The Commisceo Global Blog - Perfect for Culture Vultures

Whether a press release, a case study of cultural difference, some tips on working abroad or some lessons in cross-communication, we try our best to satiate your inner culture vulture.

When I'm not hanging out in the beautiful sunshine of Africa, you will find me here sharing content about culture - you'll soon see why I'm called the Culture Vulture.

Cultural Sensitivity in Business

Cultural Sensitivity in Business

Interested or affected by the impact of language and culture in business?

This article gives concrete, real examples of how a lack of cultural sensitivity can result in a negative impact on a business.

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Cultural Awareness in the Multicultural workplace

Cultural Awareness in the Multicultural workplace

"Understand the differences; act on the commonalities." - Andrew Masondo, African National Congress

The nature of our workplaces has changed. We have moved away from the monochromic make-up of our offices to one that is now coloured by team members from all over the world. With this new multicultural make-up come differences in cultures which in turn bring differences in areas such as communication styles, approach to time, managerial styles and a plethora of other cross cultural differences.

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Cross Cultural Solutions for Exporters

Cross Cultural Solutions for Exporters

Globalisation, internationalization and trans-border trade are all terms that have been coined over the past decade(s) to reflect the reality of international trade.

Although international trade has long been in operation, the scale, frequency and speed at which it is conducted today is incomparable.

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Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders

Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders

Although a little cruel, cross cultural marketing mistakes are a humorous means of understanding the impact poor cultural awareness can have when selling or working abroad.

Marketing is perhaps one of the trickiest elements to get right when taking your business or product into new and unchartered territories. Language, culture, local practices and many other factors heavily influence success or failure.

Many companies have learned the hard way that you have to think outside of your own cultural bubble when it comes to marketing abroad and be very much in tune with local means and ways.

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Cross Cultural Business Blunders

Cross Cultural Business Blunders

The following cultural blunders are presented to our visitors and we would again like to stress that such examples of "culture gone wrong" are presented in order illustrate to people how crucial cultural awareness is in international business today.

1 - Managers at one American company were startled when they discovered that the brand name of the cooking oil they were marketing in a Latin American country translated into Spanish as "Jackass Oil."

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Tips on Giving Cross Cultural Presentations

Tips on Giving Cross Cultural Presentations

Do you give presentations abroad or to multicultural audiences?

You don't want an audience looking like this do you?

This article gives great tips on delivering presentations across cultural lines:

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Cross Cultural Negotiations

Cross Cultural Negotiations

How to Approach International Negotiations with Cultural Awareness

  • Can your international negotiations feel like this sometimes?
  • Do you feel cultural differences get in the way of a successful negotiation?
  • Looking for tips on how to improve your negotiation style and techniques?

Then this is the article for you!

Is Cultural Awareness Necessary?

Cross cultural negotiation is one of many specialized areas within the wider field of cross cultural communications. By taking cross cultural negotiation training, negotiators and sales personnel give themselves an advantage over competitors.

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How Culture Impacts Job Interviews

How Culture Impacts Job Interviews

At this moment in time, the increase in cross border human traffic has meant that companies are no longer dealing with a homogenous native community from which they recruit their staff.

Companies are now facing cross cultural challenges in how they recruit, manage and develop a multi-cultural staff base.

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Culture in Advertising

Culture in Advertising

"Culture is a like dropping an Alka-seltzer into a glass - you don't see it, but somehow it does something"
Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Culture affects everything we do.

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Business Meeting Etiquette

Business Meeting Etiquette

Business etiquette is essentially about building relationships with colleagues, clients or customers. In the business world, it is these people that can influence your success or failure. Etiquette, and in particular business etiquette, is simply a means of maximising your business potential by presenting yourself favourably.

Business meetings are one arena in which poor etiquette can have negative effects. By improving your business meeting etiquette you automatically improve your chances of success. Comfort, trust, attentiveness and clear communication are examples of the positive results of demonstrating good etiquette.

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Business Card Etiquette

Business Card Etiquette

When doing business abroad it is important to understand the local culture.

Culture includes areas such as a country's norms, values, behaviours, food, architecture, fashion and art. However, one area of culture that is important for the international business person is etiquette.

Understanding business etiquette allows you to feel comfortable in your dealings with foreign friends, colleagues, customers or clients. Knowing what to do and say in the right places will help build trust and open lines of communication.

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The Four Benefits of Intercultural Training

The Four Benefits of Intercultural Training

4 Fab Ways Cultural Training Helps

Intercultural training has become of increasing importance in the past 10 years. Companies and organizations that are working on the international stage are starting to realise that working in or with foreign countries is not like working at home.

Cultural differences are causing obstacles to smooth, successful business relationships, dealings and ventures. People from managers, to sales personnel, to CEOs to HR staff are all now participating in intercultural training to help them become better at the their jobs.

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Approaches to Cultural Awareness Training

Approaches to Cultural Awareness Training

There are many approaches to training. Some sum these up as 'heavy' and 'light' approaches. What does this mean and how does it apply to business training?

Well, cultural awareness training (or any other training in fact) is a little like body building – one needs to know what their mind and body is capable of, what it enjoys and then set realistic goals for achieving that perfect body. From there you can either work with a personal trainer or look into how to balance both heavy and light approaches to training yourself. Heavy training in this sense being your body building, and light being more about CV and muscular work.

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The Role of Cultural Differences in Autism

The Role of Cultural Differences in Autism

When learning about culture, really we are learning to look beyond surface deep. Cutural awareness you could argue is about possibilities not limits.

It is this very same thinking picked up by a piece in Scientific American entitled, "How Cultural Differences Affect Autism Diagnoses".

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Foreign Languages: Employment and Career Opportunities

Foreign Languages: Employment and Career Opportunities

Many people love learning languages or would like to learn a language and use their language skills in a job.

In today's global economy the demand for language skills continues to grow as governments, businesses and organisations build relationships with foreign interests.

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A Brief Introduction to Zoroastrianism

A Brief Introduction to Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is one the oldest religions in the world.

It is definitely one of the first monotheist religions. It was founded by Zoroaster and it believes in one God, Ahura Mazda.

There are very few Zoroastrians in the world today but it still holds an important place. A large part of their population is divided between Iran and India. The Zoroastrians living in India are called Parsis.

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A Brief Introduction to Sikhism

A Brief Introduction to Sikhism

Background and Information

Sikhism was founded in the 16th century in the Punjab, India.

The Sikh religion was established around 500 years ago by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who promulgated a message of devotion and emphasised the importance of remembering God at all times. Sikh means ‘disciple’, therefore Sikhs are seen as the disciples of God who follow the teachings within the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book).

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A Brief Introduction to Shinto

A Brief Introduction to Shinto

Shinto is regarded as the religion indigenous to Japan and is thought to predate all reliable historical records.

Literally translated the word 'Shinto' is composed of two words from the original Chinese Shêntao: 'shin' meaning gods or spirits and 'to' meaning the philosophical way or path.

Shinto has no fixed dogma, moral precepts or sacred scriptures but many shrines ('jinja') around the country which have often been bases of power with ties to Imperial and Shogunal rule throughout the ages.

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A Brief Introduction to Rastafarianism

A Brief Introduction to Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism is a religious movement born out of the black slums of Jamaica which harnessed the teachings of the Jamaican born black nationalist, Marcus Garvey and conditionally uses selective Old Testament Christian writings to support its teachings and practices.

Born in 1887, Garvey’s influence on the poor black slave descendants in Jamaica came to its peak in the 1920’s where his message of encouragement and calling on black people to take pride in themselves won some fanatical supporters. Although historically Marcus Garvey was a political leader interested in making the black race economically equal with the white, in oral tradition he has become a divinely anointed prophet.

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A Brief Introduction to Judaism

A Brief Introduction to Judaism

Judaism is the religion commonly linked to Jewish people. It is based on the principles contained in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, which are expanded and explained in the Talmud.

In 2007, the world Jewish population was of 13.2 million, 41 percent of which reside in Israel, whilst the remaining is spread around the world (the diaspora).

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