So, in my last post I said I'd talk about Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions in my FB broadcast yesterday. I didn't. I ended up talking about DiSC, a behavioral profile - similar to Meyers-Brigg's but focused on...well...behavior - something we can change. And. After learning about Hof's Dimensions, I learned there are actually six - some had been added after the interview. So watch the the interview if you'd like to hear him speak (which I recommend), but know that further research has added another two dimensions.
After my initial broadcast last week, I had an indepth discussion with my friend and colleague, Joan Sweeny. After 22 years in the military that included living in Germany and Korea, and deployments to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, she has quite a background in cultural communications. As we talked about "culture" and "communications," Joan sent me this definition:
I dream in color, do you? Last night I dreamed I moved into a new house, full of deep reds, dark wood, and lots of space. I felt so excited about exploring a new place and living there. I love waking up that way.
What are your thoughts about "power distance" or Long term orientation v. Short term orientation? How does organizational culture affect your work relationships? You may not even think about this - especially on the day after New Year's Day. I had to drag myself to the computer this morning after two weeks of sipping hot tea while watching Turner Classic Movies in my pajamas - all day. I threw on my winter coat, over my pajamas and bathrobe, to clomp up the hill in my husband's boots to check our mailbox. Tis the season!
I chose to focus on cross-cultural communications this month - specifically between Asian and Western multi-national companies, because more people are working within a global team. In my experience as a international business coach, most executives are worried about understanding others and being understood - literally. One of their biggest concerns is the ability to discern what others are saying over a telephone conference call, and visa versa - do their English counterparts know what words are being said during the conference call? Is it okay to say "Can you repeat that?" over and over? What about the element of "face" for Asian workers versus a direct style of speaking for Western workers? There are layers here that impact employee satisfaction, employee productivity, and ultimately, organizational success.
I just watched an in-depth interview with Geert Hofstede, a Dutch organizational anthropologist. His work is well-known in sociological circles but what you may not know is his findings started during a consultation with IBM in 1968. Although the world has changed - it really hasn't. If you have time to spare you can watch the interview here. And if you don't - I'll be covering the 5 Dimensions of the Hofstede Model in my next Facebook broadcast, scheduled for Tuesday, January 9 at 1pm EST.
In the meantime, I have to finish putting away holiday decorations and try to stay off the couch. Isn't napping such a good idea?