managers can make a huge, positive difference to the success of global
innovation projects and processes. Instantly, L’Oreal shows how unique features
of multicultural minds enable a firm or organization to play five critical
roles better than their mono-culture counterparts.
- Making creative associations
and drawing analogies between geographical markets, which may allow developing
global products and building global brands while remaining sensitive to
local market differences.
- Interpreting complex knowledge
– i.e. tacit, collective and culture-dependent, hence impossible to simply
“explain”_ across cultures and contexts an essential skill when marketing
products like cosmetics, where much of understanding is tacit and
- Anticipating cross-cultural
conflicts, and addressing them, something critical to the effectiveness of
- Integrating new team
members from different cultures into teams that quickly develop their own
norms of interaction and a strong “in or out” identity, making joining the
team once it has been in existence for a while particularly difficult.
- Mediating the relationship
between global teams, with a high level of cultural diversity among their
members, and the senior executives they report to, or their interaction
with local subsidiary staff they collaborate with, who are usually mono-culture.
short, their ability to be creative, to share complex knowledge across
locations, contexts and cultures and to manage global innovation and product
development, teams effectively is precisely why multicultural in integrative
roles in the innovation process do make such a positive difference.
Cultures Means Creativity
are able to identify intercultural, cognitive integration (one’s
ability to simultaneously hold and apply several culturally different schemas
and thus to think as a member of one culture or another depending on need and
context, or to think simultaneously as member of several cultures) as the key
to creative, adaptive and leadership skills fostering their career success.
Motivate a Multicultural Workforce
and motivating employees who represent different cultures can be simultaneously
exciting and challenging, provided supervisors and managers understand how
cultural differences inspire organizational excellence. At the same time,
employers encounter challenges by separating employees instead of using
management and motivation techniques that focus on common traits throughout the
We become not a melting pot but a beautiful
mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different
hopes, different dreams. –“Jimmy Carter”
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