December 2013
Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources
As we close this calendar year and celebrate the holidays that accompany this time of year in so many world traditions, we would like to thank you, the Cultural Detective community, for your passion and commitment in promoting cross-cultural understanding, equity, sustainability, collaboration and respect in this world of ours. You are doing marvelous work in a broad variety of sectors, and we are proud to be making this journey with you. 
We trust you will enjoy this issue of our newsletter.
—The Cultural Detective Team

Culturally Savvy Marketing Strategy

    Permits Japanese Women to Open Their Mouths Wide


What a terrific, culturally appropriate marketing ploy! When I lived in Japan, I was oh-so-conscious to cover my mouth with my hand when I laughed out loud, or if I had to open it real wide while eating.  "Ochobo," or a small mouth, is traditionally seen as a sign of feminine beauty in Japan.


A national hamburger chain

wanted to sell more of its biggest, juiciest, wide-mouthed burgers to women, so it came up with an ingenious idea: the "liberation wrapper," a stiff paper burger wrapper, imprinted with a closed mouth. The person eating is able to hide behind a dainty little face, saving others from having to watch them chow down. 


Learn More about This Promotion 

5 Free & Easy Virtual Collaboration Tools...  

 ... That You May Not (Yet) Be Using

The success of virtual teams requires new rules of leadership, new skills, and also new tools. The tools we use to collaborate can make or break our effectiveness. 


How do we establish trust when we rarely if ever see one another? How do we build a new relationship with someone we've never met? 


Can technology help in this regard? Of course it can. It can also get in the way, causing more problems than it solves (how many times has a phone call or video conference cut in-and-out, or the sound during a webinar not worked properly?) 


Read Article/Access Tools

Patterns or Chaos? 

By Sunita Nichani


Often times in my intercultural trainings to Indian audiences, I have sensed a discomfort in my participants with using models (the iceberg of culture, for example) and imagery that are often more easily understood by Westerners. Perhaps, I am more sensitive to this discomfort because I felt the same when I learned not only one but two foreign languages (English and French), with their intrinsic imagery that was so far removed from my local reality. 


 Read More

Upcoming Events!  Facilitator Certifications Early 2014

Mazatlán, MEXICO, February 21-23, 2014 


Leave the snow behind and join us for our first facilitator certification held in Latin America! Cost includes materials and one month of Cultural Detective Online.




Atlanta, USA, March 20-22, 2014


Facilitated by Tatyana Fertelmeyster and Rita Wuebbeler. The workshop will be held on the campus of Kennesaw State University. Cost includes materials and one month of Cultural Detective Online !


 Learn More or Register Now!

Walking in an Expat's Shoes

By Reyno Magat


Much of expats' energy, motivation and performance are affected by having to contend with home office senior leaders and their agents, who can be clueless and typically, frankly disinterested in the local realities, other than financial targets being met. These leaders and their collaborators often place unremitting pressure on expats to continue to conform to a home office-centric mindset, group-think, and timelines, with complete disregard of the challenges actually faced locally. All of these factors are at play as the expats are expected to perform and deliver results whilst mindful of risks to their personal reputation and consequent relationships with these leaders-affecting pay, bonuses, career progression AND family.


This open letter is intended as an exercise in empathy and walking in an expat's shoes, and not as an indictment (unless the shoe fits), will help raise awareness and effect some change. Put those  Cultural Detective subscriptions to good use, please! We need organizations that enable sustainable success, in all locations in which they operate. 


 Read the Letter

 Tres Historias Cortas del Negocio Internacional

  Una Historia de Abrir Mercados Nuevos


Tomado del webinar "Desarrollando habilidades interculturales en  profesionales globales", el 24 de Octubre, 2013, en cuyo video cuento la historia de unos clientes míos, tratando de abrir nuevos mercados sin haber desarrollado las competencias interculturales requeridas. Es una situación muy común, que conlleva la pérdida de millones de dólares y la reputación en el mercado. Es una experiencia que Cultural Detective te ayuda a evitar.  


Ver Historia Completa


La Supervisión de una Fuerza de Trabajo Multicultural


Es la historia de un mecánico Holandés que trabaja como jefe de equipo en un buque de perforación petrolera frente a las costas de Argentina. La falta de competencias interculturales requeridas conlleva la pérdida de tres empleados, mucho dinero, y la reputación de la empresa en el mercado. Desafortunadamente es una situación muy común-una que Cultural Detective te ayuda a evitar. 


Ver Video

Satisfacción de los Clientes Internacionales 


Cuenta la historia de una empresa Chilena que intenta importar parte de su producción de China. Por falta de no desarrollar las competencias interculturales requeridas, no son los primeros en llegar al mercado con el nuevo producto y conlleva la pérdida de mucho dinero y la reputación de la empresa en el mercado. Desafortunadamente es una situación muy común-una que Cultural Detective te ayuda a evitar. 


Ver Video Completo

What's Beyond Our Pond?



What do these things possibly have in common? In the hands of Cultural Detective certified facilitator Joe Lurie, quite a bit, actually. 
In this series of short video clips, Joe shares with us a couple of international proverbs and a few stories on the power of perception.



 Watch This Interview

Powerful and Emotional Reactions


Our first blog post on Names Across Cultures hit powerfully and emotionally for so many of you! A few typical comments include:


"Names are part of a person's identity. If people 'get it' across cultures we often feel they 'get' us, too."


"We can't know all languages or accents or tones, now could we? Having said this, I would consider it wrong to be forced to change a name because someone can't pronounce it. Are you kidding? Why should the weakness or inability of one (the name changer) be even acceptable?!" 


 Access Article

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We record the latest news updates, and have archived past issues of this newsletter, on one of our web pages. Past issues include instructions for interesting activities, theoretical discussions about intercultural issues, and links to many intercultural resources. Please take a look and enjoy the resources you find!

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Newsletter Editor: 
Vanessa G. Hernández