May 2014Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources 

Thank You for Joining us on the Journey!



To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Cultural Detective project a group of our authors recently gathered in Mazatlán, Mexico. We held three days of work meetings and a facilitator certification workshop; we hosted a wonderful party that included the indigenous Yoreme Deer Dance; and we played on the beach, in the water, at restaurants, with live music, and all around town!


Join the Celebration

Preparing Your Overseas Team for Success

42% Fail in Overseas Assignments 


As many as two in five managers fail in their overseas assignments, according to a survey released by Right Management. A worldwide average of only 58% of international postings were judged to be successful by their organizations, with little variation across regions.


"This has to be one of the most disappointing findings of our survey," said Bram Lowsky, Group Executive Vice President Americas at Right Management. "Given the investments being made in bringing along a new generation of leaders and their growing need to be able to think and operate globally, for 42% to fail when they're sent abroad is hard to fathom. It's also worth noting that the failure rate is more or less a constant whether it's Asian, European or North American managers."  


 Read full article

Lack of Diversity Leads to Religious Hostility

Quick! What is the most religiously diverse area of the world? Not the Middle East; it's primarily Muslim, and not Latin America; it's primarily Christian.


It is, of course, the Asia Pacific region, home to a great diversity of religious traditions including Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and loads more. Most noteworthy, however, is that some of the world's least religiously diverse places are home to the highest rates of social violence involving religion.


See the research

Student Insight Into International Business Communication

Dr. Elisabeth Gareis


With many colleges increasing their online course offerings, there is a great need for training tools that can be used as segments in online classes. Last fall, I was looking for such a tool for my graduate class in International Business Communication. In previous face-to-face renditions of the course, I had used Ecotonos with great success. When I couldn't find a simulation game for online asynchronous settings, I decided to try the Cultural Detective Online (CDO). 


 Read the article 

World-Class Intercultural Opportunities

Facilitator Certification Workshops


Learn a proven method to transform your leadership, your curriculum and your ways of teaming, jumpstart productivity, lower costs, and ensure that study abroad develops students' intercultural competence! 

Kingston, Ontario, CANADA, June 8-10, 2014


Conducted in partnership with Queens University International Centre, International Educators' Training Program (IETP). Facilitated by Tatyana Fertelmeyster. Cost includes materials and one month of Cultural Detective Online, plus IETP programs and meals as described on their site.


 Sign up now 

Portland, USA, July 19-20, 2014


Conducted in partnership with the Intercultural Communication Institute and held between sessions at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). Facilitated by Tatyana Fertelmeyster. Cost includes materials and one month of Cultural Detective Online 


Register or learn more  

Practicing Cultural Detective Skills



During our recent Cultural Detective Tenth Anniversary meetings and celebrations in Mazatlán, Mexico, some of those attending used a free hour in the program to walk out into the community to conduct short ethnographic studies and practice their detective skills. 
Click here for a link to the instructions for this activity; you are most welcome to adapt them for your own purposes! Just think how frequently we travel to very different places for work, and how often we don't take the time to interact with the local people in ways that help us get to know them as people. The same can be said for the beautiful places we travel as tourists. Let's make a point of practicing our Cultural Detective skills wherever we are, building crosscultural respect, understanding, and friendship!   

Don Rutherford & Ellen James



Eva is a candy store manager in Mazatlán, Mexico. Her tidy shop offers an amazing array of candy and treats including freshly roasted and flavored peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and more.

We met Eva as she was stirring a delicious smelling vat of cacahuates garapinyatas: peanuts in syrup with sesame seeds. The scent from the copper kettle drew us into the open-front store. 


 Learn more about Eva


by Basma Ibrahim Devries and Tuula Piispanen-Krabbe

It was a beautiful sunny morning as we set out to experience Mazatlán. Shortly into our walk, we turned down a side street, heading towards the beach. We were immediately attracted by vibrant colors and a handsomely dressed man. While most shops were not yet open for the day, he was diligently setting up his table of lovely beaded goods.


Read the story 

Online Events You Can't Miss!


People from every continent and a broad diversity of disciplines happily stay up till the wee hours to join these well-received webinars. Don't miss your chance!
In these complimentary, 90-minute online workshops, participants will learn to leverage diversity as an asset, rather than seeking to minimize difference. 
They will experience some of the wealth of content and process available in the Cultural Detective Online system, and see how easily the system can be incorporated into existing courseware. 
At the conclusion of the online learning event, we will share with you a three-day free pass to the Cultural Detective Online, to look around and learn at your leisure. 

The Arab Spring: A Vietnamese Perspective


Cultural Detective Vietnam co-author, Phuong-Mai Nguyen, spent eight months traveling through 13 countries, tracing the path of Islam from Saudi Arabia to East Asia. She chronicled her journey on the Cultural Detective Blog.
Mai traveled alone, during the height of the Arab Spring, amidst so many changes and so much turmoil. She met hospitality everywhere she went, learned a whole lot, and fell in love with the people and places.

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CD on YouTube

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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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