Developing Cultural Adaptability: How to Work Across Differences

Front Cover
Thinking about cultural differences around the world isn’t just an intellectual exercise for managers working in an increasingly global environment. Being able to communicate effectively across cultural differences, understanding how to negotiate complex social situations, and being familiar with the customs and norms of many cultures are important skills in organizations today. Perhaps even more important than possessing those essential pieces of cultural knowledge is the skill of cultural adaptability—the willingness and ability to recognize, understand, and work effectively across cultural differences.
Proficiency in cultural adaptability helps contemporary managers to build the relationships needed to achieve results in today’s global organizations, especially when those relationships are forged across borders and cultures. It enables them to interact effectively with people different from themselves, whether these people work on the next floor or on the other side of the world.

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About the author (2003)

This series of guidebooks draws on the practical knowledge that the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has generated, since its inception in 1970, through its research and educational activity conducted in partnership with hundreds of thousands of managers and executives. Much of this knowledge is shared-in a way that is distinct from the typical university department, professional association, or consultancy. CCL is not simply a collection of individual experts, although the individual credentials of its staff are impressive; rather it is a community, with its members holding certain principles in common and working together to understand and generate practical responses to today's leadership and organizational challenges.
The purpose of the series is to provide managers with specific advice on how to complete a developmental task or solve a leadership challenge. In doing that, the series carries out CCL's mission to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide.

Jennifer J. Deal is a research scientist at CCL with interests in global and generational issues of leadership. She is the author and coauthor of several works related to executive selection, global management, and other issues. She holds a Ph.D. degree in industrial/organizational psychology from The Ohio State University.

Don W. Prince is manager of the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at CCL's campus in Brussels, Belgium. He is associated with CCL's Global Initiatives group, assisting in the facilitation of internal communications about CCL's global work. Don has extensive international travel experience, having conducted business or executive training in sixteen countries. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Southwestern Seminary.