May 22, 2010

International Experience Required!

USNews covers the trends for CEOs of American companies in Liz Wolgemuth’s article “What the Résumés of Top CEOs Have in Common”. You might be surprised (or not) to learn that 75% of Fortune 100 CEOs today have spent at least two years working in a senior position overseas, according to a new study by Healthy Companies International. This is great news for interculturalists, because it highlights the importance of cultural understanding and the need to provide that cultural training to these global leaders. Liz Wolgelmuth writes: “So much of what’s learned abroad concerns cultural differences. The trend toward international experience may signal how much companies now value employees who understand the differences.” If those companies are placing value on cultural competence, that means that more value should be placed on the services we provide. We are the ones who help leaders develop those skills and prepare for their next assignment, so they can lead more effectively in a cross-cultural setting. This may well be the perfect time to start promoting how your company can help fulfill this leadership requirement.

May 10, 2010

What color is your world?

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:00 pm

I love it when we find small gems of wisdom where we least expect them. A National Geographic Kids article was definitely a source for one of these gems. And sometimes children see the world with more clarity than we ever can. Globalcoachcenter.com posted a blog called “Who owns the truth?” Who does, indeed?

The National Geographic Kids article stated “you see color differently than the person next to you”. Margarita Gokun Silver elaborated with the following: “So the red color that I see isn’t the same red that you see or that the person next to you sees. Our “reds” are different from each other — and even if that difference is very slight — they are still different. Which is another evidence of the fact that reality is not really a given but rather an interpretation of what we see it as and of how we process it.” She goes on to provide a metaphor for truth but I will just keep it at colors and let you read the blog yourself.

Our perspectives are all subjective and influenced by so many variables, in which culture plays an important role. This reminded me of the quote by Anais Nin “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” We need to be reminded of that regularly, especially for those of us working in cultural awareness! Your colors are not my colors. Indeed.

April 30, 2010

Exploring “Expat Harem”

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 2:38 pm

I just discovered a website called Expat+HAREM, which describes itself as “the global niche”. Well, just the name was intriguing enough to delve into further. It is a creative hub for female writers with cross-cultural experiences to share. Its contributors have some fresh perspectives on what it means to be an expat/traveler/immigrant. The female writers come from all over the world. The site is described as a “Multi-author blog of cultural entertainment inspired by expatriate literature collection Tales from the Expat Harem”. It’s an anthology of stories about the female expat experience in Turkey, edited by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gökmen. If Turkey, expat life, writing or the female experience in foreign lands interests you, check it out!