Global Leadership Blog

Don’t Forget About Cultural Diversity

There’s a lot of talk today about unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, and how to successfully go global, especially hyper-growth companies. However, with all this talk, an important specific discussion point is being pushed aside—that of cultural diversity.

This is a mistake.

Very likely your business or organization is made up of people from different cultures, is located in multiple countries, and/or has customers from diverse cultural backgrounds. In today’s business world, we need to address cultural diversity head on. If we don’t, the success of our organizations could slip out of reach.

Here are three cultural dimensions for you to be aware of that can cause challenges in cross cultural teamwork.

Process- or results-oriented. The way we set goals and work to achieve them differs depending on culture. If a culture is process-oriented, that means they have a carefully thought out plan in place and understand how they are going to achieve the goal before they start moving towards it. If a culture is results-oriented, the plan or even the results may change as they work to achieve them—which is okay because it is all part of a greater vision.

Cultures such as American or Israeli are more results-oriented whereas cultures such as German or Russian are more process-oriented. There are pros and cons to both. Being a results-oriented person, one could get results faster but not to the level of quality of a process-oriented individual. On the flip side, being process-oriented may be more thorough and higher quality, but slower in execution than a results-oriented person.

Time-controlled and -uncontrolled. The way cultures view time is not uniform. Some cultures, such as the Swiss, view time as something that can be controlled. (I mean they make watches!) Other cultures, such as India, see it as something that is more flexible. For cultures in which time cannot be controlled, people take priority. For example, in these cultures, if you bump into a friend on the way to a meeting—you talk to that friend. Spontaneity plays a role. Deadlines are flexible. Schedules vary. In cultures where time is controlled, you tell that friend that you need to catch them later—you have a meeting to get to! Time is linear. Schedules are rigid.

High and Low Hierarchy. The org chart is higher or flatter depending on where you’re doing business. In high hierarchy cultures, the manager or supervisor is the expert and isn’t to be questioned. The culture is much more directive and hands-on. There’s less initiative and debate. In low hierarchy cultures, the manager and individuals of the team collaborate, they share thoughts, and debate questions. I’m reminded of a French manager I consulted with who was leading a team in Mexico, a high hierarchy culture. He asked one of the team members to present problems to the team related to a project. Soon after, the team member disappeared and eventually left the job. This was because he thought this act would be an insult to his boss and put his job on the line. Whereas, in reality, the manager—who comes from a low-hierarchy culture—merely wanted his expertise.

While these differences are profound, when you work to bridge and balance them, great synergy can arise. In fact, having a multicultural team with diverse perspectives is a rich breeding ground for innovation to meet the needs of the global marketplace. So, stop pushing the topic of cultural diversity aside. It is time to talk about our differences!

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson


What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you place an order, subscribe to our newsletter, respond to a survey or fill out a form.
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Like most websites, we use cookies and/or web beacons to enhance your experience, gather general visitor information, and track visits to our website. Please refer to the ‘do we use cookies?’ section below for information about cookies and how we use them.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:


. To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
. To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
. To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
. To process transactions . Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.
. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature
. To send periodic emails


The email address you provide for order processing, may be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order, in addition to receiving occasional company news, updates, related product or service information, etc.

Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or access your personal information.
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.

We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the telephone.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us via moc.l1566748639iamg@1566748639CLLgn1566748639itlus1566748639noCno1566748639smaL1566748639.