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The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

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Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harm Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together. When you have Americans who precede anything negative with three nice comments; French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans who get straight to the point (“your presentation was simply awful”); Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy; Scandinavians who think the best boss is just one of the crowd—the result can be, well, sometimes interesting, even funny, but often disastrous. Even with English as a global language, it’s easy to fall into cultural traps that endanger careers and sink deals when, say, a Brazilian manager tries to fathom how his Chinese suppliers really get things done, or an American team leader tries to get a handle on the intra-team dynamics between his Russian and Indian team members. In The Culture Map, Erin Meyer provides a field-tested model for decoding how cultural differences impact international business. She combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice for succeeding in a global world.


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Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harm Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together. When you have Americans who precede anything negative with three nice comments; French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans who get straight to the point (“your presentation was simply awful”); Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy; Scandinavians who think the best boss is just one of the crowd—the result can be, well, sometimes interesting, even funny, but often disastrous. Even with English as a global language, it’s easy to fall into cultural traps that endanger careers and sink deals when, say, a Brazilian manager tries to fathom how his Chinese suppliers really get things done, or an American team leader tries to get a handle on the intra-team dynamics between his Russian and Indian team members. In The Culture Map, Erin Meyer provides a field-tested model for decoding how cultural differences impact international business. She combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice for succeeding in a global world.

30 review for The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adina

    This book can be an excellent tool for any person that works or even just interacts with different cultures. The author has an extensive experience as a cultural trainer and she shares interesting and educational events from her many years working with different people from all over the world. The focus is on European countries (UK, France, Scandinavia, Russia, Germany), USA and Asia (Japan, India, China, South Korea) and South America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico) and Oceania. Africa is not covered This book can be an excellent tool for any person that works or even just interacts with different cultures. The author has an extensive experience as a cultural trainer and she shares interesting and educational events from her many years working with different people from all over the world. The focus is on European countries (UK, France, Scandinavia, Russia, Germany), USA and Asia (Japan, India, China, South Korea) and South America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico) and Oceania. Africa is not covered, probably because of her lack of experience on that continent. Each chapters covers a specific aspect of the business interaction: Communication, persuasion, leadership, performance evaluation and negative feedback, decision making, trust, disagreement and scheduling. We are given plenty of example to illustrate cultural misunderstandings and ways to deal with them. Moreover, in each chapter there is a figure who show on a line, from one extreme to other, where each main country stands from a variable point of view. For example, in terms of communication there are two extremes: low-context cultures and High Context ones. In low-context countries such as the US, Australia, people usually say what they think whereas in high-context ones, China and Japan, people tend to only suggest between the lines the real meaning of what they are saying. As I work almost exclusively with clients from outside Europe, the differences between what we consider normal business behavior and theirs are quite significant. I recognized myself in many of the situations presented in the book and maybe I would have dealt better with some problems if I had read this book in advance. I highly recommend this book, I find it extremely useful and enjoyable to consult from time to time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    A practical guide for navigating cultural complexity while conducting global business. Interesting examples of everyday failures to communicate and work around solutions. Implements personal changes sounds like a challenge, but that is the way things are. While strong cultural expression makes for good stories, it can impede effective communication with people from different traditions. Of course, downgraders are used in every world culture, but some cultures use them more than others. The Britis A practical guide for navigating cultural complexity while conducting global business. Interesting examples of everyday failures to communicate and work around solutions. Implements personal changes sounds like a challenge, but that is the way things are. While strong cultural expression makes for good stories, it can impede effective communication with people from different traditions. Of course, downgraders are used in every world culture, but some cultures use them more than others. The British are masters of the art, with the result that their communications often leave the rest of us quite bewildered. Take the announcement made by British Airways pilot Eric Moody in 1982, after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash over Indonesia: “Good evening again, ladies and gentlemen. This is Captain Eric Moody here. We have a small problem in that all four engines have failed. We’re doing our utmost to get them going, and I trust you’re not in too much distress, and would the chief steward please come to the flight deck?” Fortunately, the plane was able to glide far enough to exit the ash cloud, and the engines were restarted, allowing the aircraft to land safely at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta with no casualties. Moody’s recorded announcement has since been widely hailed as a classic example of understatement. The “Anglo-Dutch Translation Guide” (Figure 2.1), which has been anonymously circulating in various versions on the Internet, amusingly illustrates how the British use downgraders and the resulting confusion this can create among listeners from another culture (in this case, the Dutch). Awareness should be a step in the right direction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Camie

    I picked up this book at Schiphol airport while traveling in Holland, on a vacation that included London, Germany, and a cruise of the Baltic Sea to Russia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Denmark. It was highlighted as a " must read" and though it is a book written about the complexity of people from different cultures working together in the business world, I found it a very interesting read which maps out the general social customs of people from different countries. I kept thinking of my broth I picked up this book at Schiphol airport while traveling in Holland, on a vacation that included London, Germany, and a cruise of the Baltic Sea to Russia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Denmark. It was highlighted as a " must read" and though it is a book written about the complexity of people from different cultures working together in the business world, I found it a very interesting read which maps out the general social customs of people from different countries. I kept thinking of my brother-in -law who is Dutch but working in Shanghai, China as these two countries are almost diametrically opposite in all 8 mapped areas the book discusses in the way the people communicate, react to authority, and approach business situations. 4.5 stars for me, even though I'm a very non-business oriented person these days.

  4. 4 out of 5

    عبدالرحمن عقاب

    نعم! نحن مختلفون! كذلك ولذلك خُلقنا. تناقش الكاتبة بأسلوب جميل الاختلافات بين الشعوب وذلك بدراسة 8 مواضيع يهتمّ بها عالم الأعمال والإدارة، وهي : (الوضوح في التخاطب- الإعلام بالتقييم السلبي- الإقناع والاقتناع- الهرمية في القيادة- طرق اتخاذ القرار- آلية الاختلاف- وآلية بناء الثقة- التعامل مع الوقت والتخطيط). وعلى الرغم من أنّ الخطوط العريضة للاختلافات بين الأمم قد سبق دراستها؛ مثل دراسات (نسيبيت)، إلا أنّ ما يميز هذه عن تلك أنّ هذه الأبحاث قد بحثت في الفروق "النسبية" بين شعوب الأمّة الواحدة. فمثلاً نعم! نحن مختلفون! كذلك ولذلك خُلقنا.‏ تناقش الكاتبة بأسلوب جميل الاختلافات بين الشعوب وذلك بدراسة 8 مواضيع يهتمّ بها عالم الأعمال والإدارة، وهي : ‏‏(الوضوح في التخاطب- الإعلام بالتقييم السلبي- الإقناع والاقتناع- الهرمية في القيادة- طرق اتخاذ القرار- آلية الاختلاف- ‏وآلية بناء الثقة- التعامل مع الوقت والتخطيط).‏ وعلى الرغم من أنّ الخطوط العريضة للاختلافات بين الأمم قد سبق دراستها؛ مثل دراسات (نسيبيت)، إلا أنّ ما يميز ‏هذه عن تلك أنّ هذه الأبحاث قد بحثت في الفروق "النسبية" بين شعوب الأمّة الواحدة. فمثلاً تجد الفرق بين الأمريكي ‏والبريطاني و بين الصيني والياباني، و بين العربي والتركي وبين البرازيلي والمكسيكي أو الإيطالي والألماني.‏ تكمن أهمية الكتاب في أنه سبيلٌ لفهم الذات وكذلك لفهم الآخر وتقبّله. وهذا يصلح للتوفيق وربّما للتطوير أيضًا. ‏ ومن جميل ما في الكتاب محاولة الكاتبة أن تصل إلى أسباب تاريخية لبعض الظواهر التي تحدّثت عنها. وكذلك طرح كثير ‏من الأمثلة بشكلٍ قصصي مميّز.‏ ثمة ملاحظة أظنّ أنّ الكاتبة قد أضافتها في غير موقعها، ولعلّ الأولى كان في جعلها بُعدًا تاسعًا خاصًا ومنفصلاً. وذلك في ‏استخدامها لمفهوم الشمولية والتخصيص (وهو أحد نتائج أبحاث وتجارب نسيبيت) كمحاولة لتفسير آلية الاقتناع عند ‏العرب والآسيويين كمقابل لآلية الفاعلية في التطبيق (كيف؟) أو الصواب في المبدأ النظري عند الغرب والروس (لماذا؟). ‏

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tarek Amr

    Being a person who is born and raised in Egypt, then moved to work in the Netherlands a couple of years ago, this book is an eyeopener for me regarding cultural differences I used to notice but wasn't able to articulate very well. Erin Meyer's books focuses on 8 aspects where cultures differ; how are people from different cultures communicate, evaluate, persuade, lead, decide, trust, disagree and schedule. The author maps culture differences onto those 8 scales, and funny enough, the Middle East Being a person who is born and raised in Egypt, then moved to work in the Netherlands a couple of years ago, this book is an eyeopener for me regarding cultural differences I used to notice but wasn't able to articulate very well. Erin Meyer's books focuses on 8 aspects where cultures differ; how are people from different cultures communicate, evaluate, persuade, lead, decide, trust, disagree and schedule. The author maps culture differences onto those 8 scales, and funny enough, the Middle East and the Netherlands fall almost always on the two opposite ends of each scale. When it comes to communication, the scale goes between low context vs hight context cultures. Anglophones and Dutch/Germans are on one end, while Japanese are on the other end. Arabs and Indians slightly lower context than Japanese, and French among other Latin cultures are in the middle. High context read between the lines, looks for layers and hidden meanings. They use irony and don't need to explicitly say "just kidding" after joking. Brits are higher context compared to Americans, thus the latter seldom get the former's humour. Low context cultures tend to have broader vocabulary in their languages. And, I understand, high context ones use metaphors more. Low context culture tend to have stuff written while high context tend to express things verbally. Thinking of Egyptian Arabic, we have just one word for leg and foot; however we have different word for each in traditional Arabic, and maybe we move to a slightly lower context when we write, as we write in traditional Arabic most of the time. When evaluation each other, Dutch are direct and low context, Americans/Brits are indirect and while still having low context. Israelis and Russians direct and high context. Arabs indirect and high context. The French stress on negative feedback and give positive feedback subtly, while Americans are just the opposite. I wouldn't go on and summarise all 8 aspects, of course. I recommend you read the book, but let me mention some things I notices. I used to think Germans and Dutch should be very similar in everything, especially after seeing them showing close to each other on many scales, then later on, I discovered that when it comes to leadership, the Dutch are more egalitarian and the Germans and hierarchal. When I stumbled upon the term, egalitarian, I didn't know exactly its meaning, but since I know what the national motto of France (liberté, égalité, fraternité) means, I could easily deduct its meaning in English, then came the irony that the French are more hierarchal than egalitarian. Imagine being in a queue, and the person in front of you is asking a teller a question that sparks a 30 minutes discussion, while you just have a 2 seconds question, should I go from this gate or that one. In Egypt, it is understandable that you can interrupt their discussion to ask your question, and when I came to Europe, one of the shocking moments to me was that in linear-time cultures, that's a big no no! Similar to my initial perception of German and Dutch cultures, I also thought Israelis would be very similar to Arabs, in the end of the day, they all are Middle-Easterns, till I read that people Israel, Germany, France and the Netherlands are confrontational; while Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Ghana and Peru avoid confrontation. Arabs and Israelis are kinda similar on 50% of the scales here, and dissimilar on the other 50%. Societies may base their trust on relations, or be task-oriented. Societies with relationship-oriented business attitude are most likely ones with weak legal systems, where relationships provide better safety nets than contracts. In the end, I am not a big fan of the post modernist approach of seeing all cultures are equal, and considering any criticism to be a form of racism. I see empirical evidences that some cultures are more economically successful that the others, and I think it is good for individuals and societies to learn about those differences and learn to adapt to what is best.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wen

    When you offer a drink to a guest, and she says “no, thank you”. Would she be expecting you to ask her again or she really meant what she said? The answer depends on if she’s from a “high-context” culture like China or a “low-context” culture like America. Erin Meyer used many enlightening real-life examples like this to illustrate the cultural differences around the world. I particularly like Erin Meyer’s approach of using 8 self-standing yet interconnected scales, communicating, evaluating, pers When you offer a drink to a guest, and she says “no, thank you”. Would she be expecting you to ask her again or she really meant what she said? The answer depends on if she’s from a “high-context” culture like China or a “low-context” culture like America. Erin Meyer used many enlightening real-life examples like this to illustrate the cultural differences around the world. I particularly like Erin Meyer’s approach of using 8 self-standing yet interconnected scales, communicating, evaluating, persuading, leading, deciding, trusting, disagreeing, and scheduling, to map cultural differences. She position each country on the scales for visual comparison. This systematic method and the abundant real-life examples together made the book very easy to follow. The book mainly targets business managers leading multi-cultural teams. I think some of the examples and conclusions are also enlightening to an everyday reader enjoying international travel and curious about different cultures. Being an immigrant from China who lives and works in the U.S, I experienced a number of aha moments in the book. Remember when my very first U.S boss told someone I was her life saver after I finished , to myself, a trivial task, I felt being put on the spot. People in America do ten to over-use words like “excellent” and “thrilled” (chapter 2), which strikes people from some other cultures as fake and insincere. Indeed It took me a while to recalibrate and adapt., Luckily for me, Americans and Chinese are both confrontation-averse chapter 7). Putting accounting standard in the cultural context as Meyer described in chapter 3 Why versus How, I came to a realization why IFRS is principle-based, and U.S GAAP is rule/application-based. That said, I had my reservations in seeing America and China as single cultures. Meyer did include some qualifiers regarding to this point, however with only moderate conviction. For example, she pegged American leadership approach as egalitarian (chapter 4) , but to me the financial and public sectors are leaning more toward hierarchical. As Chinese major cities increasingly westernized, linear time (chapter 8) has become more of a norm in both corporate and social settings. There are plenty of funny moments; I found myself chuckling from time to time. Overall a wonderful read; the best culture self-help book I have read so far.

  7. 5 out of 5

    HBalikov

    There is a minefield out there for anyone who steps from their own familiar territory into foreign turf. The consequences might only be embarrassment or they could be a lost client or you might never know what you did or did not do. “Cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions (what we see), cognitions (what we think), and actions (what we do).” If Meyer’s goal is “to help you improve your ability to decode these three facets of culture and to enhance your effective There is a minefield out there for anyone who steps from their own familiar territory into foreign turf. The consequences might only be embarrassment or they could be a lost client or you might never know what you did or did not do. “Cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions (what we see), cognitions (what we think), and actions (what we do).” If Meyer’s goal is “to help you improve your ability to decode these three facets of culture and to enhance your effectiveness in dealing with them”, the book definitely falls a bit short. However, the book, and Meyer’s methodology is a great success at raising the reader’s level of consciousness, and thus better able to perceive where an issue may arise. Meyers sees “eight scales” as defining any specific culture’s dimensions: - Communicating: “low-context vs. high context” - Evaluating: “direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback” - Persuading: “principles-first vs. applications first” - Leading: “egalitarian vs. hierarchical” - Deciding: “consensual vs. top-down” - Trusting: “task-based vs. relationship-based” - Disagreeing: “confrontational vs. avoids confrontation” - Scheduling: “linear-time vs. flexible-time” Aside from the anthropological-speak, the distinctions are easy to perceive. But are they always evident? Are they useful? Fortunately, if you are like me, you don’t have to answer the questions. Just go for the gestalt. Meyer provides anecdotes. (In fact, one could argue that the book is not much more than a collection of anecdotes.) - Read the anecdote. - Ask yourself what you would do. - Try to recall if you have ever been in a similar situation. - Repeat. For me that was a methodology that got me out the other side feeling that I had learned something of value and had also preserved most of my self-esteem. I will save those eight “scales” for another day.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Asif

    Candidate for the best book I have read in 2016 unless another one can beat it. The author made is fun to read with great examples that I could easily relate to.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hyperion

    The book was OK. It offers a good overview of differences between cultures. Sometimes we may assume that 2 cultures are similar, but in the end there is a possibility of conflict, because they have different "mentality" on a certain point (trust or time perception, for instance). But Erin often limits herself to personal stories and doesn't cite almost any researcher or study. Where did she take her scales from? What indicators did she use? Hunch? Gut feeling? Statistical analysis? Sometimes sto The book was OK. It offers a good overview of differences between cultures. Sometimes we may assume that 2 cultures are similar, but in the end there is a possibility of conflict, because they have different "mentality" on a certain point (trust or time perception, for instance). But Erin often limits herself to personal stories and doesn't cite almost any researcher or study. Where did she take her scales from? What indicators did she use? Hunch? Gut feeling? Statistical analysis? Sometimes stories end at the most interesting point, do not specify essential details, and serve just to act as a "proof" for the previous idea to give it credibility that it was lacking. "The Culture Map" is a collection of interesting points on different cultures, but I wouldn't say that it is a best cross-cultural book out there. If you want fundamental research - Hofstede. If you want to work with a particular nation, try looking precisely at books relevant to that nation. Nevertheless, this book is an interesting introduction to cross-cultural management so if you are a novice in the field it might interest you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aayla

    I found this book to be fascinating, enlightening, important, and highly relevant. Erin Meyer talks about culture in a way that is respectful and also relative, so that we can understand cultural differences by contrast and comparison. Even though this book is designed to help business-people, I would argue that it is relevant and useful to all people. Everyone could benefit from reading it. Even if you don't agree with everything she has to say (though I personally can't say that I found her to b I found this book to be fascinating, enlightening, important, and highly relevant. Erin Meyer talks about culture in a way that is respectful and also relative, so that we can understand cultural differences by contrast and comparison. Even though this book is designed to help business-people, I would argue that it is relevant and useful to all people. Everyone could benefit from reading it. Even if you don't agree with everything she has to say (though I personally can't say that I found her to be wrong), she brings up many great points that will probably get you thinking, and that's an important start.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Moh

    Eye opening introduction into how cultures affect work relationships I was quite impressed with how much I’ve learnt from this book. The book talks in detail about how culture manifests itself at work and how it can sometimes cause clashes. It was really interesting to learn about ‘low context’ and ‘high context’ cultures which differ in the level of directness of communication, and how that can cause issues in the workplace. It was also super enlightening to see a ‘map’ of how various cultures r Eye opening introduction into how cultures affect work relationships I was quite impressed with how much I’ve learnt from this book. The book talks in detail about how culture manifests itself at work and how it can sometimes cause clashes. It was really interesting to learn about ‘low context’ and ‘high context’ cultures which differ in the level of directness of communication, and how that can cause issues in the workplace. It was also super enlightening to see a ‘map’ of how various cultures rank on a scale on matters like: confrontation, decision making, loyalty, trust earning, and timeliness. I always assumed that the American way of doing business is the righ way, but now I realize that it’s just simply ‘different’ than how business is done elsewhere, which does not necessarily mean that it’s wrong. I will certainly be more aware of these cultural differences from now on. The only thing I wish the book did better is diving into the reasons that led to the stark difference in cultural at the workplace. I would have loved to understand the historical events that led to this divergence between the western and eastern world. Great learnings overall!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luciana Betenson

    Adorei este livro. A autora tem bastante experiência com interações multiculturais e explica, organiza, situa e ensina a lidar com diferentes culturas, em relação a temas como comunicação, liderança, persuasão e organização do tempo, entre outras. Cheio de exemplos e pequenos casos, muito interessante!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bredo Erichsen

    This is the book I should have read 20 years ago when starting to work abroad! @erinmeyerinsead gives the background and the examples. I will recommend this book for all people working abroad or working with foreigners back home. Understanding and respect differences are a good start for a successful collaboration.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pavel Annenkov

    Книга обязательна к прочтению всем, кто ведёт бизнес с иностранными партнёрами или в командах с сотрудниками из разных стран. Автор разбирает поведенческие отличия разных культур на 8 уровнях. Много примеров из практики автора.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sera

    I was required to read this book for a program that I am involved in through work. I thought that the author did a great job describing the nuances of working with people from other countries and the differences among cultures when it comes to among other things, leading, persuading and trusting. We had a great conversation regarding these activities, how they vary by country or region, and then we shared examples of how we had each by impacted by these differences within our company. Meyer also I was required to read this book for a program that I am involved in through work. I thought that the author did a great job describing the nuances of working with people from other countries and the differences among cultures when it comes to among other things, leading, persuading and trusting. We had a great conversation regarding these activities, how they vary by country or region, and then we shared examples of how we had each by impacted by these differences within our company. Meyer also plots out on a graph where each country lies on the scale of behaviors so that the reader can identify where on the scale for the particular behavior each country sits to determine how pervasive the behavior is. Meyer uses her first hand experience supplemented by research to support her points, which from the consensus of my group were spot on across the board. I highly recommend this book and consider it mandatory for anyone who works or interacts with others on a global basis.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andreea Lucau

    I feel that the book is written for managers handling multicultural teams, but it can be extremely useful for everyone working and even living in a multicultural environment. I read it as a team exercise and it forces us to reflect about ourselves and to also know the team better. The author proposes 8 scaled for measuring a culture and dedicates a chapter to each one. I don't know if this is the most comprehensive way to dissect cultural differences, but at least for business settings it fits pre I feel that the book is written for managers handling multicultural teams, but it can be extremely useful for everyone working and even living in a multicultural environment. I read it as a team exercise and it forces us to reflect about ourselves and to also know the team better. The author proposes 8 scaled for measuring a culture and dedicates a chapter to each one. I don't know if this is the most comprehensive way to dissect cultural differences, but at least for business settings it fits pretty good.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hackmops

    My non-fiction reading "spree" continues.. a little explanation on my perspective before going into the book: I work at a pretty international company and we have scaled up quite a bit during the past few years and whereas I am not in a management position, I am still curious about how and why things work in a business environment. Since last fall, I am participating in a 1 year talent and leadership program which has really opened my eyes about a lot of things and when The Culture Map was start My non-fiction reading "spree" continues.. a little explanation on my perspective before going into the book: I work at a pretty international company and we have scaled up quite a bit during the past few years and whereas I am not in a management position, I am still curious about how and why things work in a business environment. Since last fall, I am participating in a 1 year talent and leadership program which has really opened my eyes about a lot of things and when The Culture Map was started to be floated around our management, I got interested. This book is a great and very accessible read - the author uses very direct language to explain concepts which are simple yet work in complex settings. How you implement change or decode your environment is still up to you but this book gives you great tools for understanding why things sometimes are the way you experience them. Meyer also does a good job at emphasising that although people might be from one certain culture, they still might behave differently personally - and that's okay too. I like that she does not paint people with a broad brush but still allows for her work to stand in a general enough setting. I have also recognised several behaviour structures that I fall into and that some of my colleagues from one group have come to expect, whereas others would act differently or have other expectations. I really recommend this book, even if you are not management or involved in business, it is really cool to see how international communication works.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru

    For me, the main takeaway from this book is to try to explain what you are doing and why; make it an exercise in empathy. The problem then becomes the fact that you don't really know when and where there’s potential for trouble due to cultural differences. Surprisingly, it’s the anecdotes in this book helped the most in building an intuition on this. The author starts with common scenarios in a business/work environment, then derives, through induction, the general rules. One of the things I foun For me, the main takeaway from this book is to try to explain what you are doing and why; make it an exercise in empathy. The problem then becomes the fact that you don't really know when and where there’s potential for trouble due to cultural differences. Surprisingly, it’s the anecdotes in this book helped the most in building an intuition on this. The author starts with common scenarios in a business/work environment, then derives, through induction, the general rules. One of the things I found valuable, it’s something I’ve always struggled with myself, is convincing people of my ideas or solutions. This book suggests there are two ways to persuade: you start off hard, straight with the point, then present your arguments, or the other way around, you build up the context needed, then finally you present you application. The trick is that you need to know which one to use depending on the expectations of the person you’re talking to. The idea that people in general want to be persuaded was interesting. In a business context people want what is best for the company they work at. Thus, it’s more important for them that the company moves forward with a good plan of action, rather than pushing their own unilateral solution. The confrontational scale was interesting, the author makes a point that sometimes arguing about a decision is very important for exploring all the possible solutions. For example, french people “view dissonance and conflict as bringing hidden contradictions to light and stimulating fresh thinking. With confrontation you reach excellence”. I couldn’t agree more. I want and expect decisions to not be final, to encourage debate. On the other hand, if we did that on all the decisions the company makes, we would loose time and end up in a local optimum.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rawn Shah

    I appreciate the real stories that capture the experience of culture clash from different views. In some anecdotes, she relates a story and conversation by her clients during a such a clash or misunderstanding. In others, she is the protagonist of the story experiencing the point of culture confusion, and reflecting upon it. It is this mix of both others views, as well as willing to relate her own personal stories that makes this a fascinating read. It also brings out some of the author’s own jou I appreciate the real stories that capture the experience of culture clash from different views. In some anecdotes, she relates a story and conversation by her clients during a such a clash or misunderstanding. In others, she is the protagonist of the story experiencing the point of culture confusion, and reflecting upon it. It is this mix of both others views, as well as willing to relate her own personal stories that makes this a fascinating read. It also brings out some of the author’s own journey of discovery of the elements of her framework. The author acknowledges and reinforces that even she herself did not start independent of any cultural bias as we all have. It is encouraging to learn to grow in this way. As the face this inevitably in today’s digital ecosystem, they will have to work with colleagues, collaborators or customers from other cultures whether in person, or online. Read more of the review on Forbes.com: http://onforb.es/10FVP0Z

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    If I could give it 10 starts, I would have surely done so! A must read for anyone working in international team regardless if you're a manager or not - because understanding your own culture is the first step to understand others better. Meyer explores 8 dimensions of culture which one encounters in daily business world and differences in which can confuse/surprise/anger you. But as the Russian saying goes - if you've been warned then you've been armed.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Meh. It started off really good but the generalisations got annoying towards the end.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Åsmund Ådnøy

    Erin Meyers bok "The culture map" er skrevet for ledere av multinasjonale selskaper, men er en fryd å lese for oss andre også. Den handler om arbeidslivskulturen verden rundt. Erin Meyer er konsulent for selskaper som kjenner at det knirker når de skal få avdelinger i ulike land, noen ganger ulike verdensdeler, til å jobbe sammen. Åtte akser Erin Meyer plasserer verdens land langs åtte akser når det gjelder arbeidslivskultur. En slik grovinndeling vil selvsagt bli temmelig overfladisk, men setter t Erin Meyers bok "The culture map" er skrevet for ledere av multinasjonale selskaper, men er en fryd å lese for oss andre også. Den handler om arbeidslivskulturen verden rundt. Erin Meyer er konsulent for selskaper som kjenner at det knirker når de skal få avdelinger i ulike land, noen ganger ulike verdensdeler, til å jobbe sammen. Åtte akser Erin Meyer plasserer verdens land langs åtte akser når det gjelder arbeidslivskultur. En slik grovinndeling vil selvsagt bli temmelig overfladisk, men setter tankene i sving. Er du sjef i Norge, gir det status å sykle til jobben. I Kina vil trolig staben din se på det som en hån hvis du kommer på tohjuling. Meyer skiller for eksempel mellom land med lav og høy kontekst i kommunikasjonen, altså hvor mye som er underforstått når to personer snakker sammen. Hun kaller USA verdens mest lavkontekstuelle samfunn, med idealer som "si hva du mener og men hva du sier". I USA skal budskapet formidles i klare ordelag. Mest mulig gjennomsiktighet er målet. På motsatt ende av skalaen finner vi Japan, hvor det å "lese luften" er en grunnleggende sosial ferdighet. Meyer forklarer forskjellene med på dette feltet med at USA er et ungt land med en mengde kulturer blandet sammen, slik at kommunikasjonen må være så enkel å skjønne som mulig. Japan har på sin side en flere tusen år gammel, homogen kultur hvor lite trenger å bli sagt for at mottakeren skal forstå. Så når folk fra høykontekst-samfunn hører lavkontekst-folk snakke, lytter de gjerne etter lag av mening som ikke finnes. Å tro at det er ordene som blir uttalt, som er hele meningen, går på tvers av deres egen kommunikasjonsstil. Måter å kritisere på Boken snudde opp-ned på i alle fall mange av mine fordommer. Høylytt samtale og gestikulasjon i Midtøsten og Sør-Amerika har ingenting med åpne linjer og snakk fra leveren å gjøre, ifølge Meyer. Tvert imot er aksepten for åpen, eksplisitt kritikk mye større i Danmark, Nederland, Tyskland, Israel og Frankrike. Amerikanere forstår ironi dårlig, og vil gjerne ha tydelig beskjed hvis du forteller en vits. Den britiske understatement-måten å gi tilbakemeldinger på blir vanskelig forstått for dem som ikke skjønner kodene. Når din britiske sjef sier "with all due respect" i begynnelsen av setningen, er det hans måte å fortelle deg at du tar feil. The culture map er full av illustrerende eksempler. For eksempel den franske banklederen som fikk jobb på Chicago-kontoret, og ikke skjønte at hun gjorde en dårlig jobb. Hun var vant til den franske formen for tilbakemelding, som handler om å påpeke feil. Da hun opplevde sin amerikanske sjef overøse henne med komplimenter, skjønte hun ikke at all amerikansk tilbakemelding inneholder tre komplimenter for hver innvending, og at alt skrytet bare var der for å sukre pillen. Franskmenn ser på frisk diskusjon og uenighet som en berikelse i sosiale sammenhenger, amerikanere og i enda større grad asiater skyr det som pesten. Det som ett sted tolkes som å miste ansikt, ser andre på som stimulerende meningsbrytning. Mange veier til avgjørelser Forretningslivet handler om å treffe beslutninger, men hvordan dette skjer, og hva en avgjørelse er, varierer sterkt. Japanerne forankrer alle avgjørelser langt nede i organisasjonen, og full enighet er målet. Tyskerne har rigide organisasjonskart og klare kommandolinjer, men ønsker en samlet beslutning fra ledelsen. Amerikanerne har løse organisasjonsstrukturer, men sjefen bestemmer. Tyskerne og japanerne bruker lang tid på å treffe en avgjørelse, men når de først gjør det, er den skrevet i stein. Amerikanske sjefer bestemmer seg tidlig, men kan komme til andre beslutninger senere - deres avgjørelser er ikke endelige på samme måte. Dette med å skrive referater og tydelig ansvarsfordeling etter møter, er ikke noe universelt (selv om Apple og mange andre har hatt stor suksess med det ). I mange kulturer blir møtereferater og arbeidsinstrukser sett på som mistillit til arbeiderne. I Frankrike avsluttes møter gjerne med "Et voilá", uten at det blir sagt i klare ord hvem som skal gjøre hva. Fyll foran brainstorming Og så videre. The culture map forteller hvorfor ulike land har ulikt forhold til klokkeslett og kalenderen, og det har ingenting med punktlighet eller sløvhet å gjøre. Boken forklarer hvorfor du bør droppe brainstorming i japanske bedrifter, og heller bruke tiden din der til å gå på fylla med staben, eller grille med dem. Er du sjef i Norge, gir det status å sykle til jobben. I Kina vil trolig staben din se på det som en hån hvis du kommer på tohjuling.. Russerne vil prøve å skyve enhver beslutning oppover i organisasjonen, danskene vil dytte den så langt ned som mulig. Nøkkelen til å få ulike lands arbeidskulturer til å fungere, er selvsagt å snakke sammen, innse ulikhetene og finne mellomløsninger som alle kan leve med. Og ikke minst å innse at det sjelden ligger vrangvilje, men som oftest kulturforskjeller og misforståelser bak gnisningene.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Faith Spinks

    As someone who is British but with Brazilian cultural influence, who is based in the UK office of an International charity, working with and reporting directly to the US office (with a line manager from Madagascar), while leading teams across Southern Africa, the differences in cultural approaches and attitudes are my daily reality. It's challenging enough at times understanding unspoken assumptions of approach and behaviour in our own culture, but when you try to build team unity across several As someone who is British but with Brazilian cultural influence, who is based in the UK office of an International charity, working with and reporting directly to the US office (with a line manager from Madagascar), while leading teams across Southern Africa, the differences in cultural approaches and attitudes are my daily reality. It's challenging enough at times understanding unspoken assumptions of approach and behaviour in our own culture, but when you try to build team unity across several cultures then you really see the rub. I found this book fascinating as a starting point of considering different cultural approaches to team work, decision making, organisation hierarchy, timeliness, politeness and building trust. It gave some structure to what I've already observed through my own multi cultural working experience but also opened my eyes to some new areas where I was frustrated but hadn't identified what the difference in attitude causing that really was. The examples Erin gave from her own experiences were fascinating as demonstrations of the theory she shared. The only thing I felt was missing for me was a more in depth study of countries cultures. Each chapter, the country examples used varied slightly and so it was hard to fully pick up a picture that I can apply fully to my own context. But a very interesting read, and one I would highly recommend to anyone who works cross culturally in any way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ev

    Like most business books, the language was simple and direct, so this was a quick read. Unfortunately also like most business books, I found it a bit boring. But that didn't mean it did not have some interesting information to impart, particularly about philosophy. The author has created a systemic approach to addressing cultural diversity in the global business environment. This is absolutely critical in 2017, yet that approach may at times veer into semantics. For example, it is very useful to b Like most business books, the language was simple and direct, so this was a quick read. Unfortunately also like most business books, I found it a bit boring. But that didn't mean it did not have some interesting information to impart, particularly about philosophy. The author has created a systemic approach to addressing cultural diversity in the global business environment. This is absolutely critical in 2017, yet that approach may at times veer into semantics. For example, it is very useful to be aware that one's argumentative style is intellectually cathartic and productive in your culture, but threatening and derisive to another's. It is important to also realize your individual place on the "scale" of cultural traits Meyer articulates, especially if you are from a mixed personal or professional background. But things become a bit clouded when you realize many cultures, as well as the specific organizations and individuals in an already globalized 2017, do not fit into a perfect little box. Being aware of these cultural values helps you, but it should not be your default approach to a specific environment. My advice would be to go into any environment X or Y with this information, then create your awareness of it from scratch. I.e., don't approach a Japanese environment on Japanese-autopilot, but use it to inform your awareness of that organization's modus operandi. Maybe they are more like a Russian company, who knows!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Annasnova

    Well written and really well edited. Unlike some business books that state the main point in the first few chapters and spend the rest of the pages reiterating the point, every chapter in this book delivered something tangible and different. I feel that it expanded my worldview showing me a new dimension to people's actions, perceptions, and motivations. I was honestly worried in the beginning that the book would advocate cultural determinism but I was proven wrong - it's a very nuanced book tha Well written and really well edited. Unlike some business books that state the main point in the first few chapters and spend the rest of the pages reiterating the point, every chapter in this book delivered something tangible and different. I feel that it expanded my worldview showing me a new dimension to people's actions, perceptions, and motivations. I was honestly worried in the beginning that the book would advocate cultural determinism but I was proven wrong - it's a very nuanced book that is helpful without being simplistic. I'd recommend this book to anyone who interacts with people from different cultures regularly. As the author writes, culture does not explain everything but it does affect the way we view and experience the world. I learned something new about myself through the book too!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Femke

    3 stars! Even though I had to read this book for a course in university, I still quite enjoyed it and I really learned a lot from it. It has made me very aware of cultural differnces that I might otherwise not have known about. Meyer presents her "Culture Map" in a very easy style. Instead of lots of difficult words, she really explains everything very well and very thoroughly. The more I read, the more I was annoyed by the repetetiveness of introducing new "characters". After a few times it just 3 stars! Even though I had to read this book for a course in university, I still quite enjoyed it and I really learned a lot from it. It has made me very aware of cultural differnces that I might otherwise not have known about. Meyer presents her "Culture Map" in a very easy style. Instead of lots of difficult words, she really explains everything very well and very thoroughly. The more I read, the more I was annoyed by the repetetiveness of introducing new "characters". After a few times it just felt unoriginal.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    I read this book as part of a homework assignment for module on cultural differences. It was an easy read with a lot of great examples. The style was a bit more enthusiastic than what I prefer in business writing, but it wasn't too big a problem. The Audible narrator was the main reason for the lower rating. The faux accents she'd put on whenever speaking as a person from another culture was extremely distracting, and at times, incomprehensible. Stick to the text for this one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rabab Al haddad

    I've enjoyed reading it and learning about cultural differences. Her language was easy to understand and read. While I'm in no position of business management, I still felt it was applicable for everyday interactions with others - especially being amongst multi-cultural environment at work. Even when not managing people work, we still manage our relationships with others. I was a bit disappointed there weren't many Middle Eastern examples in the book, also when she explained the term "wasta" wasn I've enjoyed reading it and learning about cultural differences. Her language was easy to understand and read. While I'm in no position of business management, I still felt it was applicable for everyday interactions with others - especially being amongst multi-cultural environment at work. Even when not managing people work, we still manage our relationships with others. I was a bit disappointed there weren't many Middle Eastern examples in the book, also when she explained the term "wasta" wasn't as comprehensive as I have wished - while the easy simple translation is "Network" I did feel it is a much more social complex system within certain communities.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Interesting, and I appreciated the tone throughout the book of being open-minded of other cultures. Meyer is definitely more American as she uses more case-based examples rather than theories, which would have strengthened her stances. --- Ps. Can't deal with peaches.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Svetlana

    Really liked this book. Would recommend it to everyone. Expecially if you moved to live to another country or work with people from other countries or just want to understand your culture a little bit more.

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