Diverse teams are more creative and solve problems faster. But differences between people can get in the way of effective collaboration. Often, we do not discuss our differences. Instead, we pretend to collaborate well, but at best we simply “tolerate” others. Multicultural and multi-site teams struggle on, pretending all is fine. Their real potential is not realized.
I work with multicultural teams to help them embrace their diversity. They discover and explore their differences, rather than suppress or ignore them. When our differences become the topic of discussion, we can start to see the unique views of those who are different, and learn from them.
Diversity & inclusion
It can be uncomfortable to inspect our differences under a magnifying glass. Both sides have to be curious about each other. True growth and innovation come from exploring nuances: not from fighting about extreme positions. Inclusion of different people and ideas is the means to the end: a team performing at full potential.
My workshops go way beyond introducing the five dimensions of culture. Why? Because you decided to buy the workshop to address a problem in your team. And quite likely that problem was not a lack of understanding about cultural dimensions. You were interested to change something in the way your people behave, communicate and collaborate. So let’s focus on that.
Thanks to the internet, communicating internationally is a daily reality. Doing business overseas is the default. While our generation struggles with virtual teams and video conferencing, our children will work in ‘interconnected, office-less networks of on-line professionals’. Modern enterprises should prepare for this: in the future, knowledge will be shared instantly across the world and talent will reside anywhere.
In the coming years, the importance of the quality of our intercultural communication will only increase. And anyone who is involved with global suppliers, customers or partners will encounter cultural differences. Do you let these differences get in the way of a good operational result, or do you make sure they provide a positive contribution to your business? I choose the latter, and I know from experience this is possible.
Simple measures can be taken to transform cultural differences from barriers into sources of inspiration. I hand these concrete tools and tips to your team, such that their differences become the origin of innovation. New ideas and insights do not get born in isolation: they emerge form a healthy business environment in which differences of opinion are valued and used.