Did You Get the Point?
Cultural Intelligence and Diversity in Global Collaboration
Collaboration across cultures, whether virtual or physical, is essential in many companies and organizations, and culture is present in nearly all aspects of any international collaboration. It can present challenges from fundamental cultural biases about what a good leader is to interpretations of micro expressions such as tone of voice, eye contact and body language.
Whether it is the Danish project manager in Dubai struggling with unspoken social rules or the Indian IT-worker in Copenhagen who must navigate the Danish humor or the leader who leads a virtual multicultural team across 8 locations, cultural differences are at play.
Did You Get the Point? prepares you for your global and virtual collaboration with your international colleagues, partners, and customers and provides specific tools on how to approach the collaboration with cultural intelligence. And with that, you will achieve competitive advantages that lie within cultural diversity, including increased innovation, higher job satisfaction and eventually, better performance.
Through cases and quotes from experienced leaders from different companies and organizations such as LEGO, Novo Nordisk, Vestas, Arla, Maersk, Rambøll, AAK, COWI, Blue Water Shipping, HydraSpecma, PepsiCo, UCB Pharma and Tajco, the book provides insights into a long list of situations which typically cause challenges in global collaboration.
This book is for the leader, the employee or the team who is looking to develop their cultural intelligence. Amongst others, you will get answers to questions such as:
- What is cultural intelligence and how do we develop it?
- What characterizes the Danish business and working culture and what should you be aware of as an international working in a Danish organization or context?
- What should you be attentive towards as a global leader in a primarily virtual collaboration?
- How can you work effectively across flat and steep hierarchies?
- How can you create psychological safety and trust in a multicultural, virtual team?
The book is also available in Danish. The two books – Did You Get the Point? and Forstod du, hvad de sagde? are very similar. However, where the Danish version is aimed towards Danes working globally, the English version is adjusted towards internationals working in Denmark or in other ways collaborating with Danes.
Buy the book
“With great competence, insightfulness and eloquence, Signe Ørom discusses the cultural challenges and opportunities in international collaboration. Meaningful, empirical examples masterfully illustrate the many challenges one can meet as a Dane, and the book shows how to achieve a cultural diversity bonus. Definitely recommendable!” - Mette Zølner, Professor in Intercultural Communication at Aarhus UniversitetRead less
“The book is an eye-opener which should be read by everyone who works with global partners and/or in multicultural teams. In a well-written, nuanced, and humorous way, this book conveys scientifically sound, evidence-based insights into the pitfalls and challenges to be aware of when people from different cultural backgrounds and communicative preferences meet. Without any preaching, the book manages to make the reader face their own cultural biases and contains specific tools on how to create strong, trust-based collaboration and well-functioning teams across cultures. I have undoubtedly received a gently kick in the butt/push to see how non-judgmental and openminded I actually am. I feel much better prepared to avoid misunderstandings and to harvest the fruits of multicultural collaboration in the future.” - Louise Winkel, PhD, Director, Global R&D Business Development, Novo Nordisk
“I can highly recommend the new book from Signe Ørom. Her thoughts on the cultural diversity bonus are highly relevant for a company like ours, which has gone from being 95% Danish to a truly global company with a large variety of different cultures and with that, a transformation towards many more virtual meetings” - Asger Kronborg, Senior Director, LEGO
“Everything indicates that the future only holds an increasing amount of global collaboration, and with that, an even greater need for cultural intelligence and agility amongst both leaders and employees. In this book you will find useful and handy inspiration for anyone who wants to feel better prepared for collaborating with their international colleagues and partners, whether it be in Denmark or around the world.” - Danielle Bjerre Lyndgaard, Head of DI Global Talent & Mobility
NB: For en mere udførlig indholdsfortegnelse, vælg 'Kig i bogen' herover.
The cultural diversity bonus 13
The book’s structure 16
Part 1. What is culture?
Cultural intelligence in global collaboration 20
Some bad advice: Treat others as you would like to be treated 21
Case: Lars and Abdul hand in hand in Dubai 21
What is culture? 25
CQ: Your cultural intelligence quotient 32
CQ-brain (knowledge) 34
CQ-heart (motivation) 43
CQ-eye (analysis) 46
CQ-muscle (action) 47
Your personal CQ-strategy 49
The cultural diversity bonus 54
Part 2. Cultural differences in international cooperation
The structure of the chapters 58
Egalitarianism and hierarchy in multicultural collaboration 62
Case: Heidi’s virtual door is always open for Cheng-Gong 63
Good management differs by culture 63
Cultural differences in power distance 64
Denmark – the flattest country in the world 67
The cultural diversity bonus: The positive aspects of hierarchy 72
Country focus: Cooperation with countries that have hierarchical cultures 74
CQ in practice 79
Cultural differences in expectations of a manager 79
Respect the lines of communications and chain of command in a hierarchy 88
Make sure to match titles 90
Forms of address: Hierarchy in language 92
Clothing shows status 96
Risk willingness across cultures 98
Case: Thomas’ new machine in Poland 99
Risk willingness as a cultural dimension 102
Denmark: the place to make mistakes 107
High risk tolerance or openness to change? 115
Country focus: Risk-averse cultures 119
CQ in practice 123
Define clear roles and working areas 123
Give critical feedback in a culturally intelligent way 125
Input for brainstorming 128
Individualists and collectivists in the same team 130
Case: Phuong experiences harsh feedback in Denmark 131
Individualism versus collectivism 132
Danes are “group individualists” 136
Country focus: Extreme individualist and collectivists 140
CQ in practice 144
Brainstorming and input: How can I make sure everyone speaks up? 144
Motivating with CQ: Self-management, job security or a bonus? 148
When collaborative cultures meet competitive cultures 152
Case: American Jack and Swedish Inga misunderstand each other 153
Collaborative cultures and competitive cultures 154
The Danish collaborative culture 156
Work-life-balance and the Danish status currency 160
Are you driven by success, loyalty, or collaboration? 163
Country focus: Competitive cultures 166
CQ in practice 168
Should you be available during vacations? 169
How culture affects gender roles 170
How much can you brag? 172
Retention and motivation of international labor 174
Is the relationship or the task more important? 178
Case: Xenia learns to drink caipirinhas in Brazil 179
The cultural dimension: Task orientation or relationship orientation? 180
Denmark: World champion of trust 183
Danes: Trusting but naive, irresponsible, and unfriendly? 187
Country focus: Relationship-oriented cultures 192
CQ in practice 195
Do we start on time or when everyone is ready? 195
Relationship building: A part of the job 197
Navigating formal and informal interaction 199
Hit the road and fill your bags with CQ 201
Multicultural communication – Did you get the point? 204
Case: Sofia misunderstands the Indian ‘yes’ 205
Direct versus indirect communication 209
Denmark: “Call a spade a spade” 213
Direct managers in indirect cultures 215
Country focus: Direct communication cultures 218
Country focus: Indirect communication cultures 220
CQ in practice 224
Adjust your communication with cultural intelligence 225
Give feedback in a culturally intelligent way 228
What is polite? Positive and negative politeness 234
Know the body’s cultural language 235
High context versus low context 241
Do we show our feelings externally or keep them inside? 243
When we communicate with words and feelings 245
Part 3. The new virtual world – cooperation at a distance
Advantages and disadvantages of virtual cooperation 252
Cultural intelligence in virtual cooperation 255
Presence at a distance: Trust and relationships in multicultural virtual cooperation 256
Case: Samira’s e-meal 257
Trust is challenged in virtual collaboration 258
Five actions: Trust-building in virtual, multicultural teams 264
Five exercises: Virtual team building 269
Culturally inclusive virtual communication 276
Case: Jon gets input from his Thai colleagues on virtual meetings 277
Think culture into your virtual communication 280
Choice of virtual communication channel 281
Process with synchronous, semi-synchronous, and asynchronous communications channels 287
A good video meeting for a multicultural group 291
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