Managing And Leading Across Cultural Boundaries

Managing And Leading Across Cultural Boundaries
Today, virtually every team and organization you work with or for, is likely to be multicultural. Managing and leading across cultural (not to mention geographic and time zone) boundaries is the norm, and no longer the exception. This is yet another area where what used to be ‘outsourced’ to HR—e.g. ‘cultural sensitivity training’—is becoming a central part of managing and leading. For this question, assume you are COO of the same hypothetical organization we used in the previous application paper: a mid-sized US-based manufacturer of medical devices and implants. After a quarterly business meeting, the CEO invites you out for a casual dinner, where she makes the following request:
“I wanted us to get out of the office so we could discuss openly and honestly the topic of ‘diversity.’ And I will begin by admitting that, from my perspective, our organization—and this goes back to long before you joined the Executive team, so I’m not ‘blaming’ you with anything whatsoever—has given what I’ll call ‘lip service’ to the topic, but we have not really taken the difficult steps required to actually harvest the potential benefits that diversity offers. We have many cultures and languages in our own workforce, and while we do not yet have foreign offices, our customers come from all over the globe. What I mean by ‘lip service,’ is that while we say we value diversity, we both know that when things get busy, everything gets pushed aside to ensure that orders go out on time. HR has helped us with intentionally getting people into multicultural teams, for example, but yet we don’t give them any extra time to do their work, or make any other accommodations. And I know for a fact—because they’ve told me so in private—that we have many people, from factory workers to Executives, who would simply prefer to not work with, for example, people from other groups. This is not, or at least what they tell me, is that it’s not because of discrimination, but simply because they believe the quality of the work is higher, and much more efficient, when they don’t have to deal with, for example, English communication issues, differing definitions of commitment and work/life balance, or because they’re worried about offending someone. I also know we have a whole range of opinions—from those who think that increased efforts would be akin to the ‘thought police,’ that we have no business prying into people’s private thoughts, all the way to those who think that this could be a genuine source of competitive advantage if would could harness the benefits of diversity for, say, purposes of innovation. Of course we need to have a more clear and cogent message externally to our customers, and shareholders, and the general public. But for now, I think we should begin with an internal focus. So what I’d like to ask you to do, is put together a 1-page outline of an overall plan for ‘the what and the why’ we will do regarding diversity. Initially, it will be just for the two of us to discuss, confidentially, and then we can widen it out after we have some initial thoughts. I’m not asking for something theoretical, or something that mirrors some sterile set of EEOC guidelines—I’m asking for a plan that will work for our organization. Of course you can involve HR in the plan as well, but to be successful, it is going to have to be seen as something originating from the management side and the executives in particular. Maybe it starts with workshops to clarify our values and position, or, if you think those are already clear and shared by a large majority of our people, we start with more concrete plans and initiatives—it’s up to you. Finally, I’m going to briefly mention to the reset of the Executive team that you and I are going to draw up an overall plan as a starting point, and that beyond that, we will work on this together as a team. Let’s reconvene in two or three weeks, and you can present the plan.”
For this question, please create a (roughly) 1-page plan. You can use Word or Powerpoint, or even a clearly drawn and labelled sketch that you can scan and submit. If necessary, you can also list up a few starting assumptions, separate from the plan itself, that explain the background, i.e. ‘Employees are generally skeptical of ‘the next big thing’ initiatives promoted by management,’ or, ‘The organization is quite conservative, and will need to move slowly on this,’ or even ‘The organization—particularly at the font-line level—is actually embracing this more than the CEO may be aware of.’ Just state whatever assumptions you need to clarify the background, then present a (roughly) 1-page plan, for purposes of discussion with the CEO in 2-3 weeks. The plan should include a general time line, description of key activities, major risks/hurdles, and supporting rationale—the format/style for how you cover these is up to you. No need for budgets (unless of course you want to include them).

Still stressed from student homework?
Get quality assistance from academic writers!
Open chat
You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp! Via + 1 9294730077

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code SOLVE