Cross-Cultural Diversity and Inclusion to Enable Success

To succeed in the highly competitive global market, business leaders must find ways to get the highest level of contribution from the workforce and how well, or how poorly, employees contribute directly relates to the business leader’s ability to manage diversity and build an organization that leverages employee cross-cultural competence and builds a culture of inclusion where people are counted as the most important asset.

5 Things Heard in Workplaces that Need Cross-Cultural Training

  1. “Why can’t they just say what they mean? We can’t be expected to read minds!” Symptoms include: hearing a lot of “us” vs. “them” polarizing discussions or comments; employees encamp themselves with one group or another, without much effort to learn where “they” are coming from, not to mention finding common ground.
  2. “I give up. They are completely useless!” Symptoms include: outbursts of frustration showing loss of motivation and/or a resigned attitude; employees vocalizing strongly about issues with another group, and losing willingness to work with the other group, or even to meet them halfway on issues; giving up on working with the other team.
  3. “I don’t understand. This process worked just fine at the home office.” Symptoms include: expectations about processes and how they’re followed, e.g., meetings, tardiness, problem-solving, decision making, communication and a multitude of other issues will vary widely between cultures, sub-cultures and different corporate cultures as in the case of Mergers & Acquisitions.
  4. “You don’t understand how things work here.” Symptoms include: employees feel the differences between their location and the headquarters aren’t effectively dealt with, are glossed over, or are not recognized at all. Although declaring and communicating an organization-wide culture or set of organizational values is useful in providing some direction and common ground, they should only be considered a starting point. Values are detected with actions and words – the behavioral interpretation of those values. We can all call excellence, respect, and integrity by name, but how we act out those values day-to-day – in behaviors and words – is highly influenced by our own cultural context and how we’ve been taught to express those values.
  5. “How hard can it be? People are basically the same everywhere.” Symptoms include: assuming that you can navigate a few local legal loopholes and talk to the right people, to start churning out business American-style, New York-style, or California-style is misguided at best, and can lead to failure, and / or financial implications.

Measuring diversity and inclusion for any given organization can look like a simple task at the outset. You count people — by race or ethnicity, by gender or sexual orientation or gender identity, by physical ability or age. The problem is that counting people does not automatically translate into people counting — or an inclusive organization where every person’s ideas and contributions are heard and respected.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • learn how globalization and technology are impacting economic trends
  • define cross-cultural diversity and inclusion as it relates to team and organizational performance by shifting one’s thinking from equating culture with nationality to understanding cultures as groups or communities sharing common influences, values, norms, and behaviors.
  • explore the business case for cross-cultural diversity and inclusion: the correlation between diversity / inclusion and performance, financial trends, creative and innovative practices as well as talent attraction and retention
  • learn skills to bridge and leverage cross-cultural differences
  • determine an action plan for the answer to the question: “What must we do to successfully navigate the cultures having the most impact on our business or mission?”