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  • Writer's pictureMarie Tseng

What makes managers effective when working across cultures?

Are managers with a lot of international experience more effective abroad than managers with little international exposure?

Does intercultural training achieve what it is supposed to achieve? Are younger members of the workforce, after a study abroad, more interculturally competent than older members? And are men just as interculturally competent as women are?

The answers to these questions may very well surprise us. The book Intercultural Readiness: Four competences for working across culture is based on extensive research in international organizations with

roots in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

In a 15-year series of studies, assessments were made of 30,000 members of international organizations, testing their competence in working across cultures.

The results show that a lot of widely accepted ideas about how we should deal with international challenges are incorrect.

Dealing effectively with cultural differences today presents organizations with entirely different demands than those they faced before the economic crisis. Top talent from outside Europe wants to swiftly move ahead into leadership positions; innovation and growth are driven by culturally diverse teams that can quickly and effectively work together, and new markets are only accessible if organizations understand the cultural logic of those markets.

Organizations need to revise their ideas about what makes us interculturally effective if they want to succeed in today’s global market place.

Based on real-life examples, interviews and case studies, Intercultural Readiness shows how organizations can get ready for mastering these challenges, and how they can support staff in developing the intercultural competences they so urgently need.

Assess your intercultural competences

Find new ways to optimize your strengths and to navigate around pitfalls. The IRC assesses individuals on four intercultural competences. Each competence is directly relevant for people working in a culturally diverse context. The IRC feedback is clear and helpful, and offers straightforward solutions for personal development.

The IRC also allows you to benchmark your teams and your organization. How motivated is your team to benefit from the diverse perspectives of its members? How capable is your organization compared to others in your industry? Benefit from the IRC database and determine next steps. Monitor results to measure improve- ment. Use the IRC to improve the intercultural effectiveness of your teams and your organization.

For more Information on the Intercultural Readiness Check and the Cultural competences workshops, email us at

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