I’ve just begun reading another Duane Elmer book on Cross Cultural Conflict. The book is full of very helpful insights. I’m going to be listing my gleanings in the next few posts.
In community development or when attempting to effect organizational change in a small or medium sized business keep the following in mind:
1. Choose friendship over confrontation whenever possible. In other words, maintain the relationship. This means understanding how friendship works in that culture(s).
2. Use local terminology, currency, technology and personnel when you introduce change whenever possible. This means understanding how communication works in that culture(s).
3. Introduce changes in way that does not violate the roles and patterns of people and in a way that does not exalt the outsider’s position and status. This means understanding how status and roles work in that culture(s).
4. Always try to recognize and build upon what is already “working” or known and practiced in that culture. This means learning about that culture(s).
5. Be absolutely certain that the change can be sustained without the outsider’s watch and oversight. This means understanding what constitutes buy-in in that culture(s).
Successfully encouraging and effecting change through community development or in a business culture in a cross cultural context is a complex undertaking, isn’t it?. A little coaching and training can make a big difference!