Tag Archives: Education and Training

Why employers value intercultural skills


New research shows that employers around the world value staff who understand the role of culture at work. Source: www.britishcouncil.org

What do employers understand by ‘intercultural skills ?

  1.  Ability to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints.
  2.  Respect for others’ and ‘adapting to different cultural settings
  3.  Accepting cultural differences
  4.  Speaking foreign languages
  5.  Open to new ideas and ways of thinking

 How do employers evaluate job candidates for intercultural skills?

  1. Strong communication throughout the interview and selection process
  2. The ability to speak foreign languages
  3. Demonstration of cultural sensitivity in the interview
  4. Experience studying overseas
  5. Experience working overseas

 What Is Your Company Doing To Develop Intercultural Skills ? 

See on Scoop.itInternational Career

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: 

Lousy Leaders Coddle


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Coddling leaders are safe; compassionate leaders dangerous. Coddling, like all leadership behaviors, reflects attitudes about yourself and others. Coddling isn’t compassionate it’s needy, misguided..(read more on leadershipfreak.wordpress.com )

Anne Egros‘s insight:

It is true that knowledge and experience are often on the way of creativity and therefore prevent other people to experiment and grow. We learn from our failures more than from successes.

Compassion unlike coddling encourages people to try new things and to step out of their comfort zone with confidence even if it hurts or if they get some bruises on the way.

You don’t learn to bike by seeing others doing it, falling is part of the learning process and compassion is like the helmet and the protection gear to make sure you don’t get permanent damages.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-Nietzsche

Related articles:

Why Leadership Training Doesn’t Work

Leadership Follies – Doing is Not Developing

 

Avoiding Cross-Cultural Faux Pas – Career Skills From MindTools.com


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Learn some common mistakes to avoid when traveling or working in a different culture.

Quote from the article:

The Importance of Cultural Awareness

It’s not just professionals working overseas who need to learn cross-cultural business etiquette. Stop and think about how many different cultures you come into contact with at work.

Even if you work in your home country, your colleagues and suppliers could hail from other cultures. Your organization might decide to acquire or merge with an organization in a different country. And your customers, too, may be located in dozens of countries worldwide.

Considering Cultural Differences:

Consider the following questions when thinking about how a culture might differ from your own:

What values does this culture embrace? How do those values compare with those of your culture?How do people make decisions, conduct relationships, and display emotion?How does this culture treat time and scheduling?What are the social rules and boundaries surrounding gender?How does this culture display and respect power? Which authority figures are revered?How do individuals relate to their employers?How do people in this culture communicate? How direct are they in what they say and mean?

Key Points

Cross-cultural awareness is an essential skill, regardless of whether you’re working overseas, leading a cross-cultural or virtual team, or dealing with a global customer base. Learn about the culture of the country where you’re doing business to avoid cultural mistakes, and to demonstrate respect and understanding.

Research key differences in decision making, relationships, dress, food, dining, and social etiquette before working with or traveling to a different culture. Your hosts will notice your efforts, and appreciate that you took the time to learn about their culture.

Read more on www.mindtools.com

Cultural intelligence cannot be learned by simply visiting different countries for few weeks, learning languages, attend cross-cultural webinars or read books.

Cultural intelligence is acquired by being exposed directly to cross-cultural  challenges at work and everyday life, preferably with family.

 

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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Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global


The fast-paced changes of our societies have affected all industries and is changing the nature of work for the next 10 to 15 years. There are three major challenges for the workforce of the future increasing pressures on organizations to become innovation centered, highly productive and a magnet for global talent :

1-Shifting demographic patterns: Over the next 10 years, the world population is expected to rise from the current 6.83 billion to approximately 7.7 billion, with most of the growth in emerging markets generating  high economic growth. We already see an aging and declining population in developed countries with slow economic growth.  U.S. and European businesses are dealing with the challenges of a multi-generational workforce with three distinct generations Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Employers will need to develop highly individualized solutions to accommodate the career needs of each generation. We will not see long careers of 10 or more years in one company but maybe 6 years with either functional or geographic changes every 2 years. The youngest  generation  will probably have 15 to 20 jobs during their career and multiple jobs at the same time because that is what they want to do.

2-Rapid technology changes: From nanotechnologies to neuroscience discoveries, many new technologies will be developed and globalization will continue to drive the utilization of advanced mobile technologies reshaping the workforce with increased telecommuting,  virtual  teams and overall more work flexibility.

3-Economic globalization  In our information overloaded global work environment, knowledge is not a competitive advantage anymore as it goes out of date extremely fast and anybody on earth with an internet connection has access to it in real-time. The critical skills to be successful in the new working environment are vision and  foresight.to anticipate or respond to change very quickly, make wise decisions and take action now to create a better future.

More than a year ago,  I had the chance to listen to Seth Godin “live” in a promotional event in Antwerp about the launch of his book “Linchpin”. I collected about 10 very interesting new ideas from his speech that I posted on a blog : “TOP 10 Seth Godin’s Quotes Made in Antwerp, Belgium. April 1, 2010”

Seth Godin is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. His idea about our current economy is that the current recession is a “forever recession” because it’s the end of the industrial age, which also means The end of the average worker (Read more : article )

Nobody will ever be the only one on the market AND people have an infinite ways to access information. Humans evolved from Hunters, Farmers, Workers and now they have to be Artists-Seth Godin

HOW DO YOU BECOME UNIQUE  ?

1-You don’t need to become somebody you are not. Your uniqueness has to be authentic, you need to know who you really are, what is your dominant character, talent, personality, skills, strengths, what motivates you, what’s your passions in life ? How is your  business acumen and leadership style ? Can you summarize all those information in a compelling story for potential employers or clients?

2-You need to remove blocks that prevent you to excel at being truly you: fears, unmet needs, negative self-talk, lack of training and anything that is holding you back.

3-You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: No matter how old you are, how life has treated you in the past, how much money you have or how many debts, you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. You need to let your right brain expresses emotional intelligence and free the artist in you. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.

BE SOCIAL, BE GLOBAL !

You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world smaller and smaller everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

You cannot claim to be a global leader if you have visited many countries as a tourist. It is like learning swimming in a book, you need to get into the water and get wet .

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and of course online through many specific forums and social media.

Continued learning in a large variety of topics every day will become mandatory.

Where do you see careers heading in 2012 and beyond ?

 Have you invented your future yet ?

Related articles:

Is Someone Stealing Your Time ?


The answer to that question is YES and most probably the person is YOU!

For small business owners like me Internet is really a double edge sword. I have access to people from all over the world and get my business ideas and clients mostly online. I am really enjoying learning about what makes my clients wake up at night, their issues and hot topics in their industries. I spend a fair amount of time managing my emails, paying bills online, read many magazines and articles and participate actively in online group discussions, writing articles and testing new marketing tools.

If you use your time instead of paying someone to help you create your social media content for example, it is easy to fell into the trap of wasting too much time online on non-important activities and get distracted. You need to be conscious about  how you spend your resources and time is your most precious asset. It might be difficult to calculate a ROI on your time spent on each online platform but you need to have a social media strategy (WHO to target, WHAT to say , HOW to communicate and HOW to measure the impact of your efforts.) you also need a good discipline and effective time management tools.

The frontier between professional and private usages of the internet is becoming more and more fuzzy with the development of social media and mobile technologies,  As a consequence it is becoming harder and harder to stay focused on the bottom line and multitasking is decreasing productivity, tremendously.

People compensate partly by working longer hours but this is not sustainable in the long run especially if you become sleep deprived. Employees from small or large organizations are increasingly facing similar issues in time management.

How Do You Manage Your Time Online To Be More Effective ?

Here the seven habits I have already implemented:

1-I do not switch my computer on in the morning before I clean my desk and make my “to do list” for the day on a piece of paper.

2- Doing first things first: I focus on what is important and urgent first: pay the bills on time, shop, cook, clean before I make any contact online unless it is part of my to do list

3-I allocate time to spend on each social network and best timing to reach my favorite friends and target audience,

4-I use a timer to control my time online: Better spend 15 minutes 4 times per day (every 2 hours or so) than one hour at once except when I am blogging or working with clients.

5-Make sure  I spend 80% of my time planning, reading and sharing content that  brings value to my specific audience.

6-Allow me to spend 20% of my time online for fun: chat with friends, share funny videos or quotes, put serendipity at work.

7-Use tools to save time without losing interactivity as nobody likes talking to robots, so I follow people manually but use Buffer.com for example to send content while I am sleeping since my audience is living worldwide.

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