As you all know, the global workforce is rapidly growing. And it is rapidly becoming more multicultural and multinational. We all have our own cultures, skills, behaviours and attitudes about life and work which are generally focussed on our local environment or town. However companies are increasingly straddling borders or are required to work with suppliers/clients and partners in different countries. Fortunately for some of us, the English language is becoming the key language used; but cultures and attitudes don’t line up that that easily.
I marvel at the different cultures and languages around the world and would hate to see everything crushed into one uniform Macdonalds type culture.
A few suggestions follow in boosting your positive interaction with your engineering colleagues in different countries with different cultures.
A researcher, Ms Tsedal Neeley, reckons there are five attributes you require to successfully work in this new environment. These are:
Delight in Positive Indifference
Ignore cultural differences that may impact on you. In fact, consider them irrelevant and a non-event.
Look for Common Features in Different Cultures
When working with people from different cultures look for examples of similarities. For example, you may find both Japanese and American cultures embrace efficiency and productivity. Whereas Indian and Italian love good food and style.
When Thinking of your Multinational Company focus on the Global Company rather than individual offices.
Look at the values and goals of the global company rather than local nuances and issues.
Actively seek out Interaction with Other Cultures in Distant offices.
The trick is to welcome interactions and to thrive on them especially when they are totally different cultures. Consider them enriching you. This heightened level of interaction does tend to build trust and improve mutual understanding of how each party works.
Aim for Your Global Engineering Career rather than a Local One.
Working as an expat used to be unusual. Today, one should aspire to working in different countries as part of a global engineering career.
Thanks to a lovely article written by Tsedal Neeley entitled: How to Successfully Work Across Countries, Languages, and Cultures
In support of this, the famous car manufacturer CEO, Carlos Ghosn, remarked: More and more, in any company, managers are dealing with different cultures. Companies are going global, but the teams are being divided and scattered all over the planet.
Yours in engineering learning
Mackay’s Musings – 8th August’17 #664
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