How a Corporate Hack became a Global HR Leader [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Four countries, four cultures, four MBA universities Throughout his almost 20-year corporate career Matt Burns has had the opportunity of working for companies with operations around the world. Currently, he is in what he describes “the midst of a mid-career renaissance,” as he is completing an International Executive MBA program at four universities in four countries. This academic globe-trotting is serving …

cultural assessment

The Culture Assessments You Need to Master Global Business in 2018

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure Most of you have probably heard this axiom before. It is attributed to leadership and management thought leader Peter Drucker who argues that without collecting and analyzing data we have no way of tracking whether and how we are reaching our goals. If your goal this year (notice that we’re not talking about …

Making the Top Ten Lists in 2017

Taking inventory and being grateful As 2017 is drawing to a close many of us are stepping back from day to day routines and work schedules in order to reflect on the year that was and to recharge for the new year. We take inventory and celebrate our successes. Among the biggest reasons to celebrate for our team at The …

Teheran, Iran traffic

Why your perceptions of Iran are probably wrong [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Three countries in seven years For many Western expats the list of destinations for an overseas work assignment often include countries among the developed economies as well as the leading powers among the developing nations. So living in Australia and Indonesia might not be considered unusual for a student and young professional from Germany. However, relocating to Iran – a …

leadership

How leadership differs across cultures

What makes leaders good in the workplace? That depends on where in the world your workplace is. But one thing is clear: in most situations today, good leaders need to be able to manage across cultures. This means listening to what people are saying and understanding it; reading between the lines, rather than simply reacting. Leadership today requires a high …

Why failure is no fiasco and rather feedback [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Rachel Smets shares her confidence hacks for moving abroad On this episode Rachel Smets, author of “Awaken Your Confidence,” shares her experiences of moving abroad and living in different countries. Born and raised in Belgium, she currently resides in the Netherlands. She left home in her mid-20s and moved to Spain where she landed her first job abroad. Over the years, Rachel has lived in …

Buddha Boy Monk Silence

When silence doesn’t mean the same thing in different cultures

“Speech is silver. Silence is golden” This is a widely-used saying that many people in many countries are familiar with. And silence also has many different meanings in cross-cultural communication. Silence can be used to intimidate; or to save face; to show respect; or it can simply suggest that the other person is relaxed enough in your company to enjoy a …

What do expatriates want?

Take the survey Are you currently an expatriate on a foreign work assignment? Have you lived and worked abroad in the past? Are you considering taking a position overseas? Then this survey is for you! Please take a minute to answer these short questions for expats. This brief questionnaire is designed to help us better understand how people who live …

Nazis not welcome

How do we respond to hatred and bigotry? [The Culture Guy Podcast]

An attempt to digest the Charlottesville riots and the rise of violent hate groups in the United States This episode begins with a different song, as it covers different terrain. I recorded it on August 13, 2017 under the fresh impression of the white supremacist “protests” in Charlottesville, VA (USA). You’ll notice that I am struggling to find the right words. …

Mastering a mixed marriage in Indonesia [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Silke Irmscher talks about transitioning from Saxony to Java On this episode Silke Irmscher, founder of Culturenergy, tells her story of how she left Germany and fell in love with Indonesia and, in fact, found love on the island of Java. Silke has been living in Indonesia for more than 15 years and together with her husband, Ri Yanto, she …

Culture is not shocking – unless you want it to be

Are new encounters really shocking – or simply unfamiliar? When preparing people for life and work abroad cultural trainers often address the issue of culture shock. Sometimes this may sound like there will be a wave of negative experiences and emotions crashing on the shores of expat existence. Let’s set the record straight on this: The idea of a shock isn’t …

First talk and then perhaps drink to connect across differences

Yes, the Heineken commercial is genius. How can we connect across differences, if we allow our differences to define us? In light of the recent political and societal trends towards even more polarization and populism this is a fair question to ask. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Dutch brewing company Heineken released an image film in April 2017 which hit …

No need to force cultural agility upon others [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Marie Gervais talks about Nabil from Nottingham and being allergic to rice in Japan On this episode Marie Gervais, the CEO of Shift Management, Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), shares how she learned that people can be plotted on a continuum of cultural rigidity. Sometimes people’s positions on this continuum changes over the course of a lifetime, but sometimes it does …

Learn from U.S. Commercial Service & The Culture Mastery about business in Latin America

Helping U.S.-based businesses become more successful when working with Mexico and Colombia With Latin America as the closest and one of the largest markets for U.S. business, companies that want to succeed have to overcome challenges and meet opportunities of intercultural communication with their Latin American counterparts. The U.S. Commercial Service is partnering with The Culture Mastery for a workshop which will provide …

Teach the relevant skills in your business training to see your global teams rise

Which competencies are the most in demand for international business? And what type of business training do companies need to invest in to ensure their talent pool is equipped with the competencies required to succeed in markets around the world? These are questions which continue to come up in the conversations with our clients. Consequently, the next question usually is: How do …

When moving within the U.S. feels like going from Morocco to Finland [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Melissa Hahn shares how the question of identity can shape a relationship between partners from different cultures. She also describes how the geographical distance within one country can equal that of the opposite ends of a continent. Born and raised in Arizona, Melissa has had many opportunities to travel and live abroad and to experience other cultures. However, the first time …

Why creating a habit of hearing is critical for understanding “the other”

Form a custom of listening before distributing opinion You read it on this website before: Many people in “Western” cultures have forgotten or unlearned to listen to each other. This is not only the case when debating politics, it is also true for encounters across cultures. It’s certainly so when politics and culture meet. And John Wykoff will tell you it is best addressed by developing …

The secret of mastering a mixed-culture marriage [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Carmen Ring explains why tolerance will only get you through the first year of an intercultural relationship Born in Ploiești, Romania – at a time when the Iron Curtain was still closed and her country was governed under the dictatorship rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu – Carmen now lives in New York State with her American husband and their toddler son. …

A sci-fi lesson for real-life cultural understanding

Note: This article contains spoilers for the movie Arrival. Read at your own discretion.   How a Hollywood movie can help interculturalists teach connection One of the best science-fiction movies of the past decade has a beautiful lesson for people who strive to better communicate across linguistic and cultural borders. While the central theme of Arrival ostensibly is that of the communication challenge …

“Chinese bastards”: What we can learn from Daimler’s cross-cultural incident

When emotions hit a high, intelligence drops to a low Whether we like it or not: Sometimes people lose their temper and act out against others. And it is usually not a pretty picture. When this happens to company leaders on foreign assignment it can create a ripple effect with far greater reach than the untamed emotional release itself. In 2016 a cross-cultural incident …