Category Archives: Russia

Conflit en Ukraine : contexte historique (avec des pincettes) • NEW POINT de VIEW


Mini rétrospection factuelle de l’histoire russo-ukrainienne — regard neutre sur le pugilat entre les deux Ukraines non-arrangé “occidentalement”

See on Scoop.itLife in Moscow From an Expat Perspective

Cet article offre une bonne analyse en profondeur de la situation en Ukraine avec  a la fois une analyse précise des faits historiques a l’origine du conflit et une explication sur les valeurs culturelles Russes.

Les valeurs cultures Russes en particulier celles liées a l’argent, a leur façon d’être fiers d’endurer les pires situations ou leur patriotisme sont tellement différentes de l’occident que les sanctions Européennes et Américaines ne font que souder les Russes autours de leur leader même avec un rouble dévalué de 30 % et  une inflation galopante de  20 ou 25 % sur les produits alimentaires.

Source: www.newpointdeview.com

Viewing the Ukraine Crisis From Russia’s Perspective


James Joyce’s famous statement that “history is a nightmare” from which we should try to awake, aptly describes current events in the Ukraine.  All nations involved in these events are biased by the remembered, misremembered, forgotten, and mythologized history they carry in their heads.

Source: www.counterpunch.org

 “Our national memories have the passion and power to drive us blindly to hatreds and to war”

History is actually biased opinions based on popular stories that people believe as facts and do not challenge. Those stories are used to exacerbate our patriotism: “our stories” versus “the “enemy stories”. Stories are used in propaganda  to manipulate the public opinion toward a common goal : eliminating the “enemy” and to consolidate political power, financial interests etc.

For example, Hillary Clinton, on March 5, said that Putin’s concern for Russians in Ukraine is like Hitler’s concern for Germans in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

This is a very good example of manipulation:

Labeling Putin as “Hitler” is a sure way to activate a demon in the American national memory and to mobilize the United States to again fight the evil personified (just like Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Chavez, Allende or Gaddafi , to name a few of many leaders that have been called “Hitler” by American politicians)

Russians are looking at Ukraine as increasing the threat of being invaded. After the collapse of the USSR, many previous Soviet republics in Eastern Europe are now members of NATO with military bases. Ukraine and Belarus are actually the last soviet republics that are not EU members.

Each era of  Russian history has had its military super-power, and each super-power in turn attacked Russia: Turks, Poles, Swedes, French, Germans, British, and Japanese have each invaded Russia more than once.

See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

How Do You Develop Global Leaders ?


Globe

In the article ‘Global Mindset Secrets of Superstar Expats” published  by Thunderbird School of Global Management, the authors argue that immersing executives in different cultures does not produce effective global leaders as they often fail to learn how to deal with the complexities of their work environment.

To lead is to be able to influence people who are not thinking and behaving like you. In my experience learning to lead across cultures is a mix of formal leadership development training aligned with corporate values and multiple international assignments in places with very different cultural values and dimensions (https://zestnzen.wordpress.com/tag/cultural-dimensions/ )

I challenge the concept of “‘global mindset” as it is often interpreted as an “ethnocentric” way of doing business aka “western”. You can have all the attributes listed in this article and fail to adapt your leadership style to one specific country. Applying participating leadership and asking employees to take initiatives doesn’t work well in Russia for example, while Americans appreciate leaders who grant autonomy and delegate authority to subordinates.

Successful leaders in developed economies are different from successful leaders in emerging economies.

In a Forbes’ article,  How Does Leadership Vary Across the Globe? results of a  study show that it is important to adapt leadership style to a specific culture and not try to apply  “Americanized” management principles. The skills set and competencies of leaders in different countries vary.

The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Project (GLOBE) is an international group of social scientists and management scholars who study cross-cultural leadership. According to GLOBE researchers, leader effectiveness is contextual, that is, it is embedded in the societal and organizational norms, values, and beliefs of the people being led. In other words, to be seen as effective, the time-tested adage continues to apply: “When in Rome do as the Romans do.”

To gauge leader effectiveness across cultures, GLOBE researchers empirically
established nine cultural dimensions (adapted from work of Hofstede) to capture the similarities
and/or differences in norms, values, beliefs –and practices—among societies. The cultural dimensions can be used in intercultural leadership training.

Related Articles: 

You Are What You Speak: How Language Influences Behaviors


Montage of languages. Prototype header for the...

Montage of languages. Prototype header for the language portal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If our language shapes the way we think, it also impacts the way we behave.

In its presentation, Keith Chen ask the question: Could your language affect your ability to save money ? The author gives various examples on how same information is delivered very differently from one language to another. For example in English, the following sentences:  “it has rained”, “it is raining” or “it will rain” are translated in Chinese in only one sentence because the information about time in the verb is never mentioned.

He called  “futured languages,” those like English that  distinguish between the past, present and future, and “futureless languages,” those like Chinese that use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Chen found that huge economic differences accompany this linguistic discrepancy. Futureless language speakers are 30 percent more likely to report having saved in any given year than futured language speakers

Unlike English, many languages have a grammatical gender system. For example French, Spanish, Russian or German languages use genders for inanimate objects. Cross-linguistic differences in thought can be produced just by grammatical differences even when the person speaks English.

Different languages divide color space differently. Some colors like “Yellow and “Orange” for example don’t have different names in certain languages but it does not mean that people don’t see the differences. Unlike English, Russian makes a distinction between lighter blues (“goluboy”) and darker blues (“siniy”). These differences have a direct impact on the way meaning is attributed to colors.

Language, cultural rules, norms, personal experience etc., all influence the way we interpret what we see,hear or feel in a very complex manner. Words are interpreted as thoughts and thoughts trigger behaviors.

In doing business in different countries, global companies need to deliver messages to consumers or employees that can be interpreted in the right way. Corporate culture and employee training programs for example should be adapted to local culture and delivered in local language. For global executives and expatriates, intercultural training can be done in English but should be highly personalized and designed based on the culture and experience of the recipients. Looking at differences and similarities between languages can give many clues on what is appropriate or inappropriate behaviors.

 Related articles: 

Research Findings: The Value of Intercultural Skills in the Workplace


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Culture at Work: The value of intercultural skills in the workplace —A survey conducted by the British Council, Booz Allen Hamilton and Ipsos Public Affairs, of HR managers at 367 large employers…Posted on 2013/03/20 by Dianne Hofner Saphiere. See full article on blog.culturaldetective.com

Intercultural skills are crucial in the development of businesses internationally. However it is often difficult to identify employees who have the right combination of skills. Most HR managers of large multinational companies think that intercultural communication skills are beneficial to keep good reputation, build trust with overseas clients and partners, increase productivity and increase sales

The top 3 most important skills valued by employers are :

  • RESPECT
  • BUILDING TRUST
  • WORKING EFFECTIVELY IN DIVERSE TEAMS
If self-training through international assignments and working in multicultural projects are encouraged, employers are also expecting that educational institutions do more to equip students with intercultural skills.

Russia was not mentioned in this study but with the fast-changing pace of the economy, it is clear that there is the same need for more formal education on intercultural skills by education providers such as:

  • Teaching communication skills
  • Offering foreign language classes
  • Availability of opportunities for students to gain international experience
  • Development of international research partnerships.

Based on my experience, not only basic rules or cultural etiquette need to be learned in context but the ability to develop strong bonds on a personal level needs emphasis too.

Cross-cultural programs should not be dissociated from corporate culture but instead used to create a “third culture” so that all employees globally feel they share the same values.

If you look at companies such as Starbucks, not only the customer experience is the same everywhere but the corporate values too.

Read more about Starbucks here : What To Learn From A Brand That Is Trusted Globally?

What Do You Think Of Intercultural Programs Offered in Your country By Universities and Business Schools ?

Who Needs Cross-cultural Training ?


Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

This article posted in  www.expatica.ru is giving a great overview about cross-cultural training

Expatriate failure is defined in literature in a variety of ways, with intentions to leave listed prominently

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Tailoring cross-cultural training programmes to the individual’s situation

Cross-cultural trainings should start by the selection of the best candidate for a specific international assignment. Succesful international leaders share some personality traits such as:

-Active listening skills

-Curiosity

-Emotional intellligence

-Global strategic thinking with understanding of local issues/market

-Influencer

-Life long learner

-Creative

-Diplomatic

Expectations and goals should be clearly defined as well as the key performance indicators including both contribution to local and global performance with in mind long-term impacts of the decisions taken during a short-term (2-3 years) mission. Including colleagues of the host country in the decision process is also a good idea.

Ideally, the family should be assessed too or at least get pre-departure cross-cultural trainings and transition coaching

See on www.expatica.ru

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