Running your business in a culturally diverse environment and global village can be difficult but it can be done. Some companies are realizing this and have undertaken special awareness programs in cross cultural management so that they can work with less cultural conflicts and embrace the benefits that comes from cross cultural management.
However, as progressive as some companies have been in doing this, many are still failing to understand the importance of bringing people of diverse backgrounds together. When I talk to managers today, many are hesitant to implement such programs because they feel like it is a waste of time and resources.
I always respond with “on the contrary, implementing such programs actually does the opposite of wasting time. In fact it minimizes the chances of miscommunication and maximizes productivity.”
Cross cultural management should be taken more seriously and here’s why it allows your team to become more open minded.
If you saw Marvel’s Avengers (a group of supernatural heroes who banded together to protect the world), then you witnessed cross cultural management in action. In a way, they were from different cultural backgrounds and some times even different worlds but they had one goal and that was to work together. Whenever they let egos get in the way, conflicts arose and it served to the detriment of the team. So how did they recover from these mishaps? How did they come up with solutions? By being open minded enough to see what each team member brought to the table and fully utilizing that. Cross cultural management is about understanding differences and not compromising. Cross cultural management enhances the scope for communication. It allows you to see what and how your peers express themselves which ultimately leads to better team work. When your organization is successful at doing that, you get unison of different minds, different thoughts and different actions towards the same goal. You get a team that brings fresh perspectives.
As a manager or leader, once you and your employees understand the people you work with, you will begin to experience harmony, order knowledge, experience and productivity all moving in the right direction.
Again, consider the example of the Avengers. All of them have extraordinary powers; powers if mismanaged can change the face of the world. But, when they work in cohesion, they create harmony and they together are the world’s strongest armor. That can happen to your business as well. People from different cultural backgrounds, with different abilities can work together to skyrocket your business. Cultural diversity in an organization is an added advantage to its other resources. If properly managed, it can lift your business off the grounds and take it to the heights it deserves.
Cross cultural management goes way beyond theoretical knowledge. You can’t just read it in a book. It has to be applied and you can only apply it by practicing and implementing the right policies. That is the reason why companies should invest in their diversity and inclusion teams so their employees can be better equipped to handle conflicts and turn them to advantages.
“United we stand and divided, we are bound to fall.”