Page 3 - VOICE December 2014

Basic HTML Version

to be deep thinkers who may have the best ideas of
all. Yet, because they tend to think before speaking,
to be non-interruptive, and not to initiate, their val-
ue can be overlooked. One idea to address this issue
is for the team to do a Cultural SWOT Analysis to-
gether, focusing on the diverse skills they have, then
planning how to most effectively use them. This
is
not a new or complex approach, but it is amazing
how easily we forget to do the simple things that
could really improve our performance.
Trust
In the end, trust is the ground-rock for any success-
ful human interaction, yet trust is built in different
ways across cultures. Being aware of different trust-
building strategies, and applying them within your
teams, can do no harm, and will almost certainly
lead to better results. If you are a Multi-Active who
likes to exaggerate and promise the earth in order
to keep enthusiasm high, think for a moment about
the effect this may have on a Linear-Active. If you
are a logical and direct Linear-Active, consider that
you may make your Reactive colleague lose face. If
you are Reactive, remember that trying to save the
face of your Linear or Multi-Active team members
may not be as important to them as understanding
your opinions clearly.
Showing value
HR has a great role to play in developing ways of
demonstrating to senior level management the im-
portance of succeeding in cross-cultural collabora-
tion, and of measuring the ROI in doing so. By taking
on this responsibility, HR will see benefits for their
team and the teams around them, as well as boost-
ing the perceived value of their work.
If you would like to meet Michael and learn
more about the Culture Active Assessment,
please visit us at Stand 60 at the HR Directors
Summit in Birmingham, 3rd-4th February 2015.
By Michael Gates
Michael Gates is Vice Chairman of Richard Lewis
Communications, one of the world’s leading cross-
cultural training and consultancy service providers.
He is also an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School,
University of Oxford. He is based in Helsinki, Finland.
Book Review
Firms of Endearment - How World
Class Companies Profit From Passion
and Purpose
By Jag Sheth, Raj Sisodia and David
Wolfe
The authors themselves say there is nothing radical
and new in their
Firms of Endearment
. And yet, for
me, there is. Sheth, Sisodia and Wolfe have identi-
fied that we are, in what they call, an “age of tran-
scendence” in which we are looking for a connection
with the organisations that we work in and buy
from. They explain this idea further on their web-
site; “Todays greatest companies are fuelled by pas-
sion and purpose not cash. They earn large profits
by enabling all of their stakeholders to thrive: cus-
tomers, investors, employees, partners, communi-
ties and society. These rare, authentic firms of en-
dearment act in powerful positive
ways that stakeholders recognise,
value and even love.”
In the book, the firms of endear-
ment that the authors identify are
built on values that have created
extraordinary organisations that
significantly outperform their
competitors. They have also highlighted that it takes
courageous leadership to create the atmosphere
and climate in which firms of endearment thrive.
What I most enjoyed about the book is that it is an
inspiring call to action for us as leaders to challenge
the paradigm of shareholder value - and the limiting
beliefs that often go with it – and strive to create
organisations that are truly built on their values,
passion and purpose.
Reviewed by John Frost
Director of Values Based Leadership
Publisher: Pearson FT Press