The Intercultural Readiness Check
The Intercultural Readiness Approach is relevant to anybody who has to work in some way with people from other cultures. That goes for a clerk in a merchandising office in London, who only speaks English, never leaves his office, but who spends an hour a day on the phone chasing up worldwide deliveries and resolving mixed-up orders. It also goes for the Regional Manager for Asia and the Pacific Rim, who manages eight countries, 5,000 employees and liaises daily in four languages. At an individual level, the IRC helps each person identify his or her strengths and weaknesses, and gives constructive and practical suggestions on how to develop those areas that are appropriate for that person. Not everybody needs to be good at everything, and used in training and coaching settings, the IRC can also help to sort through and prioritise different needs and development areas. At a more strategic level, a company-wide use of the IRC can allow a company to benchmark and align the profiles and competences of its employees with its global and cross border aspirations. With the tools for Intercultural Management Development available today, to which the Intercultural Readiness Approach is an important contribution, there is no excuse to use cultural differences as justification for failed ventures. What is true, however, is that it takes time to develop these competences, and this development needs to be anticipated and invested in. Intercultural competences and profiles need to be identified in advance of the business need and developed for the success of future projects. The Intercultural Readiness Approach delivers just that.
Jalal is the founder of Talent Leadership, an entrepreneurial and innovative community to share the know-how and boost talent.