Intercultural Readiness

Are managers with a lot of international experience more effective abroad than managers with little international exposure?

Why does intercultural training not always achieve what it is supposed to achieve?

Do Europeans understand the cultural differences in international teams better than Americans?

The answers to these questions may very well surprise us. The book Intercultural Readiness: Four competences for working across cultures, which appeared May 2014 with Palgrave Macmillan, is based on extensive research in international organizations with roots in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

In a 15-year series of studies, assessments were made of 30,000 members of international organizations, testing their competence in working across cultures.

The results show that a lot of widely-accepted ideas about how we should deal with international challenges are incorrect. Dealing effectively with cultural differences today presents organizations with entirely different demands than those they faced before the economic crisis. Top talent from outside Europe wants to swiftly move ahead into leadership positions; innovation and growth are driven by culturally diverse teams that can quickly and effectively work together, and new markets are only accessible if organizations understand the cultural logic of those markets.

Based on real-life examples, interviews and case studies, Intercultural Readiness shows how organizations can get ready for mastering these challenges, and how they can support staff in developing the intercultural competences they so urgently need.

“Even if you are not working in an intercultural context, you will find that the competences described here are essential for executives and teams to turn the challenges of their complex and changing business context into opportunities for innovation.”
Roger D. Lehman, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, INSEAD

Intercultural Readiness radiates the enthusiasm of its authors. It presents a practice-oriented approach to intercultural competence training based on extensive professional experience. Readers interested in intercultural communication and how to improve it are bound to gain from reading this book.”
Ype M. Poortinga, Emeritus Professor Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University and University of Leuven

“The authors shown how a smalll set of four competences makes us interculturally effective and how we can measure these competences. This book is indispensable for everyone responsible for supporting individuals and teams to operate more effectively across cultures.”
Katrin Sünderhauf, Head of Talent Acquisition Region East, Deutsche Bahn; CEO of Arbeitskreis Assessment Centre e.V., Germany

“The tools described in this book are invaluable and I hope that more organizations will learn to leverage them. Developing cultural awareness will help international companies to optimize talent selection, integration processes, and increase the probability of successful assignments. I only wish that I had such a resource available early in my career!”
Carey Ellinghaus, VP, Human Resources, Sabre Industries Inc.

“The key to intercultural success is respect, which means being aware to never judge different thinking or behavior simply because it’s different from what you already know. This book shows how to translate this essential attitude into effective behavior in a culturally diverse work environment.”
Roland Boekhout, CEO, ING-DiBa/ING Germany

“Oscar van Weerdenburg and Ursula Brinkmann have again shown that they master the intercultural competence field. A book you can’t miss.”
Fons Trompenaars, Founder and Director, Trompenaars Hampden-Turner

Intercultural Readiness Check Licensing

If you want to support your clients in playing to their strengths and navigating around pitfalls, you can now become certified to use the Intercultural Readiness Check.

The Intercultural Readiness Check captures four intercultural competences, which can be trained and developed. The IRC helps your clients to better understand how they currently approach intercultural interactions. What do they do well, what will they find difficult, and how can you support them in developing the intercultural competences they need? The IRC is ideally suited for intercultural trainings, coaching, expatriate briefings and benchmarking across industries. It can be accessed online and is available in English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.

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As an IRC Licensee:

  • You will be able to use the IRC with groups and/or individuals
  • You can create your own client accounts online, give your clients access to the questionnaire, and generate their IRC profiles wherever and whenever you want
  • You can better identify your clients' learning needs, giving them feedback and constructive advice for improving their intercultural effectiveness
  • You can structure your content delivery around the competency approach with greater credibility
  • You can gain back your investment through enhanced offerings, customized training sessions, and coaching on competence development
  • You may participate in the IRC networking opportunities offered by IBI, for example, our Annual IRC Get Together in June and the IRC Licensing Group on LinkedIn, where you will meet like-minded intercultural professionals who are committed to intercultural competence development.