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Managing Across Culture”: How a Manager Should Manage a Team of Staff from Different Cultural Backgrounds

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THE INTERCULTURAL DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE www.idrinstitute.org U.S.A: 6203 NE Rosebay Drive. Hillsboro, Oregon 97124 +1 503-268-1025 Italy: Via Francesco Arese 16, 20159 Milano +39 02 6680 0486

idri@idrinstitute.org

INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE FOR GLOBAL LEADERSHIP1 Milton J. Bennett, Ph.D.
1

This reading is an edited compilation of two articles by Milton J. Bennett: “Developing Intercultural Competence for Global Managers” in Reineke, Rolf-Dieter (Editor) (June, 2001) Interkulturelles Managment. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag, ISBN: 3409-11794-6 and “An Intercultural Mindset and Skillset for Global Leadership” from Conference Proceedings of Leadership Without
Borders: Developing Global Leaders. Adelphi, MD: National leadership Institute and the Center for Creative Leadership, University of Maryland University College, 2001.

Over the last twenty-five years, the field of intercultural relations has developed some sophisticated methods for developing intercultural competence. Gone are the days when the only approach to an assignment abroad was “sink or swim.” And fast disappearing are the organizations who still say “the way we do it here is the way we do it everywhere.” It is now possible to prepare global managers and leaders to learn how to learn in new cross-cultural situations, thus speeding up their adaptability and improving their productivity. For experienced hands, the new methods allow them to share their own experience more effectively with the next generation of leaders. New approaches can also add intercultural competence to the curriculum of a learning organization. Truly global organizations have moved beyond “think globally, act locally.” They have acquired the ability to continually learn from the global environment and to support the virtual third cultures necessary for effective multicultural communication. One of the things we have...

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