Why choosing a multicultural environment for your business
by Antonia Di Lorenzo
When I hear the adjective “multicultural”, I always think of an international dinner.
Imagine a long table at the centre of a huge living room, packed by people from different cultures. Everyone brings their own traditional food from their country: sushi from Japan, Mexican tacos, Spanish paella, French crepes, Indian rice, pasta.
By the end of the evening, probably full and drunk, you would have tried new dishes, which you may like or dislike. You would have had a new experience that allows you to explore foreign cultures, expanding your horizons towards worlds that you didn’t know, meeting people with different backgrounds who can teach you something.
Your dining experience resembles a community where each one gives their own contribution, in order to grow up together and improve themselves.
The result will be engagement, knowledge, open-mindedness, in one word: satisfaction.
Now let’s see the advantages of using an “international-dinner approach” to increase your business.
- Improvement of the problem-solving. As Jared Lewis explained in The Advantages of Multiculturalism in the workplace, being exposed to different points of view helps to create a sense of cultural awareness and to think outside the box when the employee will face a problem. Getting in touch with foreign cultures can allow you to realise how your mind is limited and how it influences negatively your way to solve the problems.
- Team work. The employees who will work in a multicultural environment will be more inclined to respect diversity, collaborating and finding a compromise in face of adversities.
- Knowledge. Discovering new cultures can widen your horizons. Firstly, when different backgrounds and experiences come together, you can expect a huge increase of possibilities. It can be also beneficial to stimulate creativity. Irina Chirileasa, Media Assistant, has examined in depth this topic through the eyes of GRSC Renewals Team members. This company has leaders from all Europe, who confirms working in an international environment can stimulate your hungry for knowledge and leading to excellent results. Cristiana Lupu, East Europe and CIS Regional Manager, Support Renewal Sales, GRSC, says: “Coordinating a team made up by members who come from different parts of the world is amazing! You learn a lot about what it means to live in a global society. Working across cultures tests your general knowledge, adaptability, contextual leadership and, of course, patience. There are tough aspects as well, for example balancing out the extreme cold drive for results with keeping the people motivated and driving each of them to the next step in their personal development.”
- New contacts. Having employees from different countries means also passing the frontiers. Your new contacts network’s name is world.
- Global Interactions. Having a high degree of understanding how other cultures do business leads the company to an international level. Global interactions take shape through different beliefs, philosophies and various ways of conceiving the marketplace.
- Flexibility. The workplace always demands flexibility, but in a multicultural environment you need to be ready to adapt yourself to different cultures. This often means getting in touch with different approaches which, potentially, can affect positively your projects. Maria Avram, Germany Senior Manager, Support Renewal Sales, GRSC, explains that in a multicultural environment there is a wonderful exchange: “Along the way, my team learned from me to be more organised, disciplined, confident. I also learned from them to be more flexible and communicative, to be more tolerant and also that people change, not completely, but partially.”
Grow3 puts a lot of effort into creating the right conditions to build a multicultural environment, in order to realise these beneficial effects. Caitlin Doherty, Marketing Manager of Grow3, says: “ I think that multicultural is synonymous of global. To be global it is essential to feel global, creating an international community. It is an added value as well as a priority. This is one of the main values of our company.”
Multiculturalism means evaluating people firstly as ideas producers, without taking into consideration any background or origins. It can drive the business to progress and social innovation.
Ideas are the priority. They don’t have any colour or ethnicity. They belong to people who with their ideas are able to create a community.