ideas & insights

 

Personality Profiling – Creating Stereotypes?

 

Did you know that our concept of the word stereotype only really dates from 1922? The American writer Walter Lippmann – no slouch on the word front as he would later coin ‘cold war’ – borrowed the term from the world of printing, where it is a metal cast used to make repeated, identical images of a character. For Lippmann, a stereotype was a picture in our heads, a uniform (and distorted) image to simplify our view of the world that can be used in reaching common agreement on events. Nowadays, at least in the world of psychology, the term has lost its connotations of irrationality and prejudice to be considered a stable set of beliefs which the members of a group share about the characteristics of other …

Organisational Cultures – Beyond The Individual

 

Reviewing his own research, the management guru Fons Trompenaars once concluded:

“However objective and uniform we try to make organisations, they do not have the same meaning for individuals from different cultures…Likewise the meaning that people give to the organisation, their concept of its structure, practices and policies, is culturally defined.”

Too often we concentrate on the individual when talking about culture, and within this, it is usually the national or ethnic that appears the most salient. But as we all know, organisations have their own very distinct and striking cultures. Identifying and learning to navigate that culture can be the biggest challenge to a new arrival or the tipping point between success and failure in an M&A action… It’s also often cited as the biggest determinant of …

Executive Coaching in the Gulf – A Cultural Snapshot

 

Executive coaching has swept through the business world in the last couple of decades as one of the most powerful and empowering leadership development tools. A 2011 CIPD report, for example, showed 77% of UK organisations use coaching in some form or another, with 84% of these reporting increased usage since the last extensive CIPD survey in 2009. And now it’s becoming widespread in the Middle East too. Kuwait has just held its second annual coaching conference, while most training institutions around the Gulf have introduced coaching as part of their standard offer. But with its origins commonly placed in the US, how does such coaching stand in this very different cultural arena? Let’s take a quick look at the cultural background to examine the nature of executive …

Cultural Intelligence 101

 

In the beginning…

Everywhere we turn, the talk is of globalisation, glocalisation, internationalisation…And yet we are bombarded with statistics of how many global work assignments (GWAs) fail, how many mergers fall through, how many virtual teams do not achieve their objectives. Trying to make sense and thrive in this brave new interconnected world requires a comparative newcomer to the executive suite of intelligences – cultural intelligence (CQ). If you don’t know your Ken Loach from your Ken Russell, you’ll be relieved to know this is nothing to do with how high brow you are but a concept that is gaining increasing attention in business circles as our working environments become ever more diverse and interrelated.

Simply put, if we agree that intelligence refers to a person’s …