Jan-Feb 2013
Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources 
The Creative Power of Diversity!



I've recently heard from several colleagues and client organizations who are engaged in partnerships designed to harness the strength of complementary skills, experience and thinking. Their purpose is to enter new markets, build the business, and create innovative approaches that can only come from an interdisciplinary approach.


The great thing is that they recognize and have committed to the creative power of diversity! They know that research shows that diversity of thought leads to innovation. The trouble is that each of them has encountered frustration and, in some cases, regret: the partnership is not as easy as they'd hoped, they haven't found their "sweet spot" of collaboration, new customers are not pounding down their doors. They talk over and past each other, they have differing goals and strategies, they feel their partner lacks respect for them. In short, the very reason they are partnering in the first place: to leverage their complementary expertise, is getting in the way of successful collaboration... 

Cultural Effective! 




Do you want to promote intercultural competence in your organization or industry? Are you looking for some guidance? A blueprint? A success story? If so, do I have a "Cultural Effective" for you!


Just over a year ago, friend and colleague Stella Ting Toomey and I had the distinct pleasure of attending the American Evaluation Association's annual conference as invited speakers. There I was pleased to witness a commitment to responsible inclusiveness that was truly state of the art.


Six years of diligent work by a task force and other concerned individuals had resulted in a theoretically sound and practical Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation (AEA 2011, Fairhaven, MA USA).


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Personal and Organizational Fitness




Is your organization poised and equipped to make significant positive contributions to this planet of ours? Do you have organizational traditions to kick-off the new year and encourage employees to strive towards new goals?


The new year is full of special offers for gym memberships, exercise classes, and diet programs, ways to encourage you to get fit in 2013. Just as gyms and diet programs offer incentives this time of year, the Cultural Detective Online intercultural competence gym is offering complimentary three-day subscriptions to help get you focused and motivated! 

Select Ideal Candidates for Expatriation



En un mundo cada vez más interconectado y globalizado, las asignaciones internacionales suelen ser más frecuentes para empleados de empresas multinacionales. Dado lo anterior las empresas han dispuesto de grandes esfuerzos y recursos para optimizar su selección del candidato ideal para las vacantes que surjan y poder iniciar el proceso de expatriación (traslado laboral a otro país con beneficios para el empleado y su familia). 

Los llamados departamentos de personal o recursos humanos han alineado sus procesos de reclutamiento y selección con el fin de optimizar la búsqueda y el tan ahnelado hallazgo de quien cumple con los requisitos del cargo y adicionalmente sea capaz adaptarse a un entorno que puede ser similar y muy distante del actual.


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Our Culture on the Firing Line

Gun Metaphors in US American English, by Joe Lurie


United Nations gun sculpture As I watch left and right wing politicians and pundits "up in arms" on TV, battling in a "cross-fire" of blame, each side looking for a "smoking gun" to explain or cast blame for horrifying gun-related catastrophes, I've become increasingly aware of how our culture's preoccupations with guns are reflected even during innocent "shooting the breeze" conversations.


We often value the "straight shooter," yet we are wary of those who "shoot their mouths off," and those who "shoot from the hip" or glibly end an argument with a "parting shot." We caution colleagues to avoid "shooting themselves in the foot," and counsel them not to "shoot the messenger."


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Cultural Detective Team Update

We Wish Kris Bibler All Success in Her New Endeavors!


With great joy and sadness we inform you about a major change here at Cultural Detective. Kris Bibler, our beloved Business Development Manager, has accepted an exciting new position. I know you will join us in wishing her all the best in the next cycle of her professional life. We will miss her dearly. In the seven years she has worked with us she has helped the Cultural Detective brand grow exponentially. We very much appreciate her service and her friendship.


Simultaneously we are very excited about the new windows of possibility this opens up at Cultural Detective: the chance to re-engineer a team and strategy around a brand that is a much larger player than it was back in 2006, and that offers more in the way of product delivery methods than we ever envisioned. I trust you will join with us in helping realize the possibilities this transition can bring: to get CD out there making a positive impact in the world, building respect, understanding and collaboration. 

Culturally Appropriate Greetings

New Year's and Calendars Around the World

Our greetings are sincere; we wish the best for our colleagues, partners, and friends. Intent is important. However, even the most sincere greetings, when unaccompanied by a broader mindset of cross-cultural awareness, can come out sounding neocolonialist, disrespectful or just plain ignorant.


Most non-Chinese know that Chinese New Year often happens in February and is based on a lunar calendar. Many non-Jews are aware that Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish new year, and that it usually occurs around September. But what about other nations, cultures and traditions: when do they celebrate their new year? And how can we demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity when we wish to express appropriate New Year's greetings?


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Cultural Detective has a YouTube channel, CDTV, with 20 playlists for different purposes. Please be sure to check it out and help us build this resource. Thank you!





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Newsletter Editor: 
Vanessa G. Hernández