Intercultural workshops

The company is a global manufacturing company with its headquarters in the USA. It has plants across the world. My client is the European Employee Development Director. He looks after management and organisation development across Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia.

We have discussed how the company might gain value from the wide variety of national cultures that work together in his patch. He decided to offer some workshops that would increase intercultural awareness and understanding and to ask 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 the elements to include. Then I went away and produced a draft detailed design. We met again with the Learning and Development Manager and went through the design 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 onhow to improve it still more.

He has now run an event in Hungary that was very well received. The design is fun, very interactive, simple to run and free of cultural bias. The design worked well across Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia. We have used a similar process to design courses on Developing People and Developing Teams that have been very successful too.

This factual description may not capture the shared excitement we feel about working collaboratively and creatively and enjoying the process. Both of us know that the designs we produce are much better than any we could have produced separately.

Every time we do this our confidence increases. The gains to the organisation have already been very significant. The added value 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