The case for cultural knowledge in global business

If your business success hinges on how you work with people from around the world, then learning about the cultures of your global business partners is crucial. The reason is simple: it makes good business sense. As a matter of fact, failing…

Navigating multicultural life with multicultural kids

The other night, my high school aged daughter insisted we watch this Spanish TV-series she has gotten hooked on. She said it was really good and she wanted me to see it. I was thrilled that she asked me to watch with her, and also excited because…

Safety for the international assignee

Moving abroad for work typically comes with a bit of a learning curve – there is a new language to learn, a different culture to understand and an array of practical matters to figure out. From a safety standpoint, having a deeper knowledge…

Employee and cyber security in international business

Investing in employee safety and cyber security is not optional for a business with an international footprint -- it’s a must. In the global business world this is about risk mitigation and as such the question becomes: how to do it and to…

Living in one country, voting in another -- staying involved isn't always easy

As a dual citizen I have the privilege, and the responsibility, to vote in two countries. This hasn’t always been the case however -- I lived in the US for well over a decade as a non-citizen, unable to vote. It was a great feeling when I…

The end of an era, the start of something new

My youngest child just got her driver’s license. I know it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but this time it was -- for me. My daughter was just a couple of weeks past her sixteenth birthday and she was sure that if it didn’t happen now,…

How cultural brokers facilitate creativity, productivity on multicultural teams

Innovation is a must to be successful and stay relevant in any business and there is plenty of research supporting the claim that having a multicultural team boosts both creativity and promotes problem solving. And it makes sense, a diverse…

The many ways of communicating

One of the reasons to love traveling is the opportunity learn – about new cultures, languages and about yourself. You don’t even have to leave your country to be exposed to a different way of life. Moving successfully between cultures, whether…

Communication – Brings us Together and Sets us Apart

If our ability to communicate is what defines us as humans, then why aren’t we better at it? If you consider that something as simple as the “V-sign” hand gesture has completely different meanings depending on where you are – it’s…

Strategic benefits of language learning in a multinational workplace

Any company doing business internationally knows the importance of being able to communicate effectively with its foreign counterparts. Likewise, a business with a multinational workforce needs to ensure that communication within the organization…

Decoding school culture and building a community

Changing schools can be tricky in the best of circumstances and doing so because of an international relocation can complicate matters even more. It’s not just the kids who go to school who have to make adjustments and figure out the new lay…

Communication between expat partners – sometimes fragile, always crucial

At about halfway through the summer each year, I start noticing newspaper articles discussing the strain vacation puts on couples. The gist of most of these articles is that heightened expectations (that are not well communicated), in combination…