This morning I was rummaging through my books & papers and happen-upon a program I had started to write but had not finished. Actually, it was an entire training program on Global leadership and facilitation. Not bad material, even if I say so myself :).
What struck me was the important reminder of our global make-up. It really does put things into perspective.
I think this is key information we should keep in mind when we are travelling or negotiating with different cultures. I thought this would make a good post that we both could reflect upon. Here goes…
IF A VILLAGE OF 1000 PEOPLE REPRESENTED THE WORLD’S POPULATION THEN…
- Fact: Only 51 would represent North America; Only 45 would represent Western Europe. This is less than 10% of the population.
- Fact: North Americans, Europeans and Japanese make up 11% of the population. However this 11% owns 90% of the wealth in the world and consumes more than half of its products.
- With a village of 1,000 people that represents the world’s population then:
- 206 would be Chinese
- 167 would be Indian
- 79 would be from Central and South America
- 50 would be from the former Soviet Union
- 51 would be North American
- 45 would be Western European
- 33 would be Indonesian
- 21 would be from Japan
- 22 would be from Bangladesh
- 21 would be from Nigeria
- 24 would be from Pakistan
- 118 would be from other African and other Asian countries
- Religiously, this global village would have the following
- Christian 330
- Non-Christian 670
I know this is old data- but I think it is often forgotten. These facts are always intriguing to me.
So consider this post as a “refresh” of our “perception screen”. Like our computer, sometimes we find ourselves totally “hanging” to what we assume. Hit that refresh button when you find yourself doing that. It appears we are not the center of the universe after all- that only occurs on our birthdays and only sometimes! 🙂 . I jest but I think the point is made. Right?
As you reflect on this data, how would you summarize or assess a person’s perception of the west towards the east and vice versa- by just using this data?
It is natural to use one’s experience, standards and values as a point of reference for anything we do or say and how we treat others. There are times we may wonder and ask the question “Why another party cannot see, what we see?” I am British and Canadian: I have often heard similar sentiments from North Americans and/or Europeans. That is from my own cultural background. My advice, is to step back and look at the context and the values of the other individual and then adapt your behavior and messaging accordingly, so that you message is heard, or better still, internalized. This also speaks to my previous posts on dress and global leadership standards.
When I am with a new team – especially a diverse, cross-functional team, I spend time up-front trying to get to know them- nothing new here too, however this is often forgotten. I often hear the term “Let’s bond!” This is a good start and that is what it is, it is a start. Bonding is not a task – it is a journey. So remember the above facts, plan your bondING journey and approach to build those relationships.
By the way, I live in a small village outside Toronto Canada. Population 600. LOL!
What size is your village? What has been your cross- cultural leadership experience?
The wonderful photo is by aussiegall