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A Home for Culture Vultures

Intercultural Skills are Crucial say HR Leaders

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According to a survey of more than 100 senior Human Resource managers, 81% of companies agree that international work experience is a crucial criterion for leadership in a global organization.

Why? Because international leaders cannot lead global teams without the necessary intercultural skills and insights. 

The survey, "The Importance of Cultural Skills in Senior Managers," conducted by RW-3 LLC, an international training organization, and ORC Worldwide, a global human resource consulting firm, was designed to measure the importance of cultural competencies and global experience as criteria for senior management.

"During the current liquidity crisis, we've seen yet again how the global economy is entirely interconnected and how international cooperation is critical for the world's economic well being," said Michael S. Schell, president of RW-3.

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When a Cross Cultural Joke Goes Wrong!

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A true story: when a US telecoms giant decided to replace its manager in Thailand several years ago, it chose an ABC - 'American-born Chinese' - in the belief he would be more culturally attuned to doing business in Asia.

He was not shy about telling his colleagues how to behave and one evening berated a couple of European rivals who had been caught engaged in financial shenanigans.

They decided to play a joke on the new arrival.

They told their driver to follow him and tell him he was going to be killed.

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Why do Medical Staff Require Training on Intercultural Awareness?

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Medical staff require professional interpreters and specific training on intercultural awareness, a new study published in the open access journal BMC Health Services Research suggests.

The authors reveal that doctors are dissatisfied with the treatment they provide to their non-native patients, and that they cite cultural differences and language barriers as the key factors causing the disappointment with the level of care that they provide.

Birgit Babitsch from the Berlin Institute of Gender in Medicine in Germany, and co-workers from Berlin and the UK, gathered the results of questionnaires completed by doctors working in the internal medicine and gynaecology departments of three Berlin hospitals.

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Charity calls for Business Leaders to take up Diversity Challenge

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A charity that campaigns to provide a "secure base for Britain's minority ethnic communities" has called for effective leadership to promote diversity, after a poll revealed that almost nine in 10 recent graduates have experienced some kind of discrimination at work.

The Ethnic Minority Foundation, called for leaders to be held accountable for discrimination which, it says is "ruining the life chances of young people".

It follows a survey of 200 graduates by recruitment site Milkround.com which found that 86% of had faced discrimination while working.

Race discrimination affected two in five respondents, with age discrimination affecting 14% and gender 12%. Other reasons for unfair treatment included sexual orientation and height.

One respondent said: "People like me coming from a different country or continent to study and then try to get a work placement here are very vulnerable, particularly if they are unfortunate enough to have employers or managers as ignorant as the one I [worked for]."


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash


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Translated Movies to Help Immigrants Settle into Life in South Korea

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Three Korean films and a cartoon have been translated for immigrant workers and foreigners married to Koreans to help them understand Korean culture. 

About 10 immigrants from Southeast Asian countries participated in the translation project to help people settle down in Korea more easily.

Three movies, ``Wolf Daddy,'' ``Stand by Me’’ and ``Walking in the Rainy Day’’ and a cartoon cooking guide were translated into four languages, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese and English.

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Top 10 Trends in Business and Cultural training

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This blog was originally written in 2008.  Revisiting this in 2021 makes for interesting reading.

It's fair to say that HumaNext certainly got it right as everything they mentinoned came to fruition and these topics - particularly cultural competency for leaders, are still trending training topics!

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Muhammad & the teddy bear: a case of Intercultural Incompetence

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Every now and again we get an international story that demonstrates the importance of cultural awareness in the modern age.

Examples include the Israeli tourists who got into trouble for kissing in a Hindu shrine, the movie poster depicting someone sat on the head of the Buddha that offended Buddhists and sparked protests in S.E. Asia and the now infamous Prophet Muhammad Cartoons.

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An Expatriate Child's View of Life in Saudi Arabia

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Despite all the attention given to the Middle East today, it's fair to say that stereotypes and misconceptions still make a lot of noise!

The perception of one country in particular, Saudi Arabia, is clouded by mystery and stereotypes due to the country's strict adherence to the Islamic faith.

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Cross Cultural Interviews

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At this moment in time, the increase in cross border human traffic has meant that companies are no longer dealing with a homogenous native community from which they recruit their staff.

Companies are now facing cross cultural challenges in how they recruit, manage and develop a multi-cultural staff. One area of note where HR and management are finding difficulties is in the interview room.

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