What is a Global Literacy? (updated)

In the spirit or brevity, I have put together a very short list of components which constitute “global literacy”, i.e., the ability to be fluent and effective in the acutely diverse global workplace. This list is based on my observations of highly effective managers in the global work place.

  1. Understand where other attitudes and behaviour different from your own come from due to an awareness of the limitations of your own culture
  2. Non-judgmental about how things get done
  3. Ability to build personal trust to transcend differences
  4. Ability to mitigate the imposition of your own cultural preferences. (like: be open)
  5. Behavioural and attitudinal flexibility to work with people and teams whose major shared domain is that they are different
  6. Ability to shelter global staff from corporate absurdities whilst inculcating central values and behaviours which cannot be compromised/

This is the focus of ALL the coaching/consulting that I do with teams and individuals who need to acquire global literacy. My experience is that very little falls outside this list.

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5 thoughts on “What is a Global Literacy? (updated)

  1. Perfect.
    Yet I would think, in my humble 12 years of global work… I would say #3 is 1st among equal.
    Thanks Alon, love you work here.

  2. I buy # 3 as being # 1.

    Interestingly, I have found that traveling is more a competency than a mere activity. For me, “traveling” is a willingness to experience being a”stranger” in a culture, to willingly notice without judgement, to hold differences as the common ground for connection. It is more than being a voyeur; or a consumer of interesting differences. It implies a willingness to learn.

  3. An outstanding & succinct description (minor language blip in #5) – with the development of a shared culture the final point. Cultural self-awareness first, intercultural competence 2-5, and cultural leadership, 6. What a relief amidst the mass of verbose scholarly, professional, and popular articles on the topic!

  4. Allon,

    Thanks again for your insights.
    I mentioned before I do not do many global projects and live in the US. Yet, I found, to a large extent, that your list of “components” is applicable for projects/efforts with a single region/country.

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