Henry McKinnell

I have found that language is a great window into culture. Most expatriates aren’t in a country long enough to become fluent, but it’s certainly worthwhile to make an effort to learn the language. It becomes a way to understand a country’s customs and gain some insight into how things work.

Henri-Claude de Bettignies

We tend to underestimate the cultural dimension of managerial processes, techniques and tools…Just because something is best practice in one country does not make it necessarily transferable to another. This can be impossible when such practice is the product of the western culture, values and relationships embedded within an organization, and is significantly different from those emerging in China. Best practice and the management techniques … [ Read more ]

Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy

In globalization we can come closer together, but we still don’t know one another. We can start up a new business fast, but growing wise in the way of life takes a long time. It’s never complete, never right, and never perfect. An ethic is deeper than morality or custom. It comes out of our deepest desire to make meaning out of our lives and … [ Read more ]

Francisco Dao

Many managers believe that a good corporate culture can encourage employees to share their opinions and solve the diversity requirement, but with few exceptions corporate cultures work against the sharing of dissimilar ideas. In the competing schools of thought on culture — team versus competitive — both models embody elements that undermine collective intelligence. The team concept, based on fostering familiarity and friendly cooperation between … [ Read more ]

Daniel Yankelovich

The preoccupation with self led many people from repudiating unnecessary sacrifice to discarding the ethic of sacrifice altogether. The emphasis on relative values, as opposed to absolute values, left people somewhat bereft of common agreement about right and wrong. The current explosion of religious belief represents a search for something absolute to believe in. But in the larger culture, particularly the business culture, there is … [ Read more ]

Harold J. Leavitt

Not all societies weave achievement stories into their cultural fabric, but in modern-day democracies most of us are taught to want to climb. Hierarchies provide brightly illuminated ladders that are quite consistent with our meritocratic parable: “Work hard, young person, and no matter your origin or pedigree, you too can reach the top.” That story remains largely true. Hard and good work really does help … [ Read more ]

Alvin Toffler

Go to a bookstore in London and you’ll see endless rows of books on the history of British royalty or the Victorian garden or the Great Age of Elizabeth. In a Japanese bookstore, those books are about the future of transportation, the future of health, the future of urban development, and so forth. We Americans, on the other hand, tend to have no past and … [ Read more ]

Douglas Rushkoff

We think of a medium as a thing that delivers content. But the delivered content is a medium in itself. The many forms of content we collect and experience online are really just forms of ammunition, an excuse to start a discussion with that attractive person in the next cubicle…

That’s why the most successful TV shows, Websites, and music recordings are generally the ones … [ Read more ]

Keith H. Hammonds / Doug Smith

A few decades ago, our lives were centered in places. We had the most in common with our village or city neighbors, with the people geographically closest to us. Place formed our connections to the social groups that mattered most: our tribes, churches, jobs, and schools. The defining politics — and so, defining values — were those rooted in physical communities.

Today, place has lost relevance … [ Read more ]

Thomas H. Davenport

The serious pursuit of knowledge in organizations will be challenged by an anti-intellectual orientation in the United States that has been present since the days of the frontier.

Jim Collins

American culture loves the myth of the lone individual hero. It is built into our cultural DNA as a nation and yet it’s not even supported by the evidence of our own history – the West was settled by groups of people not lone individuals; the great industrial advancements of the 1800s and early 1900s were not accomplished by lone geniuses but achieved by people … [ Read more ]

Nicholas Negroponte

One of the basics of a good system of innovation is diversity. In some ways, the stronger the culture (national, institutional, generational, or other), the less likely it is to harbor innovative thinking. Common and deep-seated beliefs, widespread norms, and behavior and performance standards are enemies of new ideas. Any society that prides itself on being harmonious and homogeneous is very unlikely to catalyze idiosyncratic … [ Read more ]

The Economist

Globalization undermines neither the welfare state nor democracy, our survey argues; it is entirely consistent with sound environmental policies; above all, far from increasing poverty in the third world, it is the most effective force for reducing poverty known to mankind. But what about the view that globalization is a kind of cultural conquest? This too is plainly wrong. Under a market system, economic interaction … [ Read more ]

Martha Bayles

as [Ralphp] Ellison went on to argue, American diversity and unease are more often than not the parents of American excellence.