Going Global Means Cultural Transformation, Not Just Change
It’s not enough for some companies to change, today we may need a complete cultural transformation. New approaches to business is our only hope of nurturing our global economy and coming out ahead of the game. There are three pre-requisites a company must have in order for transformation to occur: 1) Cultural Agility; 2) Committed Leadership; and 3) Cultural Awareness.
“Cultural Agility” is a term tossed around when organizations, teams, and leaders see the need for a rapid and fresh response to changing market demands. To become agile is to be able to think and react quickly in new ways. There is a desperate need – globally – for flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation to compete with the changing needs of the world economy. In today’s global business climate, it’s the only way an organization, or for that matter, an individual, will excel. Cultural agility is the key to cultural transformation.
The presence of Committed Leadership is ultimately the only chance an organization has to successfully transform itself. Yet, it isn’t a leader’s sole responsibility to make decisions regarding how to move forward – he or she must have a cohesive team at the upper management level. The leader’s role is to confer, collaborate, ask, listen, and discover what is best needed to overhaul technology, processes, or product lines. But most of all, they need the sensitivity and awareness to know what their people need to engage in the transformation journey.
Cultural Awareness is critical as every culture will have a different priority when determining how decisions are made; what the market needs or wants; and an approach to sales, marketing, development, hiring, and managing employees. If we don’t take the time to understand those diverse perspectives, we’ll miss the boat in truly being a global organization. A 2010 study by Hay Group found that the top 20 most successful companies in the world devoted more than double the amount of resources to cultural awareness programs than those companies who were not on that list.
Click here for Melissa’s book on Cultural Transformation