In Response to Outcry, University of San Diego Offers New Certificate in Cross-Cultural Competence & Multinational Business Practices

The New York Times reports that training to communicate across cultures has long been part of the preparation for executives moving overseas to work. But now, the training is increasingly for employees who may never leave the country, yet will work closely with companies and people around the world.

“Whether a multinational or a start-up business out of a garage, everybody is global these days,” said Dean Foster, president of Dean Foster Associates, an intercultural consultancy in New York. “In today’s economy, there is no room for failure. Companies have to understand the culture they are working in from Day 1.”

Mr. Foster recounted how an American businessman recently gave four antique clocks wrapped in white paper to a prospective client in China. What the man did not realize, he said, was that the words in Mandarin for clock and the number four are similar to the word for death, and white is a funeral color in many Asian countries. “The symbolism was so powerful,” Mr. Foster said, that the man lost the deal.

In response to an outcry by global executives, the University of San Diego is now offering a Certificate Program that has the strategic focus of prospering in the global economy with the professional sophistication, knowledge, understanding and tolerance necessary to be successful in a world where crossing borders is as close as the nearest Internet connection. The program is designed by principal instructor Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D., Director of Universal Consensus a global consulting firm, and is now available online.

Guest Speakers will appear in person and by teleseminar from the 14 different nations of the Universal Consensus Global Alliance to augment instruction by Ms. Hummel.

Etiquette & Protocol Across Cultures: April 5, 12, & 26, Monday 6-9:30 pm
These workshops have been created to educate and inform participants as to effective business communications and appropriate etiquette when interacting with professionals from other cultures, whether employees, suppliers or customers.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Li Rong Lilly Cheng is a Professor in the school of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Director of Chinese Studies Institute at San Diego State University. She is Managing Director of the Confucius Institute, and the Co-Chair of the Asian Task Force at SDSU.

Presentations Skills Across Cultures: May 10, 17 & 24, Monday 6-9:30 pm
Culture influences the way in which we establish rapport, make the pitch, and close the sale or deal. Visuals, demeanor, body language, attitude, and content that is impressive in one culture can be unimpressive, confusing or even offensive in another.
Guest Speaker: Unwha Choi is the founder of MindsGroup, an international HRM solution provider offering consulting, coaching and training in global business development, and innovation. She has more than 22 years of experience in training, marketing, supplier management, and general corporate and consultancy management.

Conflict Resolution Skills Across Borders & Boardroom: June 14, 21 & 28, Monday 6-9:30 pm
Ms. Hummel has developed an adaptation to the Western Facilitative Mediation Model into a paradigm that more closely aligns Non-Western Cultures. She further adapts the paradigm to the specific culture of the participants. Utilizing this methodology helps those trained in the concept to assist in avoiding conflict and when that conflict does occur, participants are better prepared to resolve it effectively.
Guest Speaker: Mark Kirwin is a University of California certified mediator and a California Superior Court appointed mediator, arbitrator and judge pro tem, with over 18 years of conflict resolution experience. His multinational experience includes extensive travel in S.E. Asia, India and South America performing humanitarian field work as the founder of the Kirwin International Relief Foundation and is the Asian Coordinator for Mediator Beyond Borders.

Cross-Cultural Team Building:July 12, 19 & 26, Monday 6-9:30 pm
An international staff has its own unique advantages and challenges. This training promotes inter-cultural staff integration, thereby reducing cross cultural conflicts and building team spirit.
Guest Speaker: Katrina A. Burrus, Ph.D., MCC of Switzerland coaches international executives in all areas of business. Dr. Burrus specializes in coaching global nomadic leaders, high potential, and abrasive senior managers.

Cross-Cultural Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures:August 9, 16 & 23, Monday 6-9:30 pm
When individuals from two or more cultures meet around the table, there are inevitable differences in strategies, styles, planning, expectations, and business mentality. This training helps participants to develop a knowledge base and practical skills that will keep the initial proceedings and ultimate transition free from unnecessary misunderstandings, which often lead to suspicions, communication breakdowns or failure of the venture.
Guest Speaker: Miguel Duarte Ferreira is an international consultant and competitive intelligence expert based in Portugal who will discuss cross-cultural competitive intelligence in scoping out the perfect merger, acquisition, and joint venture.

Global Emergence & Marketing:September 13, 20 & 27, Monday 6-9:30 pm
When a business has achieved a certain standard of success domestically, and it has been ascertained that a foray into another target culture may yield positive economic results, a confirmation analysis of this presumption must be undertaken, followed by a process of establishing a global marketing plan.
Guest Speaker: Tomas Sibaja is an international contractor with more than 15 years of experience in promotion, international sales, foreign investment and off-shore marketing strategies in cross-border regions where comparative and competitive advantage exist.

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