Leadership for Global Innovation and Collaboration Workshop

For my first blog entry, I’d like to share the business coaching seminar conducted by the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce (FACCI) on 24 October in Perth, WA.  This was a two-part seminar: social innovation and cultural awareness. With Janet my Essential Project Solutions partner, our business coaching seminar was a huge success!

leadership workshop

Key topics discussed were the following:

Focus.

As we all believe that the world evolves we are at lost to what is in front of us. The pace of how fast that is currently happening. It took 75 years to get a million people to use a phone yet in a mere 35 days a million people fell in with the hype of the mobile app, “Angry Birds”. This is made possible by the continuing progress of worldwide communication via social media and other internet-based applications and sources. In the future, the possibilities remain limitless, and this should be how we will soon achieve Global Innovation and Collaboration. A world focused on making achievements spearheaded by a well-communicated race and becoming a single entity ourselves.

Singularity.

We believe that integrating with machines in the future could drive the rise of human intellect.  That by the late 2000s our capacity to think and further innovation would be exponential. A possibility that trans-humans will be a reality.

In the past, the sharing of science and technology took ages to develop whereas today we can see how easy it is to work with people across the globe. This is only getting faster at a pace where it takes mere seconds to send information through no matter the distance as long as an internet connection is available.

Leadership.

Amid the chaos of a growing population, one must consider different aspects of each society or party. This is why knowing how to lead this enormous leap into the future becomes very important. An essential mission and vision must be realised to make a proper working force that would enable us to traverse any challenges and keep us going as we all encounter what this fast pace progress will bring. Understanding and hearing things that every party isn’t saying, for example, will become an essential. Knowing that we should give a sense of meaning and importance to what people do.

Prior to discussing the cross-cultural aspects of a business, Janet and I shared a lovely break with the attendees over French cheese and wine.  We discussed what is culture and why do we need to understand it to continue the movement of progress in the second part of our workshop.

Following this introduction to cross-culture, we set up a role-playing game involving 3 people from different cultures who meet for a business meeting – an Australian, a Korean and a French person. The 3 volunteers acted purposely in exaggerating their cultural difference.

Janet provided another example of a project that was blocked due to a misunderstanding between French, Australian and Korean stakeholders. According to her, it is very important to understand what is missing and what is not said rather than fighting. It is crucial to educate yourself to be able to understand others.

Attendees shared their international experience, here are some of them:

For the Chinese, time is truly important. This is something to be taken into account when dealing with them. It is also very important to show respect should you want to build a long-term relationship.

Asians generally do not like a “surprise discussion” or to be cornered about a topic that was not on the agenda.

It has been established that in order to move forward in a global environment, we need to communicate effectively. We also need to be mindful of the language we use and our word choices.

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Culture is the complex pattern of ideas, emotions, and observable manifestations — Behaviours and Symbols that tend to be expected, reinforced and rewarded by and within a particular group. Having the proper understanding of how things work in different continents, countries, groups and people etc. will produce generalization rather than stereotypes, whereas generalization focuses on analyzing all data and making a hypothesis that is constantly tested and refined, everything is based on an open attitude, curiosity, and willingness to learn. On the other hand, stereotype mentality often contradicts information and amplifies smaller issues. It always focuses on having a judgmental attitude, selective perception and most of the time people will refuse to learn.

What we need to consider as well are the different types of Cultural Orientation, which are separated into three (3) areas of Style

First, there is the Interaction Style — this impacts how people tend to interact and communicate inside a workplace. There is a spectrum where at one end there is a style  with a loose sense of punctuality which relies on results of self-determined actions. At the other end, there is a more precise result determined by hours of work, agreed with approach and more definition.

Next, we have the Thinking Style — which covers how people tend to process information in work situations. Here the contrast is, for example, between detailed analysis of individual components versus the big picture and casual connections.  Contrasts between Multitasker versus single task at a time styles are also picked up in this area.

Lastly, The Sense of Self Style, this area covers how people tend to view identity and motivation in workplaces. The contrast is often seen in situations where the work style is cooperative versus a competitive environment or those who work as a group in contrast to those who prefer to shine by themselves.

More photos of this workshop can be found on our Facebook page.

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