Understanding cultural differences

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Plan I. What Is Culture? a. Basic Assumptions, Values And Norms Drive Practices And Behaviors b. Culture Operates At Various Levels - The Visible Artifacts To The Deeply Rooted And Unconscious c. The Role of the Leader in Transmitting Culture II. Why Assess Culture? a. Closing The Gap Between The Real And Ideal Culture b. Value and Goal Alignment across Subcultures, Divisions and Geographic Regions c. Individual-Organization Fit d. Organizational Change III. What is Corporate Culture? IV. AMERICAN CULTURE V. Corporate Culture and Local Culture VI. American Business Executives Abroad VII. Key Points for Foreigners to Keep in Mind a. When Working with American Business b. When Working with Individual Americans VIII. Public Relations, Corporate Image, and Advertising IX.

Characteristics of Successful American Business Executives Culture is a technical term used by anthropologists to refer to a system for creating, sending, storing, and processing information developed by human beings, which differentiates them from other life forms. The terms mores, tradition, custom, and habit are subsumed under the cultural umbrella. Sometimes culture is used in reference to the fine arts. While art and literature do indeed form an important part of a culture, in this book the term is used in its wider context. I. What Is Culture? Your organization's culture is not (he espoused list of values developed at an offsite by the executive team and framed on the wall in your lobby. These are ideals. What you strive to be as an organization and what values you hope to

endorse, may be different from the values, beliefs, and norms expressed in your actual practices and behavior. Don't fool yourself. It is critical that you find out who you really are as well as striving for who you want to be. Awakening the emperor to the fact that he/she has no clothes is often a risky and delicate first step in closing the gap between the real and the ideal. Cultural assessment can provide measurable data about the real organizational values and norms that can be used to get management's attention. It can dispel some of management's illusions about what really matters in the organization and will tell them how far off the mark things really are. Management may find that it is not practicing what it preaches. However, telling the CEO the truth about the

organization he/she has built, can often be dangerous to your career progress. Delivering such a message takes skill as a coach and a willingness to take risks and confront conflict. a. Basic Assumptions, Values And Norms Drive Practices And Behaviors The culture of an organization operates at both a conscious and unconscious level. Often the people who see your culture more clearly are those from the outside—the new hires, the consultants or vendors. When coaching or I advising senior management, remember that culture comprises the deeply rooted but often unconscious beliefs. values and norms shared by the members of the organization. Those not living inside the culture can often see it more objectively. Better to ask a New Yorker to tell you what Californians are like than

ask a Californian. Culture drives the organization and its actions. It is somewhat like "The operating system" of the organization. It guides how employees think, act and feel. It is dynamic and fluid, and it is never static. A culture may be effective at one time, under a given set of circumstances and effective at another time. There is no generically good culture. There are however, generic patterns of health and pathology. b. Culture Operates At Various Levels - The Visible Artifacts To The Deeply Rooted And Unconscious Culture can be viewed at several levels. Some aspects of culture arc visible and tangible and others are intangible und unconscious. Basic assumptions that guide the organization are deeply rooted and often taken for granted Avoidance of conflict is