Monday, March 26, 2012
In January, I facilitated a workshop in Japan to help a client launch the new year. I provided an overview about 12 global trends based on a new book by Adrian Done, then asked the group to identify implications for their business based on each trend. Later I used CCL’s Visual Explorer cards to have people select an image that would communicate their best hope for how the team could work together in the future.
Adrian’s book did a great job summarizing the status of trends based on current data and extrapolations, along with emerging opportunities that could counter some threats. For example, his chapter on demographic changes talked about there being 9.2 billion people by 2050, then the global population stabilizing due to decreased fertility rates. He described how urbanization along with old and young workers would transform the global workforce – and that we could improve systems to facilitate increased working life expectancy and remove barriers to immigration.
In response to the demographic trend, one participant talked about aging users who will be impacted by constantly changing technology who will need different kinds of customer support than young users – more personal, patient, and hands on. In response to the hope question, another participant selected an image of a box of crayons and said she hoped the group would leverage the diversity of the team in coming up with new customer solutions.
These kinds of things keep my work fresh as a trainer, i.e., finding new things to share with clients as well as seeing how “tried and true” methods (like VE cards) will work with global audiences. Finding what works with different audiences is always a challenge, especially when participants come from different cultural backgrounds.
What are YOUR “tried and true” tools or approaches in working with multicultural groups?