Developing Intercultural Competence of Global Leader: An Action Learning Approach

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International trade and across-borders investment have accelerated strongly over the last decades. Business goes beyond the country borders, and never before have we seen that the world became so closely interconnected. Thus resulted that more and more corporations and organizations facing increasingly culturally diverse groups to manage and to deal with, internally and also externally. Hence it indicates the increasing needs of systematic development of intercultural competence and sensitivity for leaders and professionals at all level.

Recent studies and best practice examples on building intercultural competence and sensitivity for different target groups, incl. senior leaders and young professionals will be presented. Subsequently different learning and development approaches will be discussed, highlighting on the examples from Germany, China and other Asian region.

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Developing Intercultural Competence of Global Leader: An Action Learning Approach

  1. 1. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity to Make Global Business More Effective: An Actions Oriented Learning Approach by  Prof.  Dr.  Hora  Tjitra  &  Daisy  Zheng Global Learning Track Cologne, October 14th 2010
  2. 2. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change IJV: Building High Performance Team in the Top Management_v1.0 / 2010-08 2 14 years in Germany 7 years in China Born and grew up in Indonesia Prof. Dr. Hora Tjitra – Cross-cultural and Business Psychology Dipl.-Psych.,Technical University of Braunschweig Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management Dr.Phil.,University of Regensburg Intercultural Psychology and Strategic Management Executive Education,INSEAD HR Management in Asia
  3. 3. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Index 3 1 Why do we need intercultural competence? 4 2 Understanding Intercultural Competence & Sensitivity 11 3 Developing Intercultural Competence & Sensitivity 15 3.1 Preparation for International Assignment 16 3.2 Developing Intercultural Competence of Young Professionals 20 3.3 Developing Intercultural Sensitivity of Global Managers 30 3.4 Other Approaches 35
  4. 4. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Why do we need Intercultural Competence & Sensitivity? 4
  5. 5. The world is flat ... 5
  6. 6. The world is flat ... 6
  7. 7. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Most of the High-Tech Product is a Global One 7 sourcehttp://blog.chinatells.com/2010/08/4575
  8. 8. ... and need “intercultural competence” Global Leader 8
  9. 9. 9 Who are “GLOBAL LEADERs” ?
  10. 10. “Global Leader” - A Working Definition Global Leader / International Manager National Leader / Local Manager 10 Chairman of Telkom Indonesia CEO of Siemens CEO of China National Petroleum President of World Bank CEO of Lenovo President of US US Secretary of State
  11. 11. Global Leader ≠ World-Class Leader Superior / Boss Internal PartnersExternal Partners Team members / Employees Who are the stakeholders of the organization? What are the impacts of their decision? Power Influences Impact 11
  12. 12. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 12 Decision Makers & Corporate Strategist HQ Employee Headquarter Expatriate Local Employee Third National Employee Foreign Offices Tjitra, 2000 The Player in a Global Business Environment
  13. 13. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Understanding Intercultural Competence & Sensitivity (ICS) 13
  14. 14. WHAT is Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity? “To be effective in another culture, people must be interested in other cultures, be sensitive enough to notice cultural differences, and then also be willing to modify their behavior as an indication of respect for the people of other cultures ” (Bhawuk and Brislin, 1992) Intercultural Competence Technical knowledge & skill Motivation Stress tolerance Respect for differences Harmony preservationSelf Control Awareness of communication symbols Language skill Verbal & non verbal expression Attribution process of information Cultural empathy Intercultural Sensitivity Intercultural Communication Competence 14
  15. 15. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Intercultural Competence = Cross-cultural Adaptation ? ? ?
  16. 16. Is Cross-Culture Adaptation a Universal Value? Andere Länder, andere Sitten. Allá donde fueres, haz lo que vieres. À Rome, fais comme les Romains. 郷に入っては郷に従う. Lain ladang lain belalang, lain lubuk lain ikannya. 入乡随俗 16 Tolerance? Differences Harmonization? Heightened Sensitivity?
  17. 17. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Preparation for International Assignment 17
  18. 18. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 18 When to Use the Training: International Assignment • Developing expatriate-profiles and conducting selection • Preparation of the expatriates and their families (e.g. cultural awareness training, etc.) • Conceptualization of an escorting system during the assignment (e.g. coaching, mentoring, etc.) • Return planing and reintegration seminar • Internal marketing to motivate employee for international assignment Marketing Selection PreparationSupporting Reintegration International   Assignment Different types of cultural awareness training is helpful for each stage of the circle 10% - 50% of expatriates returning early from their assignment. Expatriates’ difficulties are costly for MNCs, ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. (Eschbach et al., 2001)
  19. 19. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 General Cross Cultural Awareness Training Design 19 Lunch Dinner Break Break Day 3 … on the Way to Cross-Cultural Synergy Personal Charter & Learning Plan Day 1 Critical Situations in Working Places My understanding of others: Self and other perception Culture & Management: Working in International Environments Cultural Encounter Situations Learning in Action Short Lecture & Discussion Joint Dinner Case Study: Cross-cultural Leadership Day 2 Communication Across Cultures Role Play: “First Meeting” Case and Role Play: Conflict Management and Team Building
  20. 20. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 How Effective is a Cross-Cultural Awareness Training in Developing Intercultural Competence? 20
  21. 21. 21 “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Learning is a process whereby the learners study their own actions and experience in order to improve performance. While classroom learning focuses on presentation of knowledge and skills, action learning focuses on research into action taken and knowledge emerges as a result that should lead to the improvement of skills and performance.
  22. 22. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Developing Intercultural Competence of Young Professionals 22
  23. 23. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 International Employability: German-Chinese Culture Program 23 Program background: • An applied research and learning program, collaboration project between RheinAhr Campus of FH Koblenz (Germany) with the School of Psychology, Zhejiang University (China). • The program is funded by the BMBF as part of the German-Chinese Scientific Year Program. • Getting to know the culture-specific conditions of studying and working in China and Germany. • Defining central competencies necessary for German and Chinese employees to be successful in the foreign job market. • Defining central competencies necessary for German and Chinese students in the foreign science context. • Developing cultural sensitive assessment procedures. • Designing intercultural media for assessment and learning. Main objectives of the program:
  24. 24. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Program Overview 24 Best Practice Discussion • Company visit in order to learn from the real-world • Round table discussion with senior professionals Classroom Learning • Cross-cultural communication and management • Intercultural competency and sensitivity • Applied I/O psychology in international environment Social Learning • Knowledge search, screening and acquisition on internet • Experience sharing and group cooperation via web 2.0 tools Action Learning • Work in Chinese-German multicultural team • Tasks focused on I/O psychology application in international environment Culture Experience • Ten days in China & Ten days in Germany to explore Chinese and German culture and lifestyles One month One month
  25. 25. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Knowledge Acquisition through Classroom Learning 25 • International study and management research • Working in multicultural environment • Effective communication across cultures • Conflict management across cultures • Intercultural competencies in German-Chinese cooperation • Intercultural assessment and training for German-Chinese cooperation • How to apply the assessment center technique in MNCs • Human capital in German-Chinese cooperation
  26. 26. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Action Learning: Chinese-German Group Work 26 Video-based Learning and Assessment Development of InterculturalAssessment Tools Best Practices inRecruitment Intercultural Impression Management
  27. 27. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Social Learning through Web 2.0 Platform 27 Program website: information release, program agenda update, tips sharing, etc. Online discussion forum via web 2.0 platform: Chinese-German group work communication, result report, experience, reflection and feedback sharing, etc.
  28. 28. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Exploring Culture and Lifestyles 28 Exploring Chinese culture Living in German culture
  29. 29. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Learning from the Real World: Company Visit & Discussion 29 SAP Labs, China BOSCH, China (round table discussion with GM) BMW, Germany Giesecke & Devrient, Germany SAP AG, Germany (round table discussion with former VP of SAP AG)
  30. 30. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Various Result from Intercultural Competence Accelerated Learning Project 30 Above averageBelow average Performance average Monocultural teams Intercultural teams Intercultural teams • Normally intercultural teams show either a below or above average performance. • This results amongst other things from the handling of different cultures. Adler, 1997 Current Productivity Potential Productivity Process Loss Intercultural Team Performance Curve
  31. 31. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Reflection & Feedback from Participants 31 • It is very cool to sit on a round table and have dinner together. • The traffic jam not only occurs in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but also in smaller cities, e.g. Hangzhou, Ningbo, etc. • In Germany, everything has its rule and everything should be done in order. • In China, advertisement pictures could be different from the real product, esp. some product declare the differences on the ads. While in Germany, it is considered as illegal. Explore another culture by experiencing it Commonalities and differences across cultures • I found that the Chinese and Germans have a lot in common, it is not that hard to communicate with each other. Meanwhile, the problems or dangers in cross-cultural situations are much bigger than I expected before. • There is a big difference in understanding the gesture between Chinese and German. • Chinese people try to avoid a dispute or an argument. • Young Chinese are not as shy or indirect as I thought before, but they are still more conservative than us (Germans). • Germans are more direct in showing their emotions than us (Chinese). • China is a hierarchical society, even nowadays China is less hierarchical than ten or twenty years ago, we are still more hierarchical than Germany. Sometimes the “face saving” also links with hierarchy issue, but Germans never consider about this, which is quite different from us. • Chinese people have the habit to establish relationship in workplace during the leisure activities, while the Germans prefer to differentiate workmate and playmate clearly.
  32. 32. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Developing Intercultural Sensitivity of Top Managers 32
  33. 33. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Intercultural Competence: The Underlying Impact on Business Performance 33 OBJECTIVE Improving communication and cooperation between Chinese and foreign parts & Achieving common understanding on organizational vision and strategy BACKGROUND - Chinese-European joint venture with main business in high-tech industry, has more than 5000 employees and an annualized yield of about 4 billion yuan. - The surge capacity from business, intensive industry competition, and ineffective cooperation and communication between Chinese and foreign staffs became the big challenges to the business development. EXPECTED RESULT - Understanding organizational situation clearly from different perspectives - Exploring challenges the organization faced and identifying critical ones - Discovering influencing factors for different challenges - Developing action plan for the future implementation
  34. 34. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Cultural-Based Organization Diagnostic, Strategic Workshop and Follow-up Solutions 34 • We took cultural impacts into consideration during the whole process of the project, especially the cross-cultural differences between Chinese and Western cultures. • Employees from different levels of the organization took part in the organizational flash analysis, in order to build strong foundation for the strategic meeting of top management team. Preliminary Study Flash Analysis Strategic Workshop Project / Team / Individual Coaching Effective ... Agreed on Objectives Analysis & Agreement Implementation Performance Improvement Organizational Analysis and Critical Challenges Exploration
  35. 35. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 We Found Out ... 35 Mis-Understanding Inappropriate cultural expectation to the counter part Different cultural background and orientation Inefficient intercultural collaboration • Differences in cultural values, social norm and traditions • Different working styles and decision making processes • Cultural differences have big impact on communication and cooperation • Difficulties in local adaptation, incl. politics, business practices, social influences, personal relationship, etc. • Different understanding of “being professional” • Diverge in management concept and practice • May not know that the others do not know • May not know how much the other can understand • May not know what you can do to help the other understand you
  36. 36. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Participants’ Reflection: 36 demonstrates their significant clearness about the organizational strategy and willingness to cooperate between Chinese and foreign parts Understanding across cultures • It is important for me to get the awareness how cultural differences influence our communication and understanding. It will be helpful for the cooperation with my foreign partners in the future work! • I realize that cross-cultural issues influence on our working approach, team spirit, organizational strategy, and action agreements. • The seminar is wonderful! It creates an open and free atmosphere to encourage the communication between the Chinese and foreign parts. • I enjoyed the open communication during the plenary discussion very much. I hope we could keep the openness from now on to get much better performance and achieve our goals more effectively! Open communication • I feel we are a team, a team of this company. • The feeling of “We are ...” gives me the confidence to solve our current problems and also the success in the near future. • We begin to get common understanding in organizational strategy and development. Clear strategic vision Our participants said ...
  37. 37. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 Other Approaches to Enhance Intercultural Competence 37
  38. 38. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 38 Cross-Cultural Coaching - Fit for China (18 hrs coaching) • Individualized Assessment and Coaching approach: ... a one-on-one development process formally contracted between a coach and a management-level client to help achieve goals related to professional development and/or business performance (Valerio & Lee, 2005). Biography & Personality In-Depth Profiling Interview Interviews w. Superiors around 9 months Short Lecture Overview on China Coaching discussion Critical Incidents Behavioral Coaching Intercultural Competence • Facts and Figures about China • Short history and recent development of China • Business and management practices in China & APAC • Recent cross-cultural studies on Chinese consumer behaviors • 3 hours classroom • Coaching discussion on case studies and critical incidents in different management areas in China and APAC. • Coaching discussion on personal experiences in China and APAC in the first month • 4 * 90 min either f2f or phone or email • Observation on the real culture encounter situations, e.g. meeting or daily interaction in the office and/or private • Coaching feedback on the observed situations. • 4 * 90 min either f2f or phone or email Behavioral Coaching Feedback & Development Plan • Coaching feedback on the assessment • Coaching on the creating development plan • 90 min in-depth interview 2*45 min interviews with superiors 90 min feedback 90 min development plan
  39. 39. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 39 Global MBA / EMBA Program
  40. 40. Excellence through Culture, Talent and Change Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 40 An International Management / Leadership Program Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. Flashanalysis&Materialdevelopment Nine-months Action & Web-based Learning Assessment & Profiling Team Coaching & Profiling Individual Coaching Individual & Team Development Creating aspirational organization (1) Action Learning Kick-Off - Event 1 - 3 Days in Singapore - Event 1 - 3 Days in Singapore Managing social network & enterprise knowledge - Event 2 - 3 Days in Germany Multiple Modules Classroom Learning & Benchmarking Study Leading transformation & diversity workforce Benchmark Study - Event 4 - 4 Days in China - Event 4 - 4 Days in China Developing Corporate Strategy & Technology Innovation Creating asp. org. (2) - Event 3 - 4 Days in Switzerland - Event 3 - 4 Days in Switzerland Final Presentation & Graduation - Event 5 - 1 Day in Indonesia Knowledge Acquisition&Possession Knowledge Utilization&Optimization
  41. 41. Developing Intercultural Competence and Sensitivity_v1.0 / 2010-08 41 ✓ What did your organization do in ensuring the success of its internationalization process (global business)? ✓ How effective were so far those interventions? ✓ What were the barriers and challenges in doing more in this respect?
  42. 42. Thank You contact us at htjitra@zju.edu.cn http://horatjitra.com Global Learning Track Cologne, October 14th 2010 http://twitter.com/htjitra

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