The world has become flat. That is how Thomas Friedman (2005) describes globalisation in his book 'The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century'. We can communicate without limit, do business across boundaries and engage in international collaborations without hinderance of time and distance.
Digitally, everything is possible. But in real life the road to each other is not flat at all: confronted with other ways of working, other ways of doing, other starting points – different per (sub) culture – many do face misunderstanding, conflict, delays. Therefore, learning to effectively deal with cultural diversity has become the success-factor in our current global society.
Different aspects require attention:
- Intercultural coaching deals with cultural sensibilities and differences, and is useful for individuals and organisations to become effective in a mulit-cultural or international context.
- Policy on cultural diversity can be an valuable instrument to make sure that co-workers and clients of different backgrounds are seen and used with respect to their authentic potential. Differences often create new services and new products, and therefore contribute to innovation.
- Intercultural communication is one of the most challenging competences, but one you can learn. Especially for intercultural negotiation and international management this competence is a key-condition for success.
- Organisational culture is a core element of succes of the enterprise/ organisation, and is influencing very many aspects. Internal and external. Sometimes something in this organisational culture is hindering the progress of the enterprise. In this situation, it is important to detect what element exactly is the obstacle, and try to change it. This is only possible with the participation of all invloved, and never by a simple management decision.
- Multi-cultural teams/ interdisciplinairy teams normally experience more disagreements and conflicts than homogeneous teams. Together with the team we can assess the current collaboration, and develop tasks and behaviors that are more harmonious and complementary than before.