Beware of camouflaged cultural differences

Follow the process and I will trust you; when I trust you I will follow your process. Herein lies is a major difference between West and East.

Too often organizations wall paper this issue with dysfunctional ERP process or empty slogans that “we are all one team”,

Belief in the dominance of a “working and self correcting system” enables and feeds the belief in process as the cornerstone of getting things done. On the other hand, belief in the dominance of trusting relationships enables and feeds the belief in “working the network”, exchanging favours, and “off line” arrangements to get things done.

Do not fall into a trap that “we are all becoming similar” just because global business, the web and the English language have increased exposure to one another. The differences have not been diminished. There is lots of  “apparent similarity” that has camouflaged cultural differences, not eliminated them.

If you are interested in my lecture on Camouflaged Cultural Differences, contact me.

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8 thoughts on “Beware of camouflaged cultural differences

  1. Many international businessmen working outside of their aquarium of comfort ignore these differences to their detriment. … mmm … are international businesswomen any different?

    • Of course there is a difference.
      I see politically correct language as a local quirk which does not bind me in any way shape or form. Yet there is always an attempt to enforce it. Why? Why cant people accept that outside the usa and canada, this has no meaning and worse, it is cultural force feeding.

  2. I’ve gone “outside the process” my whole career!

    When I’ve been internal, I find out who’s best positioned to do something with my ideas & “give” them to that person.

    & often I stand outside & shout “BOOGA-BOOGA” to accomplish change!

  3. Robin
    Is booga booga the same for men and women in the us.
    In hebrew, booga would be feminine בוגה
    Whereas boog would be masculine בוג
    Please remember that you are also appealing to a audience where you cant say chairmain or elevatorlady.

  4. Allon –

    THis was in part what I was trying to articulate on the linked in PMO conversation. I struggle with politically correct language at time because I feel like I can’t talk about the reality of the very things in front of us. At the same time I deeply respect that the way we use language encourages us to think in certain patterns.

    I am very much a person who thinks ‘trust you and I will follow the process’ – for this I am sometimes told that I do not respect authority.

  5. One can only aspire to be as glorious as Ms. Ramsbottom. Indeed, if I had a photo of her illustrious face I would make a giant poster and place it in a timely and effective spot in my residence so that I might pass by her regularly and be reminded of her greatness while I am also inspired by her many many many talents.

    I am truly not of her caliber, simply an ignorant provincial who must constantly be reminded of my failings. But i am honored to even glance at her blog.

  6. Another point, if I may, is that when it comes to invisible disabilties many people say ‘Oh, yes I have the same problem’ – but they do not. They don’t understand that a disability is often a painful, challenging difference but because people want to make us all similar the painful challenging part is not addressed but rather camouflaged as you say.

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