Intercultural management and organizational change

Establishing subsidiaries abroad; acquisition by a foreign company, having an international labour force or practicing talent management across boundaries: intercultural management is one of the most exciting challenges of our times. A leadership style which makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck; agreements that do not seem to get follow up; careless comments which hurt; tedious decision making or diversity without inclusion: the list of possible issues is long and cultural competence to prevent them is key.

Culture has an influence on all aspects of your organization:

  • Leadership
  • Internal communication and information flow
  • Planning, performance and monitoring
  • Customer service and client relationships
  • Motivation of personnel and HR policy
  • Marketing and branding
  • Negotiation
  • Etc. etc.

As Peter Drücker mentioned: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. You may have an excellent strategy, but if the culture is not aligned with it, it will quickly become a dead letter.

Culture is complex and multi-layered. Within Hofstede Insights we look both at national culture as well as organisational culture. We bring the complexity back to its core and together with you we determine the right pathway to change. We use these two models:

  1. The Hofstede 6D model of national culture (cultural differences among countries, translated to the workplace)
  2. The Multi Focus Model for organisational culture (comparison between the strategically optimal and the current organisational culture).

We facilitate separate trajectories in the areas of national and organisational culture. At the same time we offer the unique possibility to create a combined overview of national and organisational cultures and to find a coherent change management approach.

National cultures

Tensions among colleagues; high staff turnover; the breaking down of negotiations; negative feelings of anger or betrayal and even wild strikes: just a few possible consequences of cultural differences. The dimensions of national culture provide for a neutral language to discuss sensitive topics. Mastering these differences and similarities increase the effectiveness of the individual, the team and the organisation as a whole. You may find that rather than a nuisance, the diversity can create synergy and even a competitive advantage.

A national culture trajectory usually looks like this:

  1. Interactive knowledge transfer of the basic cultural differences and the identification of the biggest pain points and the overlaps within the organisation
  2. Co-creating solutions which are acceptable to all parties
  3. Operationalising solutions into behaviour and standardized operating procedures
  4. Anchoring the new ways of working into the organisation

It is my goal to proverbially teach my clients ‘how to fish’ and to bring them to such a level of cultural insight that they can apply the six dimensions in various situations and at those difficult moments where they need them most.

Organisational culture

The Multi Focus Model (MFM) sets an organisational culture change process into motion. With online surveys for employees, we measure the current culture, while together with management the optimal culture is being determined. An optimal culture depends on the sector you’re in as well as on your strategy.

A gap analysis between current and optimal culture shows with great precision where the challenges lie. With prioritization, change levers and OD processes, we co-create the right direction, culture and correct working circumstances for your team, unit or organisation.

Diversity and inclusion

Diverse, well managed teams are more effective and innovative than homogeneous teams. Diverse, badly managed teams, on the other hand, are a liability to the organization. The question is how to achieve the first and to prevent the latter. Diversity demands inclusion and it sets specific requirements for management.

With the MFM we are able measure the level of inclusion in your organization; it reveals the strengths and weaknesses in this area. With the 6D model we will work together to formulate common ground and to co-create procedures which includes various voices and ideas. At the same time we coach management into successful diversity management and leadership.

Geographic specialty

Seen in the light of background and experience, the geographical field of expertise of De Vonk is made up of Europe and the emerging economies of Africa and the Middle East. Within Hofstede Insights we have direct contact with well qualified consultants from all over the world.

For more information don’t hesitate to contact me and you will become inspired in one of the open training courses.

Recent clients