Embedding Intercultural Competence in your Organization’s DNA – IC Series 3 of 3

August 10, 2011

By Monica Marcel

“What do we need to do, to make sure we are successfully identifying and navigating the cultures most important to our business?”

Once organizations answer this question, they should then seek to embed intercultural competence into their operational tools. By using culturally competent internal and external resources to help apply a cross-cultural and diversity ‘filter’ to review operational priorities, LCW has seen our client and partner organizations build intercultural competence into their operational infrastructure and DNA in many different ways. Some examples include:

  1. Commercial Systems: Salesforce mix, customer segmentations, market saturation rates, customer service surveys
  2. Feedback Tools: Performance management reviews, 360 assessments, employee engagement surveys, exit interviews
  3. OD: Competency models, change management, compliance and workforce relations, learning and development
  4. Reward and Recognition Systems: Performance expectations for individual contributors, managers, and leaders (put intercultural competence related targets into your performance management system and measure against/reward against hitting those targets)
  5. Workforce Planning: Recruiting, Career Pathing, Succession Planning, Global Sourcing, Leadership Development
  6. Compliance and Ethics Program: Helplines and reporting systems, investigations, risk assessments, employee relations, code of conduct education
  7. Supply chain management: Selecting and managing global suppliers/vendors
  8. Training & Development: Apply a cross-cultural and diversity ‘filter’ to ensure intercultural competence is embedded resulting in, for example:
  • (Cross-culturally competent) New hire orientation
  • (Cross-culturally competent) Workforce Relations Training for HR specialists
  • (Cross-culturally competent) Sales Force Training
  • (Cross-culturally competent) Ethics and Compliance Training
  • (Cross-culturally competent) Leadership Development Programs
  • (Cross-culturally competent) Manager Fundamentals



Intercultural Competence: Things your Organization Should Avoid – IC Series 2 of 3

August 3, 2011

By Monica Marcel

When trying to build and leverage intercultural competence in a way that makes a true impact on your organization—we at LCW have found some blind spots and pitfalls, that we help our clients and partners to try to avoid include:

1.            Focusing so heavily on building intercultural competence through training, that you neglect to consider operations (see previous post).

2.            Not fully leveraging the opportunity of training, such that you fail to develop the capacity you need to make your operations and resources cross-culturally competent.

3.            Developing a business case that speaks to your employees on a financial level, but not on individual level.

4.            Developing a business case that speaks on an individual ‘qualitative’ level but does connect financial outcomes.

5.            Thinking that a particular group or team or geography doesn’t need Intercultural Competence, when in fact it is more likely they need skills and efficacy to articulate how Intercultural Competence is impacting their work.

6.            Failing to tap into the culturally competent resources and enthusiasm present in your org to help build even more IC and leverage its opportunity to make a sustaining and game-changing difference.