The Commisceo Global Blog

Keeping you up to date with all the news, articles, tools, opinions and press relating to the world of cultural understanding, in and out of business.

Nikki is Operations Director at Commisceo. Fluent in Turkish, lover of Thai food and all round super Mum to 3 rather energetic young boys.

Stereotype-Busting Documentary Reveals Hidden Afghan Culture

Stereotype-Busting Documentary Reveals Hidden Afghan Culture

Girls dressing as boys is a hidden Afghan cultural tradition; not encouraged, yet, equally not taboo. 

Watching an excellent RT documentary last night, I was introduced to the incredible world of the ‘Bacha Posh(Persian: بچه پوش‎‎, literally "dressed up as a boy").

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Do You See a Nanny or a Mother? Unconscious Bias and Racial Stereotyping

Do You See a Nanny or a Mother? Unconscious Bias and Racial Stereotyping

The recent viral video of Professor Robert Kelly talking to the BBC via Skype has perfectly illustrated how unconscious bias works.

When his kids break into the room and interrupt the interview, an Asian lady comes to get them. Did you see a Nanny or a Mum? 

Having gone viral across the globe many US and other news outlets described the lady as Professor Kelly’s ‘maid’.  Her ethnicity clearly contributed to the rather preconditioned assessment that she was working for Professor Kelly.  The fact that this lady, Jung-a Kim may have been Professor Kelly’s wife failed to register.

This is, unfortunately, as clear a case of Unconscious Bias that I have witnessed in a long time. 

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Killing Your Family: Why Kim Jung-'s Cultural Taboo Might Spell the End of North Korea

Killing Your Family: Why Kim Jung-'s Cultural Taboo Might Spell the End of North Korea

Executing your uncle is not a great move in any culture.  When Kim Jung-Un accused his uncle and former second in command of being ‘anti party’ and ‘political scum’, most of our global family – regardless of culture, would likely have considered sacking his uncle (and perhaps imprisonment) as an appropriate outcome. 

Having him killed by firing squad though, made even the hardiest of us wince.

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Is Unconscious Bias Holding Back Business Growth?

Is Unconscious Bias Holding Back Business Growth?

One of my colleagues recently caused a rather difficult situation when he unwittingly fell victim to his unconscious bias.

My colleague and I were talking to a client regarding the need for intercultural leadership training for their CEO based in the Middle East.

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10 Deadly Misconceptions about Iran We Hear in Cross Cultural Training

10 Deadly Misconceptions about Iran We Hear in Cross Cultural Training

Training business professionals prior to going to Iran gives us excellent insight into the misconceptions, stereotypes, fears and worries many foreigners hold. Here's the 10 most common. Deadly not because they can cause death; deadly in that they are based on ignorance and falsehood and lead only to misunderstanding.

Iran regularly features in global news; bandied around by governments arguing the potential benefits or drawbacks of doing business with Iran. 

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5 Steps from Cultural Ignorance to Cultural Savvy

5 Steps from Cultural Ignorance to Cultural Savvy

Sporting its own fair share of industry models, my favourite cultural model has to be one which outlines the steps between cultural ignorance and cultural savvy.

This model resonates with me on a personal note.  Why?  Well, working in the Oil and Gas industry overseeing project delivery across international teams, I thought I was great at working across cultures. It’s only since leaving and moving into a cultural based role that I can now appreciate that I was very ‘un-savvy’.   

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Poor Understanding of Iran Leading to Cautious Business Approach

Poor Understanding of Iran Leading to Cautious Business Approach

It’s nearly a year since the restrictive sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted. These sanctions were not only applied by the UN, EU and US but also included sanctions from third party countries. The lifting of these sanctions has therefore been long-awaited by many and sets the stage for exciting times for those companies who have identified potential opportunities in Iran and who are keen to now pursue them.

Although our administration takes place in the sleepy South West of England, we witness global movements and trends first-hand. There’s not much we don’t know about what’s happening with our global neighbours.

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The Relocation Industry and Historical Context

The Relocation Industry and Historical Context

Mention the ‘relocation industry’ as conversation fodder at a dinner party and your guests will probably panic that you’re planning to expose them really dry conversation pieces such as Cost of Living Allowances, Trailing Spouses, Expat Taxation, Bridging Allowances etc

In actual fact, the relocation industry is an exciting one and not deserving of the stifled yawns that might otherwise be elicited when mentioned.

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Could Cultural Awareness Training Get Any Better?

Could Cultural Awareness Training Get Any Better?

As a cultural awareness training consultant, I spend most of my time arranging cultural awareness training sessions for relocating expatriates, existing global companies and companies who plan to go global.

The training is delivered either face to face or remotely via professional trainers, with great feedback from our delegates.

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Where Will UK-based Businesses Go post-Brexit?

Where Will UK-based Businesses Go post-Brexit?

Will we see a business brain drain?

Britain’s impending exit from the EU has rallied a host of cries from its European brethren, encouraging businesses to continue accessing European skills and resources by relocating elsewhere.

These rallying calls have been heard.  Whilst some UK based internationals wait to see the EU exit deal, others are charging ahead with the steam and energy of a power boosted intercity train; reviewing both the landscape and their options, should they choose to exit.  

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