Intercultural Awareness Exercise
Give everyone a piece of flip chart paper or electronic equivalent. Each participant describes the strengths of their culture and how it could be better
Here is what I might say
Nick Heap – British culture
|Change is usually by debate and peaceful||Be faster to seize opportunities|
|Eccentricity is celebrated||Be less complacent|
|English is the language of business||Be more optimistic that we can do it|
|Great Science||Bring more of our most creative people into business|
|Multicultural and Cosmopolitan||Have more equality of opportunity|
|There is a rich literary and artistic tradition||Speak more languages|
|Universal Health care||Turn ideas into products more effectively|
2) Stick your chart on the wall, walk around the room, and look at each other’s lists. Ask questions if there are things there you do not understand. Think about who might be able to help you.
For example, suppose you were a British person and realised that most British people only speak English. You might decide to ask a Dutch or Swiss multilingual person how people learn languages in their countries. As a result, you might influence language teaching in your local school or the recruitment policy in your organisation.
3) Come together as a whole group. Ask people to notice the rich range of cultures in the group. What did you notice about (e.g.) the French culture? What surprised you? Lead a discussion about how can you use this cultural richness to add business value to the organisation.