• Japanese cultures look for temperament in candidates.
• Islamic cultures look for agreeableness and trustworthiness.
• Latin American cultures look for family priorities and values.
By knowing the firm’s plan of strategic growth, hiring managers can determine what competencies the firm
is lacking. Hiring managers must look for candidates
to strengthen the firm with their cross-cultural competencies but who also embrace organizational learning.
Identifying the candidates who are motivated and ready
to learn must be at the heart of hiring practices designed
to facilitate sustainable growth. This concept ties closely with motivational CQ (cultural intelligence). Candidates with high motivational CQ tend to adapt well to
new experiences, persist when placed in diverse situations, have higher rates of self-efficacy, be intrinsically
motivated, and adjust more easily to new situations.
As most organizational leaders and HR practitioners
know, developing a training program is not as simple as
downloading the most recent fad tool from the internet
or buying a promoted series online. Training programs
are influential for both new consultants as well as tenured consultants.
Training programs within the firm must take into account the delivery method, type of learner, job-relevan-cy, content covered, facilitator, learning environment
and more. Though not simple, training programs and
other HR practices provide organizations with a considerable amount of value if focused on areas of strategic
growth—and in this case, the target culture(s). Consider
the various resources the firm has available within the
current team, vendor relationships, networking opportunities, and third-party investment opportunities.
There are a variety of resources the leadership team
can provide consultants through the human resources
development. Consider implementing the following
ideas to aid the firm’s cross-cultural expansion.
• Develop performance appraisals that speak to the competencies
required in the given culture. This allows for further identification
of areas where the consultant may need to develop to better meet
client expectations, communicate, and deliver necessary insights.
• Facilitate career mapping for consultants interested in proactive-
ly pursuing cross-cultural situations. This will help the consult-
ants work towards necessary competencies he or she is currently
lacking to meet the position expectations.
• When it is time to assign cross-cultural projects, provide a Realistic Living Conditions Preview (RLCP) for the consultant before
starting the assignment. RLCP provides insights on daily routines
and specific information relevant to the culture in which the consultant will work. RLCP informs consultants cognitively for a realistic picture of the cross-cultural experience.
Find the consultants within your firm who take it
upon themselves to grow in cultural competencies necessary for global expansion and cross-cultural success.
It is that level of motivational CQ, that level of interest,
that level of drive to understand cultural surroundings
that will set the firm apart from other firms not interested in learning within the global context.
Cross-cultural encounters are not limited to the development programs the firm offers. Consultants too can
take it upon themselves to be prepared for cross-cultural
projects and clients. There are a variety of opportunities
to pursue intercultural situations outside of the office:
• Personal travel and tourism is one method a consultant can leverage that has professional benefits. When traveling, consultants
benefit from building relationships and spending time with locals.
• Education is another opportunity for consultants who are interested in building their cultural perspectives—there are countless
ways to use a learning environment.
• Community-based programs on a local level require less monetary investment to interact with another culture.
As the leadership team seeks global expansion, understand the role of the firm’s HR department but also
the consultants themselves play in achieving cross-cultural success. From an HR perspective, hiring, training
and resources are critical for the firm to arm consultants. But, the firm must have consultants willing to invest in individual initiatives to build skills, as well. The
strength of the firm’s human resource development to
address cultural training correlates strongly with the
success of the firm’s international success. Ultimately,
the attitude, perspective and culture towards organizational learning impacts the firm’s global growth.
Sarah Skidmore spurs the creative application of theory &
strategy for leaders and organizations seeking to enhance their
competitive advantage. Skidmore can be reached at Sarah@