KnowledgeWorkx has been building a library of resources to help global leaders develop cross-cultural competencies. Understanding what your own prominent cultural paradigm is, and learning how to respect and interact with others, are tremendous keys to healthy and productive teamwork in today's globalized world.
Three Colors of Worldview
First off, the "Three Colors of Worldview" article introduces the concept that all of us look at the world through lenses tinted by a mixture of three distinct cultural paradigms. Read this article to be introduced to the terminology and how the three worldviews interact.
The second article explores how a real-life meeting between a marketing director with innocence/guilt mindset and her bosses’ honor/shame mindset led to her being fired, even though her presentation hit the ball out of the park from an innocence/guilt perspective, with clear deductive reasoning and critical analysis.
Similar miscommunications can happen with formation of contracts. In cultures where the innocence/guilt worldview is dominant, contract documents are often seen as an accurate picture and the final word, whereas in an honor/shame-oriented culture, a contract is open to modification and continued dialogue, even after the contract is signed.
A fifth article explores how seniority and relational focus affect negotiating across cultures. For instance, people from a innocence/guilt-focused culture tend to be comfortable with mandates that trump seniority; but in an honor/shame or power/fear environment, the most senior person available ought to be sitting at the negotiating table.
The theme of viewing seemingly-objective activities through vastly different cultural lenses is underscored in our article on financial compliance. For people who are used to innocence/guilt-oriented cultures, the idea that bookkeeping is less about recording financial transactions and more about adding honor or enhancing a power base can be a novel and truly difficult concept to grasp.
Similar miscommunication happens when you expect an innocence/guilt-oriented performance management system to work in an honor/shame- or power/fear-oriented culture. An interculturally intelligent approach to performance management in sales development will allocate time for building relationships with the right clients, which is a particularly high priority, even a necessity, in an honor/shame-oriented environment.
Information Technology Implementation
The final article in this digest dives in deep with an IT project that wasted millions of dollars because its blueprinting process did not work in an intercultural context. The article explores how KnowledgeWorkx created a process for technical consultants that helps them interpret answers to interview questions as coming from people on different points of the Three Colors of Worldview scale.
Discover your own Three Colors of Worldview Profile
The Three Colors of Worldview is an optimal starting point when KnowledgeWorkx orients companies and individuals toward successful intercultural engagements. It is a simple but powerful discovery tool.
When combined with the 12 Dimensions of Culture, Three Colors of Worldview can create an extremely detailed map of your organization’s environment, so that you won’t fall prey to common misconceptions or repeat others’ often-costly mistakes.
Now we are excited to be bringing this profile online. If you want to find out where you stand on the Three Colors of Worldview, then check out the Discovery Tool & Report, or grab the bundle of Discovery Tool and ICI Book: