. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 18 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 18
  19. 19. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 19 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 19 1. Individualism (Individual or Group Orientation) - the degree to which action is taken for the benefit of the individual or the benefit of the group 2. Power Distance (Hierarchical or Participative Orientation) - the extent to which the less powerful expect and accept that power is distributed unequally 3. Certainty (Need for Certainty or Tolerance for Ambiguity) - the extent to which people prefer rules, regulations and controls, or are comfortable with ambiguity Which Hofstede Dimensions Are Relevant for Robert Anderson?
  20. 20. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 20 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20 4. Achievement (Achievement or Quality of Life Orientation) - the degree to which we focus on goal achievement and work, or quality of life and caring for others 5. Time Orientation (Long- or Short-term Orientation) - the fostering of virtues that promote a long-term (perseverance and thrift), or short- term time horizon (preserving present benefits) 6. Indulgence (Indulgence or Restraint) - the tendency to allow relatively free gratification or the conviction that such gratification needs to be Which Hofstede Dimensions Are Relevant for Robert Anderson?
  21. 21. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 21 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21 Advantages of Each Orientation Individual Orientation Self-reliance Group Orientation Interdependence Hierarchical Orientation Discipline Participative Orientation Acceptance of Responsibility Need for Certainty Precision Tolerance for Ambiguity Innovation Achievement Orientation Efficiency Quality of Life Orientation Custom Outputs & Personal Service Long-Term Orientation Developing New Market Opportunities Short-Term Orientation Fast Adaptation Individualism Power Distance Certainty Achievement Time Orientation Indulgence Orientation A sense of well-being Restraint Orientation Work-ethic Indulgence
  22. 22. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 22 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22 Indulgence vs. Restraint …the tendency to allow relatively free gratification of basic human drives related to enjoying life and having fun, or the conviction that such gratification needs to be curbed and regulated by strict social norms. INDULGENCE Don’t worry, be happy! Think positive! RESTRAINT Remove severe restraint and what will become of virtue? There are limits to self-indulgence, none to self-restraint. Netherland and USA=68 Brazil=59 Germany=40 China=24
  23. 23. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 23 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 23 Debrief: Indulgence vs. Restraint Questions: For which orientation do you think each person has a preference? 1.Robert Anderson has a a. Indulgence Orientation b. Restraint Orientation 2. Andrej Cernak has a a. Indulgence Orientation b. Restraint Orientation
  24. 24. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 24 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 24 Debrief: Indulgence vs. Restraint • To work more effectively with Andrej Cernak, Robert Anderson should consider changing his behavioral style: Show his serious side as required Understand that enthusiasm may be mistaken for lack of self-control Expect that Andrej Cernak may be more reticent and guarded in his interpersonal interactions than what he might be accustomed to. This does not mean Andrej Cernak is unapproachable
  25. 25. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 25 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 25 Debrief: Impact on Profits • If Robert Anderson would not adjust his behavior, the integration of the retail operations might fail • If Robert Anderson adjusts his behavior, then the integration has a higher chance of success
  26. 26. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 26 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 26 The Competitive Advantage of Cross- Cultural Competence • Organizations that have managers and employees who possess cross-cultural competence have a competitive advantage over organizations in which this is not the case
  27. 27. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 27 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 27 Which Organizations are Interested in Cross-Cultural Competence? • As a general rule, organizations are ready to invest in cross-cultural competence after they have already made importatn gains in efficiency by Restructuring... Out-sourcing work to low-cost centers... Investing in technology...
  28. 28. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 28 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 28 German • The perfect solution is sought • Negative issues are examined in great detail • Mistakes are seen as negative • Regulations determine what you are permitted to do US American • A fast appropriate solution is sought (Just do it!) • Negative issues are reluctantly brought into the open • Mistakes are seen as growth opportunities • Regulations determine what you are not permitted to do A Benefit of Cross-Cultural Competence: Problem-solving Styles Source: Moosmueller, Alois, Kulturen in Interaktion: Deutsche und US-Amerikanische Firmenendsandte in Japan, Waxmann Verlag, Münster, 1997
  29. 29. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 29 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 29 Germans tend to… Americans tend to think… Americans tend to… Germans tend to think… Project Meetings … get down to business “They are cold and unfriendly” …begin with small talk “They are wasting time.” … present detailed plans “How can they discuss details at this stage?” … begin with brainstorming “They are not prepared for the meeting.” …express criticism openly “They don't like each other/me” …be enthusiastic about all ideas “They are not sincere.” Project Process … work individually on the task assigned to them … believe clearly defined milestones guarantee success “They don't communicate or work as a team” …hold frequent meetings; change tasks as circumstances change … believe continuous contact guarantees success “There are too many meetings; we can't get our work done.” Source: TWIST Consulting/ITAP Germany A Benefit of Cross-Cultural Competence: Bridging problem-solving Styles
  30. 30. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 30 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 30 The most important perceived goals of business leaders vary across cultures: • The executive (US): Growing the business • The manager (Britain): This year’s profits • The family manager (India): Continuity • The family entrepreneur (Latin America): Family interests • The entrepreneur (Hong Kong): Profits 10 yrs from now • The founder (Germany): Responsibility towards employees Source: 2005 Hofstede, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind 263 A Benefit of Cross-Cultural Competence: Working Across Leadership Styles
  31. 31. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 31 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 31 A Benefit of Cross-Cultural Competence: Working Across Leadership Styles • Brazil: Team oriented, participative, humane. Leaders who are high on consideration and have charisma. How work group should function and its goals • France: Do not expect leaders to be humane and considerate. Task oriented. Charisma valued. Articulate strategy and how it will be attained
  32. 32. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 32 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 32 Which bidding practice expresses the right values? Which bidding practice is ethical? •No open bids. Contracts are awarded to family members, friends and trusted members of one’s network •Request for proposals are issued, yet contracts are offered within one’s network •Request for proposals are issued, and contrasts are offered to the most qualified. A Benefit of Cross-Cultural Competence: Strengthening Ethical Conduct
  33. 33. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 33 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 33 • ITAP is one of only 2 companies worldwide endorsed by Dr. Hofstede and approved to represent his research "This [approval] is due to their professionalism and deep understanding of my work.” • An Ivy League university partners with ITAP to certify its coaches in the CWQ ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  34. 34. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 34 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 34 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  35. 35. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 35 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 35 ITAP CWQ database includes over 8,000 respondents. Results correlate highly with Hofstede’s data. The CWQ application is currently available in: – English – Latin American Spanish – European Spanish – French – German – Korean – Chinese – Questions and instructions only (not the report) are in Danish and Japanese ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  36. 36. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 36 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 36 Hofstede Country Culture Analysis Australia Hofstede Country Culture Analysis Germany Hofstede Country Culture Analysis Mexico Hofstede Country Culture Analysis China Hofstede Country Culture Analysis India Hofstede Country CultureAnalysisUnited Arab Emirates ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  37. 37. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 37 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 37 ITAP is prepared toITAP is prepared to provide demonstrationsprovide demonstrations of its Intellectualof its Intellectual Property to qualifiedProperty to qualified licensorslicensors ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Who licenses the CWQ? •Human Resource professional in large organizations •Consulting firms seeking the capability to assess cultural values at the individual, group and organizational levels
  38. 38. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 38 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 38
  39. 39. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 39 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 39 Improving Competitive Advantage • Our services focus on: 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 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  40. 40. CULTURAL HARMONY: WORKING IN A MULTI-CULTURAL COMPANY 40 ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 40 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 www.Itapintl.com cbing@itapintl.com SKYPE: CatherineBing ©2017 ITAP International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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