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.

10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture

10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture

Discover some of the more unknown aspects of South Korean culture and society!

At Commisceo Global, we know South Korea is hot stuff!

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More Countries Identifying with Multiculturalism and Diversity Finds Text Analysis on Impact of Globalization

More Countries Identifying with Multiculturalism and Diversity Finds Text Analysis on Impact of Globalization

“How would you explain your country's culture to someone who isn’t at all familiar with it?”

This was the question posed by OdinText to more than 15,500 people across the globe in the hope of finding some insights into cultural differences or similarities.

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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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Beware of Jews. The End of Multiculturalism?

Beware of Jews. The End of Multiculturalism?

A warning sign with the silhouette of an Orthodox Jewish man wearing a traditional 'Fedora' hat has been found on a lamp-post in north London amid one of the largest Hasidic communities in Europe.

At a time when the foreigner, the immigrant, the Muslim, the Jew, the Mexican, etc are being constantly vilified by some segments of our media, one should not be surprised by the increasing intolerance towards 'the other'.

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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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What is Driving Diversity to Become a CEO-level Strategic Concern?

What is Driving Diversity to Become a CEO-level Strategic Concern?

Research from Deloitte finds that diversity and inclusion in the workplace are now leadership-level issues, central to future growth and security.

Findings from the firm's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report suggest that diversity has moved away from a predominantly HR-focused, "check box ticking" initiative to one of key strategic importance at CEO-level.

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‘Foreigners’: Tebbit's Language is a Dying Relic of the Past

‘Foreigners’: Tebbit's Language is a Dying Relic of the Past

Seriously, who uses the word ‘foreigners’ as a brush reference to the diverse nationalities living in and beyond the borders of the UK? This word surely is a relic? Something from the past? 

Sitting on my perch last night in my normal nightly semi-comatose state after a hard day's work in front of the TV,  I was aroused from my stupor by the following reaction of Norman Tebbit when discussing the right of EU nationals to remain in the UK post Brexit:

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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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Starting a Career as a Cross Cultural Trainer

Starting a Career as a Cross Cultural Trainer

Following on from our blog on becoming a trainer, we are very lucky to be able to pick the brains of an experienced cross cultural trainer with solid experience of the intercultural field.

Joyce Jenkins, President of SIETAR UK, offers her insights and advice to three questions about getting started as a trainer or a professional in the cross-cultural field.

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Hyatt Join the Battle for Cultural Diversity with New Marketing Campaign

Hyatt Join the Battle for Cultural Diversity with New Marketing Campaign

I recently penned some musings about the privitization of cultural diversity in a blog post; the central theme being that politics and politicians don't know how to handle the boiling hot potato that is multiculturalism. The result, I predict, will be the private sector championing cultural diversity and multiculturalism with the politicians glady handing responsibility over.

To summarise the blog, I believe the private sector see the failings of politicians to positively engage and counteract the harmful anti-difference agenda as bad for business.

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How to Become an Intercultural Trainer

How to Become an Intercultural Trainer

As an international cross cultural training company one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is how individuals can become intercultural trainers.

Unlike with many other professions, there is no simple answer.

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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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How different are North and South Korean Cultures?

How different are North and South Korean Cultures?

I recently heard someone of North Korean origin say that you cannot refer to someone as simply 'Korean'. 

From a Korean’s perspective, there’s no such thing as ‘Korean,’ as people originating from Korea identify as either South or North Korean.

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The Female Expatriate Experience of Relocating to the Middle East

The Female Expatriate Experience of Relocating to the Middle East

Working with relocating expats is great.  Not only do we get to share some of the pre-move buzz with relocating families, but we also get to hear the post arrival updates and share a little of the settling in excitement.  

Although an exciting time of change and opportunity, the preparation and lead up to relocation can be extremely stressful – particularly if the whole family are moving.  Anxieties vary widely, and depend on factors such as the target country, the presence of accompanying family members, the type of role being performed upon arrival and the degree to which an individual has travelled in in the past.  

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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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How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

How Diversity and Social Cohesion are Being Privatized by Politicians

With the final nails being beaten into the coffin of multiculturalism and politicians seemingly unable to grapple with its complexities, will we see the private sector taking ownership?

I think most people would agree that 2016 was full-on in terms of major events that are shaping our world. Some shook the world and will continue to do so in the coming years.   

Although there is much to be concerned about in the future, whether it’s the environment or the economy, one area that particularly worries me is the rise in xenophobia, the subtle racism that has bled into our media outlets and politics and the backlash against multiculturalism.

The voices grow louder and more confident daily…begging the question, who is doing what to counter this? Some elements of the media seem unfettered in the blatant divisiveness.

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Where is the Most Expensive Destination for Expatriates?

Where is the Most Expensive Destination for Expatriates?

Since relocation training forms such a significant part of the work undertaken by us here at Commisceo, it’s essential that we keep up to date with global changes and their impacts on all things ‘expatriate’.

Mercer, is just one of our trusted ‘go to’ experts.  As consultants in the fields of talent, investments and health, their annual Cost of Living surveys are a must read for companies engaged in the relocation of their employees. 

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10 Tips to Get the Best out of a Cross-Cultural Virtual Team

10 Tips to Get the Best out of a Cross-Cultural Virtual Team

Working in an intercultural environment is becoming increasingly common. One of the results of such set-ups is an experience of more communication difficulties.

Different approaches to areas such management, communication, time, meetings, conflict resolution and the sharing of information are all culturally relative.

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Six Solid and Simple Tips for Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas When Working Abroad

Six Solid and Simple Tips for Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas When Working Abroad

Are you new to working abroad? Travelling to a foreign country for the first time for business?

Getting it right when working overseas is critical; but what do you do if you have little or no international exposure? You run the danger of too much exposure Borat-style!

Working internationally requires a very different skill-set to working domestically.  What works well for you in your home country may count against you when working abroad.  

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