I am often asked to provide the reference of one good book that summarizes what people should know about intercultural competences. The response is difficult to give as
understanding the challenges that must be addressed in international environments are complex and suppose a familiarity with a large number of
For example, I could suggest a good book in cross-cultural communication... it would tell you 'HOW' to say things when dealing with people from a specific cultural background. But it will not tell you 'WHAT' to do... and the objective of performance in a foreign setting often challenges WHAT we are doing in our home country. Our effective recipe at home may not work abroad...
Assessing what we need to do differently and how differently to do it is often daunting. The response cannot be found in a cross-communication book. You may have to read several books but even then you will only learn about cultures and uncovers that the adaptation to a foreign culture challenges your objective of performance.
For example, if you plan to delocalize a production unit in a country where people do not live by the proverb that 'Time is money' you will quickly have a problem with productivity. So you will understand that either you do not delocalize or you will impose local staff to adopt your view that Time is money.
That means dis-respecting one of the local staff belief about Time... If you do that, how should you handle the situation? Would the disrespected staff not become inefficient if you impose your perception of time?
How to achieve this? that is not written in a book nor in the intercultural literature nor in the business one. Very few intercultural experts propose to help you in handling this matter! But I can help you!
How to enhance your performance across borders ?
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A.S (Monday, 23 November 2015)
Very interesting post to start to learn about the way to enhance business performance in a multicultural environment.