Cross Cultural Competency



Developing competency and leadership models that are effective internationally: ITAP's special focus on "Cross Cultural Competency" and the concept of "Behavioral Diversity"

Defined as "the personal capabilities, underlying characteristics and behaviors that drive superior performance at work across national boundaries" - there is no doubt that for today's global organization, "cross-cultural competence" is critical. It is a simple and obvious truth that success in cross-cultural roles requires cross-cultural competency. International roles are complex, challenging and demand a wider range of capabilities than domestic roles. Most critically, they demand flexibility in the means by which objectives are achieved - even if those objectives may be "universal."

Yet most organizations design and implement - even impose - leadership models and employee expectations that are in effect mono-cultural in content, so that "diversity" is by default limited to those who at least behave like the organization's home culture.- But what is "best practice" in one culture might be wholly ineffective (or even offensive) in another. There is no universal "global approach" that can be defined by the same behaviors that works for every culture. While the competency may be global - such as Leadership - the behavioral expectations will differ from culture to culture if that Leader is to be effective in delivering what the organization needs internationally.

This illustrates what we mean by "Behavioral Diversity" - enabling an organization to recognize the value and validity of a range of behavioral alternatives that will produce what the organization needs - but not always in just the way practices are applied at head-office.

ITAP offers a thorough and effective methodology for: