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  • Do you need to identify and accelerate the development of your current and future global leaders?
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  • Would your business be more successful if individuals, teams and divisions of your organization could work more effectively with colleagues from other cultures?
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  • Would your global organization benefit from a proactive approach to change management and transformation?
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  • Does your organization need to adapt or develop strategies to better motivate, engage and retain valuable global talent?
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ITAP International specializes in global, cross-border consulting. We focus on helping individuals, teams and organizations work across internal and national borders, achieving success through people. We are experts working in multiple countries with extensive line and staff experience in multiple sectors. Our work is based on the best research and the best global practices. Our services focus on:

  1. Talent retention and development
  2. Effectiveness of the senior team and mission critical global teams
  3. Global workforce development
  4. Transformation and change

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ITAP is a licensee of the Hofstede CWQ™

The Hofstede Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ (Hofstede CWQ) is based on the seminal cultural research of Dr. Geert Hofstede. ITAP licenses the Hofstede CWQ from ODE Consulting® Pte. Ltd. The Hofstede CWQ is the only instrument endorsed by Dr. Hofstede. ODE Consulting's licensed CW Partners and Global Resource Team members have worldwide exclusive rights to its use and are approved to represent Dr. Hofstede's research. According to Dr. Hofstede, "This [approval] is due to their professionalism and deep understanding of my work.”

Culture, what Dr. Hofstede refers to as "software of the mind/mental programming," is a critical variable that guides peoples' actions and reactions. Understanding one's own culture and the impact of culture on the actions of others is essential for effective global business interactions. The Hofstede Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ provides respondents with insights about themselves and a better understanding of how their cultural preferences, as well as the cultural preferences of others, impact working relationships.

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Do you need to identify and accelerate the development of your current and future global leaders? 

Culture shapes how we think about what is effective leadership, and the definitions of an "effective leader" vary from one culture to another. In fact, effective leadership behavior in one culture could (and will) be completely ineffective in others. In order to develop leaders who can effectively lead global operations, it is important to understand what makes leaders effective across cultures.

Therefore, a one-development-approach will not work when developing global leaders. While true leaders can envision what they want to achieve, know how to meet the challenges of the market and take steps to make that vision a reality, how they interact with people will define their success. Leaders with cultural sensitivity can be more effective than those without. Leadership is complex and leading across cultures is more complex.

ITAP can help your organization:

  • assess the effectiveness of your recruitment, selection and succession policies to insure that your talent pool is diverse and matches the qualities and characteristics that will succeed in various cultures
  • identify development needs - a gap analysis should address both individual needs and the global talent pool so the organization can leverage needs across large employee populations
  • design learning opportunities that match leaders' learning styles, because these too differ across cultures
  • provide cross-cultural coaching for executives and leaders working in a multi-cultural environment
  • assess each leader's cultural profile to help him or her with self-understanding, the first step to appreciation of cultural differences.

Cultural attitudes and values impact behaviors.  Global organizations need to understand the cultural driver of workplace and consumer behaviors.  What impact do cultural values have on learning and development approaches?  What impact does culture have on attitudes towards risk and safety? How do consumer attitudes impact product positioning?  How does the cultural background of product users impact their attitudes about help desk/service centers or call centers?  How does the cultural background of help desk/service centers or call center agents impact their ability to serve your customers?

ITAP can measure these cultural attitudes and provide recommendations on and deliver interventions around culturally appropriate approaches. The slide deck below about doing business in China is an example of the kind of intelligence ITAP research can produce.  See additional sample presentations at SlideShare. Another example is a presentation on the Impact of Culture on Attitudes Towards Risk and Safety — please click here to download it.




Does your organization need to adapt or develop strategies to better motivate, engage and retain valuable global talent?

Globally, there are too many important positions and not enough talented people to fill them. How can companies create an internal supply of identified talent who can move into positions of greater responsibility?

TWIST Consulting/ITAP Europe (in Munich, Germany) has developed a rigorous approach used throughout the ITAP network that involves senior executives in a process to analyze the potential of identified internal talent for the purpose of development. Organizations of all sizes use this process (for higher level talent, with mid-level talent, to assess all those identified as “talent to watch”).  In all cases, this process is a collaboration between supervisors, senior management, human resources professionals, and the individuals who have been identified for development.

The Basis for Talent Development is the Competency Model

ITAP uses the client competency model (if it is really up to date, aligned with their present strategy of the company, and has an eye to future talent needs). If there is no up-to-date model, ITAP supplies one which is adapted to the client’s needs via interviews with the Managing Director.  For example, ITAP asks:

  1. What are the strategic challenges for a company?
  2. How do the leadership competencies need to be adapted to meet the future strategic challenges for the company?
  3. Is intercultural competence part of your competence model?

Once that is established there are 6 steps in the process.

Step 1: (Prior to the session) Custom Design of Activities Aligned to the Competency Model

ITAP partners with the client to gather data in order to develop scenarios and cases specific to the industry and functions within the client company. A wide variety of activities are custom created so they can evaluate the specific competencies for that organization.

Step 2: (Prior to the session) Identification/Selection of talent

  • In most companies there is already a process for identifying future talent (e.g. superiors nominate them; or have executive conversations/panel discussions about candidates each year). In some cases, current/special responsibilities might be a way to identify talent (e.g., project managers, line managers or specialists, those who have expressed a desire to do more global work, etc.).
  • In some cases, potential candidates run through a Selection Assessment Center with ITAP.

Step 3: (To start the session) Rater training is required for senior managers who will take the part of “Observers” (evaluators) in the sessions. 

The facilitators will explain the approach of the Development Center and the role and attitude the observers need to take on. Possible biases and other pitfalls that might influence the objectivity are discussed. A common understanding of the rating scale is created. This ensures a high level of objectivity and fairness during the session.

Step 4: (Within the session) Participants are assigned activities (individual, duo and team activities) and evaluators (line managers or executives who are “observers”) rate the observed behavior and discuss the results.

These are discussions to identify the gaps between "as is" vs. "need to be" in the participants' capabilities.  These discussions are conducted with the support of a "facilitator" who helps the observers justify their evaluation. (These occur after each exercise while the participants are preparing for their next activity.)

  • Strength and weak points of each participant (on the basis of the competencies) are identified in the process. (Throughout the activities, each competency is measured at least 2 times independently in different exercises to ensure objectivity).
  • At the end of the session – facilitator(s) and observer(s) make consolidated recommendations for
    • Potential Placement: What kind of job (family) is optimal for the candidate?
    • Development Plan:
      • Which of the competencies are strongly developed and should be seen as resources in the future?
      • Where is there need for development?
      • How could the candidate be supported (professional development, on-the-job opportunities, training, coaching, some combination)?

Step 5: (After the Session) Initial Feedback

  • Each participant gets a 1 – 1.5 hour feedback session with a facilitator to give them an overview of the observers' recommendations
  • All results are formalized by the facilitator into a written report that is given to HR
  • Participants each get a copy of the formal feedback report.
  • All results are discussed between the participant, his/her supervisor, and HR in preparation for inclusion in their development plan

Step 6: (After the Session) Talent Development Planning and Implementation

  • The company uses the reports as a basis for extended development plans for those who attend
  • In most cases, talent and/or global top talents also get a seminar program of about 4 – 10 sessions throughout the year (some of which are virtual) as well as additional self-assessment and development activities


Graph of self, supervisor and workshop quantitative results
(Qualitative results not shown)


Frequently Asked Questions

A. Why use this talent development process?

The benefits include:

  1. Focused Development: Talent is given the opportunity in a variety of activities to demonstrate their capabilities and to learn about where they (and the company) might benefit from development.
  2. Cost savings: This is a process that helps companies scrambling for new talent to look inside their organizations and dig deeper to find gems that may be critical to the success of their companies, especially in preparation for future needs. 
  3. Retention and motivation of internal talent: In difficult financial times this process is a gesture that expresses that talent is important to the organization.
  4. Involvement with and exposure to senior executives: Senior executives get to meet and evaluate individuals they might never see otherwise and get a better sense of what talent lies deeper in the organization. This also provides opportunities for employees to get in front of the senior company leaders and show what they bring to the organization.

B. What are the topics that are assessed?

This depends entirely on the competencies of the client organization.  

  • ITAP builds a manager and self-assessment form directly from existing competency models.  
  • ITAP also creates an interview guide based on those competencies.  
  • Activities can cover financial, strategic, market, customer, employee management, and functional improvement issues.  See sample program list:
  1. Personal Presentation
  2. Case study (topical interview with senior management)
  3. Speech to department (delivering the difficult message)
  4. Role play (with difficult employee)
  5. Intercultural Questionnaire / Exercise with the Hofstede Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™
  6. Specific presentation (Board ROI request)
  7. Pro-con-discussion (on an industry specific topic)
  8. Team exercise
  9. Self-evaluation


Would your global organization benefit from a proactive approach to change management and transformation?

Any transformation or company-wide change is difficult, the most difficult being a merger/acquisition situation.  Many (perhaps most) changes do not succeed.  And in global companies the change is always more complex, not only due to the size of the organization, but also due to the pressures of the culture diversity of the employee population.  Let’s take a look at the most difficult case, mergers, to see if there are any lessons there that we can apply to large scale change in general.

Mergers fail despite rigorous financial and business due diligence and powerful commitments on both sides to make them work.  Research has shown that mergers are apt to be more successful if the processes focus on resolving corporate culture issues (i.e., integrating both the cultural diversity of the employees and the organizational cultures): 

“Deals were 26 percent more likely than average to be successful if they focused on resolving cultural issues, and those acquirers who left cultural issues until the post-deal period severely hindered their chance of deal success, compared with those who dealt with them early in the process."
(SOURCE: KPMG Merger & Acquisition: A Global Research Report)

For all major organization wide changes, one of the prime causes of failure is the lack of attention paid to the impact change has on people and the lack of information about and planning to mitigate the “barriers to success” that this change will cause.

Organizations typically:

  1. Conduct insufficient cultural due diligence pre or post the announcement or initiation of change.  However, it is possible and practical to:
    a.    measure and compare the current organizational cultures, and agree on a “vision” for the new organizational culture
    b.    assess whether the internal values of employees will be a help or a hindrance in moving towards that new/vision culture
  2. Have arduous and lengthy processes to define and communicate the new strategy and direction (this often takes months if it happens at all effectively)
  3. Do not have enough access to the data on which to make informed decisions about the strategy and the people the change will affect by which to define the new organizational structure.

ITAP can help by:

  1. Measuring the current and future desired state of the organization; conducting a gap analysis
  2. Assessing and identifying when/where employee values are likely to create barriers to the changes
  3. Making recommended additions to the change management project

ITAP Global Resource Team Offices

Seoul, South KoreaSingapore / China / PhilippinesMunich, GermanyPrinceton, New Jersey, USA


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ITAP Asia Pacific

OD Corea / ITAP Asia Pacific
Seoul, South Korea

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ITAP Singapore / ITAP China / ITAP Philippines

ODE Consulting /

ODE Consulting (China) Co., Ltd. / 
Shanghai, China

CMC Business Solutions / 
Manila, Philippines

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ITAP Europe

TWIST Consulting / ITAP Europe
Munich, Germany

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ITAP Americas

ITAP Americas
Princeton, NJ, USA

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