on January 20, 2014
Ilike how this book was organized - everything is laid out, with the causes and solutions following a very logical order. The examples given are spot-on, as well as numerous.
One of the strengths of this book is the scope of perspectives that are presented. For problems that arise in teamwork or communication, the different angles (North American, New North American) are covered, including such variables as global teams (that communicate through technology) vs multi-cultural teams (that all work in one location), and including commentary on group dynamics (as opposed to when only one member of a team is from a different culture.
I found the information quite relevant, if not a bit on the basic or repetitive side. Often solutions to problems were just simple reminder to do this opposite thing that created the difference in the first place. I guess sometimes it is that simple, though, and awareness is a good portion of the solution. Overall, this is a useful book, easy to read, and full of worthwhile, research and anecdotally supported communication strategies. Especially, it would be useful to anyone working in a different culture, yet concerned about their career.
on October 14, 2011
I am a professional cross cultural / cultural awareness trainer working mostly Canada, North Western Europe and South East Asia.. Most of my clients are large manufacturing, petro-chemical and chemical multinationals. Therefore, I spend a lot of time in front of technicians and engineers on assignment in foreign cultures. Anyone who has done this type of training before would know what a challenge it is to keep the engineer-mind interested in hard to define concepts and soft skills. Generally, they are, to say it in the kindest possible way, totally disinterested and don't really see the value in it. It is however generally understood that the one factor that may make or break a foreign assignment is the assignee's ability to bridge the culture gap. The assignments often cost companies close to a million dollars and more. Dr. La Roche knows what he he doing, and he does a great job at helping trainers to make these soft skills palatable to the black & white mechanically minded person. I use this book as a prescribed textbook for multicultural teamwork skills. Makes for an excellent reference book and course content.
I love culture and it comes naturally to me to observe differences, nuances and idiosyncrasies. As an author of philosophical and lifestyle books, cultural awareness is food for my soul. The technical professional, however would be happier to get a manual on human behaviour and learn which dial to tune, and what gauge to tweak to make people work properly (their way). The author of this well-written book knows all about that and is he a great resource to trainers and technical professionals alike.
Well done Lionel, you are a life saver.
on January 10, 2011
I use this title as a textbook in courses designed for Bananabelt Culture & Training to transfer skills to technical professionals bridging cultures from Sarnia (Canada's Chemical Valley) to Western Europe and South East Asia. Have used the book in this capacity for courses designed for junior (operator) level and very senior level technical managers.
Dr. Laraoche helps us understand the limitations of technical professionals when it comes to learning soft skills. Armed with this understanding we can, and do, design and deliver courses that do a better job at transferring these essential skills.