We’ve been talking about the importance of a Global Mindset for years. But there’s a good reason for it, and more and more evidence continues to support it. The second biennial Global Mindset Index just released by RW3 CultureWizard indicates there are powerful advantages for firms that value and actively promote a Global Mindset within their workforce.
In fact, the study found “striking gaps in business performance” between companies that do and do not encourage their employees to develop an intercultural view. The study also validates that this boost in business performance comes from more than simple recognition of different cultures, but also from actively promoting the idea that a Global Mindset is valuable.
In the study, it’s the “Overachieving” companies that consistently demonstrate the value of intercultural understanding and a Global Mindset. In their everyday actions, these companies:
· Model inclusive behaviors throughout the organization,
· Allocate resources for training these integral intercultural skills, and
· Recognize employees who obtain a Global Mindset by promoting them.
Recent Statistics Support the Case for a Global Mindset
RW3 defines a Global Mindset as “the ability to recognize and adjust to cultural signals so that effectiveness is not compromised when dealing with people from different backgrounds.” In some cases, it’s a tall order. Recognizing and adjusting to cultural differences isn’t always easy. It requires continual self-awareness as well as the ability to flex your behavior—without changing or compromising your own values.
But, it’s well worth it. Out of the overachieving organizations that participated in the Global Mindset Index survey,
· 89% state their firms recognize cultural differences,
· 87% say their firms value a Global Mindset, and
· 86% state their companies demonstrate that attitude by promoting people with a Global Mindset.
What’s more, these overachieving companies have noticed tangible benefits from valuing a Global Mindset. These benefits include improved financial performance, innovation in products and services, and customer satisfaction/loyalty.
Yes, it’s convincing data. Coupled with anecdotal reports and “common sense,” it is obvious that promoting such skills can only enhance an organization’s stature.
So, how can you begin? Here are some simple ideas to get you started.
10 Tips to Actively Promote a Global Mindset in Your Organization
1. Start with self-awareness. Take an online assessment or the equivalent to learn about your cultural preferences and how your behaviors may come across in a global setting where people may be quite different. Then, model that behavior in your day-to-day actions.
2. Before going on an international trip, refresh your understanding about the country’s history, geography and societal structure. Learn about the country’s culture and try to gain some awareness of what their behaviors might mean. For example, do you know the meaning of the word “Yes” in the cultures you’re going to?
3. Recognize when you need to flex your style to adapt to culturally distinct environments.
4. When meeting people from other cultures, try to learn about their world view; ask questions where and when appropriate. These “curiosity conversations”can help build cross-cultural awareness.
5. If you’re in a position of leadership, model an awareness of the global nature of business. Explain to your colleagues when something occurs to you that is global, rather than simply domestic. For example, when an international event causes ripples in your everyday life, such as an event in Asia that impacts a colleague’s travel plans, point it out.
6. When leading across cultures, try to seek feedback on your performance from peers outside your culture. This is extremely important. You might be surprised to learn how they interpret your behavior!
7. When developing a message, consider the communication preferences of your audience. For example, think about the formality or informality of the way you construct your message. If it’s not in written form (such as an email or proposal), remember that not only can language differences be misinterpreted, but body language and facial expressions will play an important role, too.
8. When giving a presentation, consider it within a world context. Be cognizant of slang or phrases that might be seen as negative—or confusing—in another culture.
9. When trying to resolve conflicts among those you manage, consider if people’s cultural preferences might impact the situation. Sometimes communication style that is either blunt or indirect can be misinterpreted as either abrupt or intentionally vague.
10.When reading about current events, think about how culture might have influenced the situation. Furthermore, consider the impact of global events on your business and marketplace.
Considering the benefits, it’s clear that it’s worth promoting and working towards a Global Mindset. Yes, it takes effort to become self-aware, and perhaps even more effort to share your awareness with others—all while adapting to their own cultural preferences and work styles. But there’s no doubt about it: the end result can be exceptionally rewarding.