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Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: Dec 2013

Globalisation and multiculturalism means that cross-cultural training and development is critical to business success

Whether you are conducting business at home or abroad, you cannot escape the fact that customers or clients who are buying your products or services are a reflection of the global marketplace in which we live. This global marketplace is made up of people from diverse cultural backgrounds with different perspectives, ideologies, values, communication styles, work habits, and social protocols, etc. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to engaging and communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds. Instead, organisations need to adapt to the needs of a culturally dynamic marketplace.

Here are some key facts:

1.    70% of international business ventures fail due to cultural misunderstanding (Center for Intercultural Communications, University of British Columbia).

2.    78% of multinationals expect to gain market share in emerging markets (Boston Consulting Group (BCG))

3.    Only 13% think they can beat local competitors, citing the local market as a key barrier (BCG)

4.    Seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa (Imara Jones, Yes Magazine July, 2013)

5.    By 2025, the annual consumption in emerging markets will reach $30 trillion (Goldman Sachs Insights)

IDC has highly successful workshops which it offers on ‘Relating and Doing Business Successfully Cross-Culturally’. We always design bespoke workshops for clients; but, in the main, they cover the following:

1.      The performance benefits of inclusion.

2.      What is culture, stereotyping and unconscious bias?

3.      Cultural orientations that impact on doing business, e.g.

-          Low vs. high context language;

-          Direct vs. indirect communication;

-          Informal vs. formal communication;

-          Importance of “Saving Face”.

4.      Relating successfully and doing business Cross-Culturally.

A key requirement for these types of workshops is that they are highly interactive and that the facilitators have extensive multicultural experience. This is because participants always have lots of experiences and issues that they are encountering that they wish to share and explore. It is for this reason, i.e. high interactivity, that the client in a London hospital for whom I led such a workshop this week commented at the end “that was brilliant”. Moreover IDC has extensive multicultural experience having worked in over 150 countries worldwide.

As ever, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like more information on our cross-cultural development programmes. 

Dr Ian Dodds,


IDC Academy Online: http://idcacademyonline.com/

29 Nov 2013


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