Cultural Fluency Changes the Game
February is Black History Month. It’s also time for good wishes to many of your Asian colleagues for the Lunar New Year. Which year? The Year of the Snake was 2013. 2014 is the Year of the Horse.
Diversity or Cultural fluency is more than knowing a little about another demographic group, or respecting differences. It is a deep, persistent awareness of the invisible ways in which we all see the world differently. It’s also an ability to anticipate how others might see a situation.
CQ or CI (cultural intelligence) is a learned skill and has huge value in business and community life. A culture is not merely national or ethnic: it can be generational, gender, professional, organizational, regional, linguistic etc.
The overlapping diverse cultures around you shape the way you see “the way we do things around here.” Cultures tell you what to eat or wear, how to manage time and rules, what you think of tattoos, or how detailed a contract should be. Cultural directives feel “right.”
A colleague or customer with a diverse or different cultural orientation also feels that his/her worldview is right. Unfortunately, that idea of “the way things should be done around here” might be quite different from yours.
This month, I recommend two articles. The first article is a follow up to the Harvard Business Review report that CQ (cultural intelligence) is the most important competence for successful global business. It lays out a five-item vision of where cultural fluency training should be going. http://www.trainingmag.com/node/12670. I’d suggest that you pick one item and “make it happen.”
The second article is a story of an expensive, international software project that collapsed because of a lack of cultural fluency skills. It was saved from disaster when a CI expert came to the rescue, but the whole problem could have been prevented by some basic training. http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/ASTD-Links/ASTD-Links-Articles/2013/02/Training-for-Trust-Across-Cultures. Log in to read the whole article, or you can email me for a synopsis.
CPS remains Tampa Bay’s resource team in the diversity and cultural field, with global experience in culture fluency, organizational development and instructional design. CPS has strong hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, strategy, sales, technology, innovation and management.
Hilton’s cell phone is 813 598 9180. Mine is 813 598 9184. You can contact Greg Ross-Munro on 813-679-0873.
May the Year of the Horse be good to you,
Happy New Year: At this time of the Lunar New Year, CPS wishes all our customers, suppliers, friends and associates health, happiness and prosperity during the Year of the Snake.