• Jeff Doolittle

How to Solve 3 Modern Cross-Cultural Leadership Challenges

Succeeding as a leader in today’s chaotic cross-cultural global business environment requires foresight, cultural agility, and new approaches to talent management.

As a leader no matter your industry you will likely face three complex cross-cultural leadership challenges resulting from globalization, global population shifts, and global talent mobility:

  1. Vast differences between employee cultural expectations

  2. Cross-cultural talent acquisition and talent retention

  3. Development of competent and confident intercultural professionals and leaders

In this article, we will discuss these challenges and more importantly, the strategies you can take as a modern leader to solve them.

Cultural Agility

Cross-cultural differences demand cultural agility. Modern leaders will face a growing number of cross-cultural differences working with customers and employees. Cultural agility is vital because, with over 60 global society cultures identified and numerous variations in regions within the national cultures, it is virtually impossible to be experienced in every situation. Cultural differences can be substantial and can quickly escalate into conflict and limit the effectiveness of a leader and organization. Paula Caligiuri in Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals provides excellent insights into this discussion. Successful, culturally agile leaders:

  • understand their own culture, the culture of their organization, and how it impacts the business

  • recognize and appreciate the differences of another culture as compared to their own

  • use their understanding of cultural differences to effectively conduct business within cross-cultural situations