Intercultural workshops

Intercultural workshops

The company was a global manufacturing company with its headquarters in the USA and plants across the world. The European Employee Development Director was responsible for management and organisation development across Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia.

We talked about how the company might gain value from the wide variety of national cultures that work together. The Director decided to offer workshops to increase intercultural awareness and understanding and asked me to work with him to design them, though he would deliver them.

We spent half a day sharing our ideas about what might be in a workshop and agreeing on the elements to include. Then I went away and produced a detailed draft design. We met again with the Learning and Development Manager and went through the plan again, improving and revising it and incorporating more ideas. Then I went away and produced another draft. After another iteration, he ran a short pilot workshop for eight people from four countries that went well, and we got a few more ideas on how to improve it.

The first event in Hungary went well. The workshop was fun, very interactive, simple to run and free of cultural bias. The design worked equally well across Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia. We used the same process to design and deliver exciting courses on Developing People and Developing Teams.

This factual description may not capture our shared excitement about working collaboratively and creatively and enjoying the process. We both know that the designs are much better than any we could have produced separately.

The gains to the organisation have already been very significant. The added value of the consultancy work is high because delivery remains with the client.

The exercises he used on the course are here.

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick