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Effective leaders at every level must be able to understand the cultural context, adapt,communicate, negotiate, and mitigate problems. Navigating cultural differences can present challenges on many different levels, but it can also offer opportunities. Imagine how many battles might be prevented or shortened with the proper cultural readiness. So what does it take? Facts and figures aren’t enough. It takes a certain awareness and adaptability to discern the nuances of people unlike yourself. Without this baseline of cultural competence, it is possible that foreign language proficiency and regional knowledge can actually lead to poor assumptions and decision making. Our goal is to develop that baseline of cultural literacy so that we can build a force ready for any challenge. Are you #CultureReady? Join the conversation.

What are the basic behaviors needed to engage in every culture?

● Working alongside other cultures requires a lot more than just knowledge of the region. Find out how to become cultureReady with these 12 essential building blocks.

Discover resources to prepare for your work with another culture

● Research nation-specific cultures

● Learn about the culture of specific groups by ethnicity, religion and other affiliations

Check out the latest from our blog!

DLNSEO Culture Team
June 13, 2017

What do you get when you ask the people of the world to chronicle a single day in their lives? You get 80,000 submissions, 4500 hours of footage, from 192 countries. Kevin Macdonald has taken this raw material, all shot on July 24, 2010, and created a 90-minute paean to what it means to be human in the world today. July 24, 2010 was chosen because it was the first Saturday after the World Cup. The film also serves as a fascinating snapshot of cultures all around the world.

The film was the creation of a partnership among YouTube, Ridley Scott Associates and...

DLNSEO Culture Team
May 22, 2017

Travelling to mainland China on business?  Here are some tips to show respect and build rapport. During Your First Meeting:

Shake hands upon meeting. Chinese may nod or bow instead of shaking hands, although shaking hands has become increasingly more common. When introduced to a Chinese group, they may greet you with applause. Applaud back and smile. Senior persons begin greetings. Greet the oldest, most senior person before others. During group introductions, line up according to seniority with the senior person at the head of the line.

 Chinese Names &...

DLNSEO Culture Team
May 9, 2017

Protocol is a means by which people of all cultures can relate to each other. Whether you are an employee or spouse, have few representational responsibilities or are running your post’s protocol office, this booklet produced by the State department is a good starting point to prepare. 

What is Protocol?

Protocol is, in effect, the frame for the picture rather than the content of it. American casualness is sometimes interpreted as rudeness in other societies. What does it say if the representatives of the world’s most powerful nation are indifferent to...

Culture Team
April 28, 2017

Reposted from the Association of Talent Development

Employee retention and skills gaps remain some of the top concerns for talent development professionals. This challenge is felt most strongly in industries where retention is consistently low, such as hospitality. The challenges grow when your workforce is multicultural and lacking in essential skills, such as fluency in English and business communications. Hospitality is an incredibly diverse industry with 12 percent of workers being foreign-born, according to the Pew analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010-2013...

DLNSEO Culture Team
April 10, 2017

Through a partnership with Penn State and NATO’s Allied Command Transformation - Future Solutions branch, the Extended Hands program leverages technology to foster understanding through dialogue across cultures in vastly different parts of the world. Extended Hand pairs cadets and military personnel from NATO nations with civilians in conflict-torn regions to have cross-cultural exchanges.

The program operates on two core principles:

Military personnel plan and conduct missions with greater efficacy when they have the skills to effectively communicate and build trust...
DLNSEO Culture Team
March 14, 2017

What is the power of virtual reality to provide you with an emmersive cultural experience?  The tourism industry is experimenting with VR to see if it can be used to expand their reach and entice prospective clients.

Expedia’s take on the technology is somewhat unusual. Although it has used it in films promoting travel deals to Australia, in March it started a fund-raising campaign involving virtual reality for the St. Jude children’s hospital.

Expedia “fundamentally believes that when people travel, it affects them and the world around them,” said Vic Walia,...

Culture Team
March 6, 2017

"Food culture [is] very special because it is also the most important cultural manifestation that we have, because we all have to eat.” - Magnus Nilsson, author of The Nordic Cookbook.

When Magnus Nilsson, head chef at the Michelin-starred Faviken restaurant, 400 miles north of Stockholm, was first asked to write a Nordic cookbook, he was against it.  "The Nordic is a geographical region, not really a cultural region," he said. "It's too big, and too varied." (It includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and several groups of autonomous islands...

Culture Team
February 22, 2017

Most of us don’t enjoy having difficult conversations, period — but when they involve someone from our own culture, we can usually rely on some basic shared assumptions about what the interaction should look like.

When we have a difficult conversation with someone from a different culture, however, our task becomes harder by an order of magnitude. Now, not only do we have to address a potentially thorny subject, but we must do so while gracefully maneuvering around a series of cultural trip wires. To manage this issue it helps to understand the four most common communication...

Culture Team
February 22, 2017

By Colonel Bernard Banks

Reposted from Harvard Business Review

Global organizations need leaders with cultural dexterity — the ability and know-how to make a sale in Seoul just as effectively as they host a meeting in Riyadh. In a military career that took me around the world — Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Saudi Arabia — I learned that, when it comes to these skills, fortune favors the prepared.

Preparation starts, of course, with training in cross-cultural best practices, as well as more general “soft skills” like emotional intelligence and interpersonal...

Culture Team
February 16, 2017

By Valeria O'Berry 

Today, Marines must be proficient in foreign language and cultures around the world in order to be prepared for vital missions. This training comes from the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL) at Marine Corps University.

CAOCL is still very young, having been established in 2006 by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, then-commander of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (currently secretary of defense), in order to ensure Marines and Marine units were equipped with sufficient regional, culture and operational language...


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