Author Credit: The Culture Mastery
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 New Year’s resolutions, which tend to get abandoned during the first quarter) is to improve how you do business in a global context, then you may want to look into applying cultural assessments. In order to develop cultural competency you want to be able to define what your own behavioral preferences are and how they compare to people from other cultures. Both of the assessment tools we offer – GlobeSmart Profile and Country Navigator – do exactly that (and much more). They help professionals measure how they themselves make decisions, communicate, lead, and manage – and how their counterparts from other parts of the world or different cultural backgrounds do business. Once you measure these behavioral preferences you’l be able to improve how you operate in light of cultural differences.
What Is Your Cultural Profile?
In our ever more global world of work, it has become an almost overused truism that to be successful in business it is necessary to work together with people from cultures which are sometimes distinctly different from our won. Yet, too often even experienced, global executives have notions of how representatives from foreign cultures act, react, and behave which are too simplistic or based only on anecdotal evidence. This oversimplification is usually a result of focusing on only one or two specific dimension of behavior – for example how people respond to uncertainty, how they negotiate, or what their attitude towards hierarchies is. Culture, however, is a bit more complex than this narrow and limiting focus. Smart global professionals who want to get a more comprehensive picture of behavior patterns – their own and those of foreign business partners – take culture assessments seriously. They provide us with a powerful tool to measure and compare cultures, based on sociological, behavioral research.