Due to Popular Demand, University of San Diego Offers New Dates for 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. At the University of San Diego, the demand for cross-cultural training from Los Angeles County and Orange County by-passed the need in local San Diego. Indeed, they have been receiving inquiries from as far as the East Coast of the United States, as well as across to multiple continents, including inquiries from executives in China and India. For that reason, the University has changed its current offering from three-Monday nights a month, to one Saturday (full day) per month, so as to accommodate students who will travel to attend. The Course Website gives details on the offerings.

“Courses in the program are designed for business professionals and executives who need to understand and analyze the issues involved in providing services and doing business across cultures, both within the United States and abroad,” said Jodi Waterhouse, director of USD’s Corporate and Professionals Programs.

“The entrepreneur seeking to develop sales beyond domestic borders, the attorney or corporate executive seeking to serve clients from a different cultural background or the mediator striving for neutrality in a multi-cultural setting are just a few of the professionals who can benefit from the valuable program,” she said.

Courses increase participants’ ability to analyze how a more diverse business culture impacts their business, expose them to the specific etiquette and protocol considerations related to China, India, Mexico and other expanding markets, and create a successful global image by incorporating the knowledge learned in the program into a global marketing strategy.

Participants can take just one or a few courses that meet their needs or take a total of six seminars to complete the certificate program.

The first three-week course, “Etiquette and Protocol Across Cultures,” begins April 5 and is offered one night a week to serve the needs of busy professionals. Courses are $350, which includes materials, refreshments and parking. Register by March 26 or seven days before a course begins to receive an early-bird discount and pay $325.

Other courses offered in the program include “Presentations Across Cultures,” “Conflict Resolution Skills Across Borders and the Boardroom,” “Cross-Cultural Team Building,” “Inter-Cultural Mergers & Acquisitions” and “Global Emergence & Marketing.”

Courses will be taught by Denise Pirrotti Hummel, JD, founder and director of Universal Consensus, a company specializing in consulting and training services for multi-national companies with a specialization in inter-cultural business issues and conflict resolution. Those completing the certificate are eligible for a private consultation with the instructor, a vibrant and experienced member of the global business community.

Hummel consults with multinational businesses, non-governmental organizations, the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department in the area of multinational business strategy and cross-cultural training. ”We have guest speakers from the Universal Consensus Global Alliance appearing in person and remotely from around the globe,” she said. “This should be the most enriching cross-cultural educational experience most executives have ever had.”

Questions?/Contact Us: Denise@UniversalConsensus.com

The Bulls Can Stand Strong at Home and Overseas

Stocks enjoyed another plus week, closing one of the better Marches of the past 80 years. It seems like ages since volatility has been this low, and there have been many complaints about complacency and listlessness. Yet those concerns may be misplaced if indeed we are enjoying the second leg of a normal bull cycle. Low volatility in a bearish phase does suggest complacency, to be sure, but in a bullish phase it serves more to keep expectations in check.

Overseas large caps (VEU) were the stars of the week, as China jumped 8%, Russia jumped 7% and Europe rose 4%, far outpacing the 0.8% advance of major U.S. companies. (Source: Jon D. Markman, Contributing Writer, Money Morning)

China: Crunch Time

The global system is undergoing profound change. Three powers — Germany, China and Iran — face challenges forcing them to refashion the way they interact with their regions and the world.

U.S.-Chinese relations have become tenser in recent months, with the United States threatening to impose tariffs unless China agrees to revalue its currency and, ideally, allow it to become convertible like the yen or euro. China now follows Japan and Germany as one of the three major economies after the United States. Unlike the other two, it controls its currency’s value, allowing it to decrease the price of its exports and giving it an advantage not only over other exporters to the United States but also over domestic American manufacturers. The same is true in other regions that receive Chinese exports, such as Europe.

What Washington considered tolerable in a small developing economy is intolerable in one of the top five economies. The demand that Beijing raise the value of the yuan, however, poses dramatic challenges for the Chinese, as the ability to control their currency helps drive their exports. The issue is why China insists on controlling its currency, something embedded in the nature of the Chinese economy. A collision with the United States now seems inevitable. (Source: Stratfor).

Russia’s Influence

After years of work, Moscow has made significant progress in regaining control over the former Soviet states that are crucial to Russia’s security. Russia’s window of opportunity to exert control in its near abroad is a narrow one, however, and so Moscow has prioritized its list of countries where it is trying to consolidate influence. After reining in the four countries imperative to Moscow’s interests — Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Georgia — Moscow will turn its attention to a group of countries where it would like to have more influence.

There are six countries — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — where Moscow would like to reconsolidate its influence if it has the opportunity. Although these countries are not crucial to Russia’s survival, as long as they remain outside Moscow’s control, the West has the ability to get too close to the Russian core for comfort. All these countries know how serious Russia is about its grand plan of expansionism. The 2008 Russo-Georgian war revealed Moscow’s willingness to militarily intervene on its former Soviet turf and sent the message to these countries that they must obey or cut a deal with Moscow, or else risk being crushed. Since then, these countries have watched Russia consolidate Kazakhstan and Belarus into a customs union (with the promise of becoming a formal union) and have seen a pro-Russian wave engulf Ukraine. (Stratfor)

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.

Enroll Now

Course Website

Questions?/Contact Us: Denise@UniversalConsensus.com

Hummer Deal Failed Due to Non-Recognition Of Offshore Holdings

In a case that has tax planning and legal structuring implications for businesses investing in China, it is apparent that the failed deal with Hummer has its roots not just in the ability for the Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co to persuade the Central Government that it was a good idea, but also that an alternative structure, to move the deal offshore and inherent China tax liabilities for GM in doing so may have also contributed to the failure.

Toyota’s Cross-Cultural Blunder and How it Lead to Their Fall from Grace in the Eyes of the American Public

This link related to the issue of Toyota’s falling from grace is really worth a look. Interesting issue regarding the recall, but the more interesting issue to me (given my work in the cross-cultural training and consulting arena) is why there seems to be a lack of insight relative to the communication issues between a Japanese company,focused on the concept of “kaizen,” and the American consumer, focused on the concept of “transparency.” A quick consult with a cross-cultural specialist would have averted the trust issue by advising Toyota to “come clean” much earlier in the game, own up to a mistake which was a relatively easy fix, and move on as the squeaky clean, honest manufacturing protecting its customers.

Unwha’s Visit

How blessed we were to have a visit from our Global Alliance partner, Unwha Choi from Korea who gave us incredible insight about the inner-mechanisms associated with doing business in Korea. Her website is a must-see.

On the European Front: A Worsening Economic Picture

European 2009 provisional, fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, released by EU statistical agency Eurostat on Feb. 12, showed a somber picture of a Continent-wide slowdown in growth compared to third quarter data.

As STRATFOR cautioned in its analysis of third quarter GDP, growth in the European Union has proven tenuous.
Growth in the 27-member European Union slowed in quarter-on-quarter terms from 0.3 percent in the third quarter to 0.1 percent in the fourth, while for the 16-country eurozone, the growth also slowed from 0.4 percent in the third quarter to also 0.1 percent in the fourth. The most troubling figures indicate a near return into economic decline for Germany — Europe’s economic engine — which saw its third quarter GDP growth of 0.7 percent month-on-month decline to 0 percent. The only countries that saw increased growth, or the first signs of growth, were Estonia, France, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. European data is particularly pessimistic when compared to the United States, which grew 1.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, bolstering its 0.6 percent growth in the third quarter.

The figures are not going to help calm investors who are already skeptical of the eurozone following the Feb. 11 EU summit that failed to provide details of how the monetary union was going to help out its most troubled member, Greece, which STRATFOR identified in June 2009 as likely to need a German bailout. Rumors of a German-led bailout effort from Feb. 9-10 were not realized, leaving many to wonder if the European Union planned on taking any action past cursory words of support for Greece. The euro declined nearly 1 percent in the early hours of trading Feb. 12, dropping to around 1.35 U.S. dollars per euro. (Source: Stratfor)

Muslim Teens Adapt Well To New Zealand Life

Muslim teenagers in New Zealand adapt well to life in New Zealand, a Victoria University study has found.

The study, carried out on 180 Muslim teens, by the Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research, measured their psychological and social well-being by examining life satisfaction, psychological conditions, school adjustment and behavioural issues, Professor Colleen Ward said.

The study, carried out as part of a 13-country survey of well-being and identity, drew on data from previous studies carried out in New Zealand, on other groups of teens, as comparison.

The findings revealed Muslim youth demonstrated more positive outcomes on all indicators than their Maori and Pakeha peers, Prof Ward said.

The combination of strong family support, religion and New Zealand’s relatively tolerant atmosphere helped the Muslim 13- to 19-year-olds keep well, she said.

Though the students identified themselves as New Zealanders and the ethnic group they were from, their strongest identification was with being a Muslim, the researchers found.

In general, young people from immigrant and minority families were able to thrive when allowed to keep their beliefs, while participating fairly and equally in society, Prof Ward said.

The cultural environment of New Zealand allowed people to integrate, keeping their culture and ethnic groups, rather than assimilating them and forcing them to abandon the culture they came from, as in some other countries, she said.

New Zealand’s Muslim community had between 30,000 and 40,000 members, and was increasing rapidly. (Source: stuff.co.nz)