In addition I've spent all my working life meeting and working with thousands of wonderful colleagues from all over the world in my healthcare management career.
Some of the challenges this brings include creating a common language and understanding the subtle (and often not so subtle) differences we have, depending on our nationality, our upbringing and our work experiences – in other words, the culture we live and work in.
It has become clear to me – often through mistakes I’ve made - that we are all different; generalisations are not helpful; and what make us tick is as different sometimes as chalk and cheese. Failure to recognise and respect those differences is a huge deficit. Like most managers, I imagine, I’ve learned mainly through experience about these things. I have delivered training workshops on the joys of diversity and I’ve read a few articles on the subject. But I've not found an easy to read guide about all this … until now.
For anyone whose work involves understanding cultural diversity and the nuances of different cultures (by the way - that means ALL of us) I recommend with great enthusiasm a book I’ve just finished reading;
“Managing Across Cultures - The Seven Keys to Doing Business with a Global Mindset”
This book by Charlene M Solomon and Michael S Schell is crammed with practical ideas and suggestions of how to work in a multi-cultural business world. It gives the reader an opportunity to assess one’s own cultural position on each of the seven dimensions considered by the authors as the key planks in recognising and working in a multi-cultural business world.
The book includes real world scenarios where ‘missing the trick’ of recognising, and more importantly, respecting cultural differences is not just an unfortunate oversight that can cause offence. It can also mean failure on the bottom line financially in a big way and result in missed business expansion opportunities.
As I read the book I found myself saying that this stuff is actually more than about how to manage across cultures. It is in fact about managing - full stop. I suggest the kind of respect and awareness called for in this book is as applicable working within a single culture population.
I congratulate the authors for such an insightful and brilliant reference book that will be regularly used by this trainer/consultant in my work.
The world is becoming a very small place. I often say that I now have more friends that I don’t know and may never meet than those I have met. “Managing Across Cultures” is a book I highly recommend.
It is written in an 'easy to read' style that I suggest ‘travels’ across cultures which of course means the authors are also 'walking their own talk.'