Page 4 - VOICE January 2014

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Help your colleagues to understand a) the value of
recruiting a culturally-diverse workforce b) the
competitive advantage of cultural flexibility c) the
importance of continuing cultural education in or-
der to retain people.
Put in place ongoing training and cultural aware-
ness programmes to increase mutual understanding
so your colleagues can learn from, and better inter-
act with each other.
Selecting the right people is a global activity
In Northern Europe and the USA, we tend to be
good at things which are linear and task-oriented,
like production, IT and logistics. But global organi-
sations are now fully aware that relationships and
strong people skills are an even greater source of
competitive edge than the purely rational. The abil-
ity to be agile and to win the hearts and minds of
people from different cultures is a significant part of
the success of people in global organisations. For
example, the economic rise of Asian countries like
India and China means that they are now increas-
ingly employing people from the west as they ex-
pand their global activities. This then means that to
be successful in these companies leaders have to
value relationship and people skills as well as get-
ting the job done.
The success of the BRIC economies is now being fol-
lowed by predicted success in those of the MINT
(Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) and the
need for cultural dexterity has therefore never been
greater. Selecting and developing a cul-
turally-diverse staff can help organisa-
tions reflect and understand better the
largest growing markets and in turn
continue to be successful on the global
The challenge is that our cultural
values are instilled from an early
age. If Ignatius Loyola's famous
words "give me a boy to the age of 7
and I'll show you the man" hold true,
all we do and say, and how we
evaluate others, is imbued with our
cultural values - usually without our
realising it.”
Appreciate the over-riding
importance of sensitivity to
national communication patterns
(including listening habits) as an aid
to real understanding, and that the
impact of what is said, or not said,
can be totally different from the
Book Review
Reimagining India
McKinsey & Company
Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia's
Next Superpower
, by McKinsey & Company, is a col-
lection of around 60 essays from leading thinkers
around the world, with contributors including
Mukesh Ambani (CEO of India’s largest private con-
glomerate), Bill Gates and Google chairman Eric
Schmidt. The essays explore topics such as the
strengths and weaknesses of India’s political sys-
tem, India’s rising international profile and the rap-
id evolution of India’s culture.
McKinsey & Company effective-
ly explore India’s anxieties
about its progress on the path
to becoming “Asia’s next super-
power” and contributors offer
an assessment of the risks faced
that will stop progress. The
book’s weakness is that the es-
says do not quite make up a
complete analysis of India’s fu-
ture and although the lineup of authors is impres-
sive, some are not as thought-provoking and don’t
appear to be as honest as others. The best essays
are written by those who are willing to be honest
and offer criticism, where needed, over decisions
that may have stalled India’s economy in recent
years. Due to the different views presented in the
essays, you are left with the impression that it is
more like a platform for generating ideas than a
book, however it is a must read if you have an inter-
est in India and want to shape your thinking on the
country, its potential and its challenges.
Reviewed by Laura Robertshaw
Values Based Leadership
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
By Michael Gates
Managing Director of Richard Lewis