August 25, 2014 Diversity, Diversity Management

Global Diversity

gray-scale-globe-of-team-meetingsWe have all heard to varying degrees the world population is rapidly changing in size, cultural diversity and access. Mainly as the globalization process increases its reach through technological advancements, expanding business portfolios and access to education. The migration of people across the world is increasingly possible even to some of the most remote parts. Many people who are of these migrant patterns tend to adapt another cultural identity – learning norms, cultures, languages, religions, etc. of the host country – creating a society of transnational identities. Meaning they feel as if they belong to two or more societies.

Business professionals most certainly can experience this transnational identity from working in foreign nations for more than 2-3 plus years at a time.  Often when speaking to business professionals who seek international assignments becoming a modern day globetrotter, they adopt many of the new culture’s traditions and norms into the home base when they return. Increasing these world cultures’ exposure to their domestic family and friends.

Understanding the various aspects of globalization and cultural diversity can be dizzying to managers and leaders. If you think about how technology has made it possible to communicate half way around the world by simply logging on to a Wi-Fi access point, we have achieved breaking through the first barrier by connecting.  The second barrier may be a bit trickier – understanding the cultural norms of communicating. How do we know that we are engaging and interacting in culturally appropriate ways as we conduct our business?

Now let’s suppose you are either already or coming upon your first assignment managing daily a team of global, international professionals.  Not only is communicating an issue and challenge, but so is setting policies, how to conduct performance reviews, making room for religious beliefs, engaging and working as productive teams, understanding and communicating goals and strategic direction, determining what language business will be conducted in, just to name a few areas of management concerns. So, how does one become an effective global manager or global leader?

Well, unfortunately, there is no one manual nor is there one right way of becoming a global manager or leader.  However, there are some fundamental and foundational elements that should be considered when becoming or embarking on a global leadership or managerial assignment.

We will be posting a series of articles in this blog section that will identify and break down some of these fundamental and foundational elements.  We welcome you to also join the conversation and provide your own insights and experiences. And well, hopefully, help one another become better global leaders and managers in this rapidly changing global landscape that business professionals find themselves participating in daily – after all learning is an ongoing process that requires engagement.

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