All right, folks. So we have talked about culture and seen how it influences how we think, how we feel, how we behave and interact with each other. If you've got an appreciation to some degree how complex culture is because there are so many influences on culture. and culture can exist at a very broad scope: National culture. But also very local. Group cultures, influence that leaders have on their followers, so on so forth. It's a complex phenomena. We have talked a little bit about how we can actually start analyzing cultures by dissecting them into these layers, the three layers of the audience: artifacts, values, and assumptions. And that we can categorize cultures Into these diametrically opposed poles. Femininity and masculinity orientation, for example. Long-term, short-term orientation. Things of that nature. Let us see how we can use some of those insights to actually deal with a practical challenging situation where you have to navigate a culture that you're not very familiar with. Okay? All right so I'm going to give you a scenario. You are an engineer for Renault the french carmaker. You've worked in Europe primarily, most recently in the Flans de Paris which is one of the big plants. That means for you of course you came from Taiwan to work in Europe and you did had a shorter trip from Italy to France. Now you're being sent to Brazil to actually head a project over there for, for process optimization in one of their plants there. It’s the first time that you're in Brazil, it’s the first time that you're in Latin America actually, and your bosses know that so they generously offered you a one day boot camp style kind of cultural sensitivity training, where basically people are told, you have to remember all this. You get a bunch of papers you know, that to remember charts and pointers of how to behave. You sit on the plane. You are on your way to Brazil. On the day after you arrive you will have a tour of the plant, and people will expect some kind of a short speech, an address from you because you're the project leader for this. So you sit on the plane. You're trying to work out what that speech should be. My question for you would be, how do you do it How would you approach this task of drafting that speech? How would you approach that challenge? I think the first question we need to ask ourselves is what is the national culture in Brazil? It is quite important that you understand the national level. Okay, good. You want to know what are the Brazilians like. You are in luck. In part of the training that you had, you got these wonderful Hofstede maps of where different cultures are located for power-distance and masculinity, and uncertainty bars, etc. You have got a nice little survey of what Brazilian culture according to the Hofstede surveys is like. You know that they have a high tendency towards high power distance. So hierarchy is respected. You have to respect the elderly and the boss. There is a strong tendency towards collectivism, so people are integrated into groups. The group is important. You know that there's a tendency towards high uncertainty avoidance which means that rules and standards are important to guide behavior and to give people the security to know what happens. Also it means that they really want to have safe spaces from work to some degree. Where they know that they can relax. We also know that Brazil is a high indulgence culture. It's not a criticism, just according to the categorization that Hofstede uses, people want to enjoy life, and work, life balance is something that's important. You also know that maybe the last thing that's important as you prepare; To understand that the national context. Is that Brazilian's tend to be passionate, not all of them, but often they express themselves very emotionally, passionately; and body language is very demonstrative. Well, that makes this easier to an Italian. Exactly, easy for you so that would be the the national context. Something that I don't see here is do we know whether all people working there are actually from Brazil? Yeah, that's a very good question. That might be the national context but what do people bring? Let's say that the people that you're working with on the project are Brazilian, But you also know that the boss the, the head production engineer is actually an American. He has been working there for seven years already. That means people there may be more open to an American style of management. Maybe. Maybe they are. Right, or maybe that guy completely adapted to Brazilian expectations. Right, so how would you find out which one prevails: the Brazilian or the American leadership style? Since I am going to have a tour with the company. I may try to meet the boss, or if I were to talk to him or her a figure him or her out. Also from walking around observing people and talking to them, I should be able to figure out what's the prevailing style. As you encounter the local culture, even the organizational culture specifically there; as you're observing the artifacts, how people talk, how they interact, what's the cardinal rule? What do you not want to do? I shouldn't judge them or interact with them biased by cultural perspective. Exactly, this ethnocentric interpretation of what you see, at this surface level, is what you want to avoid. You want to dig deeper, understand what values and hidden assumptions actually generated those kinds of behaviors, those artifacts that you're encountering. Good. We have the national influences. We have considerations of specific leader influences on the culture at that site at that plant. Are there any other considerations that we should be taking? I think another important factor is the organizational cultures from our company. Yes, what kind of a company is Renault? Since it is a global company there is a global culture. It's multinational. There are some standards maybe that have been communicated and that people have been exposed to to some degree. Knowing that being a multinational, how do you think that would influence how you're thinking about the speech? Well I think we need to stress the importance of integrated global cultures with the local cultures. Right. Kind of bring that together. Make it fit. Okay, so any ideas? How do you do it? What would you stress in terms of the global elements? I think we need to first emphasize there's a global vision and that all the infrastructures are connected on the global scale. Okay, so there's this kind of level of interdependence? Yeah, so that also suggests that collaboration is really important. If everybody is interdependent you have to collaborate across different boundaries and that every part of that network and all the diverse skills and perspectives actually have a positive contribution to make. You can even make that point personally, because you are embodying that, you are a multinational, transnational, leader in that sense as well. Yes. You have experience that you can learn from these different contexts and you can contribute to a cultural context that is not your own. You're trying to do that here as well, in this specific project. Okay, that's the global side, what would you stress from the local one? We can stress local achievements. Yes. That that would make the CEO proud. And then also praise authority figures there. In that case it would be the American boss the American boss So, so, he clearly has been running this plan for a while. Showing some respect to the good work that he has been done or overseen at least is, is probably going to be helpful. You also want to sell the project that you are engaged in. I mean this efficiency optimization project. Sell that as a local benefit It's not just something that comes from headquarters because they, want to reduce the overall cost, it's something that can have local benefits. It means that maybe if there's more efficiency, more stress-free work, There’s less overtime; and less overtime means, you can actually enjoy life. Enjoy life more, like spend more time with your friends, family, so on and so forth. Really stress that this is a local relevance in a global context. We have considered global strategy for the company. We hve considered local issues local organization in your speech but you have not talked much about yourself yet. People want to know what kind of person you are to be able to trust you. What do you tell them? What kind of a leader you're going to be for this project, how would you portray yourself? We should firstly understand what their expectations for their leaders are. Some of that you might get out of observing when you're doing your tour, talking to the head American engineer there. Let's say, though, for now you're not quite sure exactly what the expectations are. We also kind of know that you don't necessarily want to pander to those expectations or go too far away from what you feel comfortable with. How would you approach it? I would go for building trust and participate. You want to invite participation and foster trust? Those are great instincts because those two things, fostering trust and participation is actually something that works in most contexts Almost regardless of culture those are seen almost universally as positive leadership traits. If you focus on those, and there are a couple of others, clearly people also like competence, and intelligence. So you've been around You have international experience. You have worked in one of the most important facilities in Europe, so you can really emphasize that you're very happy that you have a chance to actually bring some of that experience with you. So the people want to know that you're intelligent. People want to know that that you're honest about what you are expecting and what you want from them. And that you're positive about the whole thing as well so positivity is always something that we, that regardless of culture, like in leaders. Again we see the opportunities in this project And clearly it's also how you say it so that they see that you're a good communicator, that you enjoy reaching out to them. I said that you honestly feel that this is great, that you have a chance to actually talk to them to start a conversation about the projects and so forth. So those are some of the universals and then clearly there are also universals that you may want to avoid Any ideas of what people might almost universally not like in leaders? Pushy? Being too pushy? Yes. Being too dictatorial. That's one of the things that works almost nowhere. You can be authoritative, but if you're pushing it too far, that's a problem. And people also don't like leaders that are too egocentric, it's always me, me, me, me, me. Or if they are too irritable. If you feel like you know that guy could explode any moment, or that gal could explode any moment. That's bad too. Those are also universals. Okay, so those are good things to stress. How would you communicate it though. We talked about content. This is a largely Brazilian group that you're talking to would you. communicate about who you are in a very rationally way, or would you allow yourself some emotion? We need to express our emotion a little bit. Yes, a little bit, why? Yes, because we know that Brazil are quite blunt about their feelings. We need to get. You know communicating the way we are used to. Let’s say they are more honest about their emotions. You want to allow yourself a little more leeway there, especially if it's an emotional context where it's a little more controlled. Here you know you can let it go a little bit more. Doesn't mean you go crazy emotional because that would be inauthentic you would feel uncomfortable you would see it. But, you also know that you can allow yourself a little bit more room there. Even for you. Yes, sir. But can we say that adapting our way of communicating to the other culture, is more important than adapting rules or content in a way. This case we are more emotional because they are emotional. It's kind of more important than being too participative for instance. I like that. When we talk about needing to have this global perspective as well this is basically what they should focus on. This is basically the content of what you want to do as a leader is have this global orientation, but how do you get it done? You can actually provide a little bit more, adapt a little bit more to local expectations. And certainly in this context. You could do that. I really liked that even though we started with the idea of specific Brazilian characteristics that by and large, we try to avoid stereotyping by considering these different cultural influences we have as well. The American leader that was there, the organizational culture and all that and that you suggested that we really kind of balance multiple things here right, balance the global and local. We balance the emphasis on the competence of the leader. you could be a good leader, good engineer for this project, with a little bit of emotionality and warmth so you're more relatable. Which is important to build trust with people there. I think that will give you kind of a good start in this, in this scenario. And it might even help kind of the organization also to develop an orientation towards, or a capacity for this transnational or leadership approach That's not pandering to local specificities. But is really taking a more, kind of transnational approach.