Globalization – the worldwide trend of increased economic integration across borders – has radically transformed the world in which we live and work during the last two or three decades. Cultural diverse workplaces and projects has become the order of the day as people, goods, services and finances are moving and interacting around the globe as never before in history. While Africa has a longer history of cultural diversity than many other regions of the world, cross-cultural interaction and ventures are radically escalating as new players from Eastern and Mid-Eastern countries are entering the market in a constant stream.
Because cultural competency is a critical ‘make-or-break”-factor for the success of multicultural and cross-cultural ventures, SLI offer several expert services to help you cross this potentially perilous bridge.
Developing Cross-Cultural Competency
While overcoming cultural barriers is primarily a leadership function, it is both possible and advisable to develop the cultural competency of leaders and team members. One option is to let SLI implement a cultural awareness program (CAP) with mandatory participation for STS employees at all levels. The overall goal of this program is to increase the cultural intelligence of all the role players in your organization. In practice, the CAP will increase mutual understanding of cultural differences and how they translate into different preferences and practices; help to eradicate prejudice and negative cultural stereotypes; and foster appreciation for cultural diversity. The program incorporates both theoretic knowledge, cultural competency training, and when possible also practical exposure to the ‘other’ culture in- and outside the formal working environment.
A more specialized option is SLI’s cultural competency development program (CCDP) for managers and key role players in your cross-cultural ventures. Among other things, SLI uses a powerful scientific instrument to measure individuals’ current cross-cultural abilities. Strengths and weaknesses are assessed and used to determine focal areas for helping individuals improve their abilities to successfully interact with people from ‘other’ cultures.
Forming Cross-Cultural Partnerships
Research shows that most of the failures in joint cross-cultural ventures are caused by neglect of cultural differences. Leaning on decades of combined experience from our associates,’ SLI is able to assist leaders and managers engaged or planning to engage in cross-cultural partnerships. There are two approaches to this service: helping African and South African organizations to understand and navigate the cultural characteristics of their foreign partners; and helping non-African organizations to understand and navigate the African cultural landscape. In both these approaches attention is given to individual cultural competency as well as macro cultural factors such as national culture, business culture and organizational culture. SLI also offers a ‘Cultural Guide’ service where SLI provides local cultural guides to coach foreign entrants during preparations, negotiations and meetings.
Cultural Competancy Training Programs
We offer the following programs aimed at increasing cultural competancy at all organizational levels:
- Developing Cultural Competency (focus on leading in cultural diverse environments. Includes a web-based assesment that provides valuable insight on how to successfully interact with people from different cultures).
- Transforming Organizational Culture (culture is the glue that keeps it all together. This program equip leaders to change and build an organizational culture that aligned with the organization's vision, mission, goals and values).
Ready to improve the way in which you lead, work, interact culturally or communicate? Phone, send an email or visit the Contact us page.