We all have an individual approach to life, work and relationships. In every relationship we manage differences by understanding the other’s view point. Relationships become more complex in global organizations, where teams are working across cultures, time zones and virtual technologies. Globalization has made the corporate world more connected, complex and competitive. The ability to function effectively across different cultures has never been more important. It’s not always easy to understand why someone acts the way they do, but if you could receive advice on how to manage differences wouldn’t that make life easier?
Needless to say we could all benefit from more cultural intelligence in the diverse world we live in. That’s why Country Navigator can be used in many ways across organizations. Here’s a few examples of how our clients use Country Navigator.
Culture is incredibly complex. At its simplest, it’s a set of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors shared by a particular group. In reality, anyone managing a global team will know that culture impacts working relationships, motivations and even productivity.
You may pride yourself on your people management skills, offering empathy and guidance to your team, only to find that what constitutes positive feedback for one team member, is perceived as negative from another. As an example, when it comes to coaching and feedback across different cultures, it’s not only the ‘how’ that matters, it’s a matter of how it is perceived in the first place. In the USA, feedback is direct and task focused and more commonly used for promotion and salary decisions rather than for developmental purposes. Meanwhile in Japan, an employee often doesn’t receive any feedback on his or her evaluation for fear that direct feedback may demotivate employees and make them feel inferior.
Underestimating the impact of cultural differences in global teams can lead to misunderstandings, misalignment and missed opportunities. Leveraging the value from cultural differences, however, can lead to breakthrough thinking and more effective collaboration.
How global leaders use Country Navigator
- Team leaders can use Country Navigator to compare the cultural differences across teams using the cultural comparisons feature. The comparison highlights the differences across a scale of 9 dimensions. This can identify where potential conflict might arise or why someone might be a stronger candidate for a particular task.
- A team leader can analyze the behaviors and tendencies of their subordinates by reviewing their cultural profile. They can review their working style across 9 dimensions to understand their approach to work, e.g. how they communicate, how they interact within a team how risk adverse they are etc.
- Access the Global Academy for role specific advice and guidance on how to develop your global leadership skills.
Learning outcomes for global leaders
- Understand how to motivate and inspire cross cultural teams by understanding their perspectives and expectations.
- Country Navigator enables leaders to be aware of differences between team members and where conflict may arise. Discover strengths and weaknesses of team players based on their approach to work and map out development plans based on feedback.
- When a manager adopts a multicultural team they can get up to speed on dynamics and personalities by reading up on their cultural profiles to understand how best to motivate, inspire and provide feedback to enjoy they get the best out of everyone in the team.
- Country Navigator enables leaders to gain a deeper understanding of 100 cultures and therefore adopt an inclusive mindset to become a more accomplished global leader.
- Leaders can orchestrate more effective collaboration across cultures resulting in greater productivity and efficiency.
Relevant learning topics for global leaders
- Motivating and inspiring different cultures
- Managing relationships and teamwork
- Giving feedback across cultures
- Negotiation and decision-making
- Delegating and supervizing
- Overcome barriers to collaboration
- Managing virtual team workers
- Succeeding globally
- Leading in a global context
- Developing an effective global leadership strategy
- The competencies of global leadership
- Operating effectively across the matrix
Global team workers
Each culture has a unique approach to communication, team work and, problem solving. When these views aren’t appreciated in the workplace issues can arise, including miscommunication, missed deadlines, inefficiencies and even conflict. It is important that team leaders manage these differences, however individual team members can make a huge difference by understanding how their colleagues approach work and learn how to work more effectively when working across cultures. Effective teamwork is built on trust and understanding your teammates’ perspectives and expectations. And with technology making it easy to collaborate with colleagues around the world, understanding their diverse cultural backgrounds—and knowing how to tap into their strengths—is critical to long-term success.
How global team workers use Country Navigator
- Complete your cultural assessment to gain self-awareness and understand your personal approach to work.
- Compare cultural behaviors and tendencies with colleagues and countries for increased understanding.
- Pick from 100 cultures and explore each in depth across a wide range of topics.
- Complete the Country Briefings which include a structured learning path for a variety of cultures and test your knowledge with a quiz at the end.
- Explore the Global Academy for role specific topics and learn how to work across multicultural teams and virtual technologies.
Learning outcomes for global team workers
- Develop an awareness of how culture might impact on a colleague’s working style and learn how to adjust to improve your working relationship and ability to communicate more effectively.
- Understand the way colleagues behave and communicate based on individual culture and personal styles.
- Appreciate your colleague’s strengths and build trust for effective collaboration.
- Understand how culture impacts relationship building.
- Build meaningful and productive relationships across cultures with managers, colleagues, suppliers and clients.
- Develop cultural self-awareness & strategies for navigating through differing work-styles.
Relevant learning topics for global team workers
- Making a good impression
- Business etiquette
- Time management
- Communication styles and approaches
- The effects of culture at work
- Communicating effectively
- Working across distance and time zones
Relocating can be exciting but also very stressful when unprepared. Country Navigator has everything expats need to know about their new host country, from weather, currency and politics to meeting etiquette and management styles, helping new expats settle into their new life and ensuring their assignment is a personal and professional success.
International assignments are costly and organisations want to ensure they get their return on investment. Currently 50% of assignments fail due to expats and their family being unprepared for the move. Make the most of your investment by giving your assignees the tools they need to productively work from day one. Support assignees and their families through the entire expatriate life cycle, from preparation and settling in to repatriation.
Don’t let culture shock ruin an expat assignment. As an employer, you must prepare your assignee to tackle the challenges of living abroad and working in a global business environment to ensure not only their success, but also your company’s success.
How international assignees use Country Navigator
- Before embarking on an assignment, employees can complete their cultural assessment and discover which cultures they are most aligned with in terms of attitude and approach to work.
- Expats can compare their working behaviors and tendencies with a national average and review the similarities and differences and gain advice on how to bridge gaps.
- Once an employee knows where their assignment will be they can explore the Country Guides and read over 50 articles about their new host culture to understand how to make a good impression, business etiquette, dress code, business entertaining, relationship building, economic and political news and views, currency, travel, history and influences.
- To test cultural knowledge expats can explore Country Briefings and take a structured learning path to navigate one culture. At the end of the courses learners can test their knowledge and understanding of the culture.
- Expats can gain a deep understanding of any key business culture (over 100) to analyze whether it would be a good fit for themselves or with a partner or family.
Learning outcomes for international assignees
- Prepare for your move with a deeper knowledge of how your new host country works
- Learn how to manage the challenges of living and working in a foreign culture
- Embrace the culture and language and understand how to navigate business and personal relationships with ease.
- Whether you are travelling alone or with your family be prepared for the culture shock by learning all about the law, approaches to diversity, and social culture to ensure you settle in and make friends.
Relevant learning topics for international assignees
- Business culture of new host country
- Business etiquette
- Meetings & presentations
- Business entertaining
- Use of interpreters
- Leadership styles across cultures
- Managing Conflict & disagreements
- Economical & political conditions
- The law and how it might impact the assignment
- Characteristics of society
- History & influences
- Lifestyle & aspirations
- The language
- Useful phrases
- Travel & survival
- Weather & climate
- Attitudes to money
International business travelers
The cost of pitching new business isn’t cheap. Don’t waste the opportunity by not preparing properly. Don’t understand the impact of cultural differences when it comes to a business deal. Many elements are impacted by culture – negotiation, trust, hierarchy, communication. Silence in one culture can be a negotiation skill, in another it can mean disagreement.
International business travelers need cultural awareness training quickly when embarking on a new business deal. They need to get up to speed on their prospect’s culture and understand how it might impact communication, presentations, their relationship and negotiations.
How international business travelers use Country Navigator
- When embarking on a business deal with a new prospect you can compare your cultural profile with a specific culture to understand how your working style differs and gain advice on how to bridge gaps for success.
- International business travelers can prep for trips by understanding the culture of their destination. They can explore the Country Guides and navigate over 50 articles for specific advice on how to do business in a specific culture.
- To deepen your knowledge of a specific culture, explore the Country Briefings section of the Country Navigator app to take a structured learning path. Learn everything you need to know about the culture and how they approach new business relationships and how to ensure you close the deal. Complete an assessment to test your knowledge and
- For frequent travelers there is a Flight Pack which allows you to save your most accessed information, for example you can save your cultural comparisons, country guides and country articles for quick access.
- Access the Smartphone app when travelling for quick access to advice like what to consider when giving a presentation, how to greet someone in their own language, making decisions and negotiating.
Learning outcomes for international business travelers
- Learn how to give engaging presentations across cultures
- Learn how to greet different cultures and how to make a good impression
- Understanding how different cultures approach new business relationships in terms of trust and negotiations.
- Learn how to successfully close a deal in a foreign culture.
Relevant learning topics for international business travelers
- Making a good impression
- Making contacts & scheduling appointments
- Forms of address
- Dress code
- Useful business terms
- Business etiquette
- Business meeting culture
- Effective presentations
- Business entertaining
- Travel and currency
The benefits to clients of using Country Navigator
The benefits our clients experience from using Country Navigator are wide and varied, here’s just a few to sum up:
- Greater innovation through diversity of ideas and approaches to work and problem solving
- Profitability and cost saving due to increased productivity – this can be a result of time saving, more effective communication, quicker decision making and making better decisions for the business
- Speed and efficiency when working across cultures
- Promote global team collaboration and enhance communication
- Effective short-term and long-term international assignments
- Becoming an employer of choice for showing diverse and inclusive mindset
- Multicultural team effectiveness
- Improved morale due to less team conflict
- Clearer defined leadership and strategy
- Work effectively with global clients and vendors
- Support international travelers to achieve success in global markets
- Expansion into new global markets
- Understand colleagues’ daily realities and challenges
WRITTEN BY TERRENCE BRAKE
Terence Brake is an author in the global learning & development field and has over 20 years experience helping executives to work better across cultures.