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Breakthology is a venture of Tarunjit Singh Bachcher, a top organisation performance coach in India. Good to see the shiny new website of Breakthology.

Becoming Culturally Competent

Competence has been defined as the ability to do something successfully. It has been linked to intelligence. Therefore, one can say that becoming culturally competent requires one to be culturally intelligent. But what is cultural intelligence?

An outsider, who has a natural ability to understand and interpret an unfamiliar culture is said to be culturally intelligent. This can be very useful in today's world when people travel for work quite early in their career. A person who is culturally intelligent(and competent) does not judge things very quickly, rather, tries to get into the next layer of behaviour.

The Head-Body-Heart concept stated in the article "Cultural Intelligence" by Early and Mosakowski presents an interesting approach. The authors argue that when stepping into a new culture, one needs to build bridges using 'Head'(Cognitive issues), 'Body'(Physical dimensions such as dresses) and 'Heart'(emotional & motivational).

Further understanding can be based on the following characterizations of cultural intelligence profiles by the above authors:

Provincial: Someone who is comfortable in working with people of similar background but runs into problems otherwise.

Analyst: The analyst methodically deciphers the alien culture through observations

Natural: Relies on intuition rather than systematic learning

Ambassador: Convincingly communicates that he has a lot of goodwill for the new culture

Mimic: Someone who has high degree of control over his action and behaviour using which he puts the hosts at ease.

Chameleon: A manager who completely acquires the culture of the new environment using the Head-Body-Heart concept.

A culturally competent manager is one who can adapt to different working styles native to different cultures. It is not just about behaving but also understanding the full context of behaviour of the local natives. It is a skill that no modern manager can do without.


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Google organized Wordmasters Challenge in several cities in India recently (30th September,2006). Word is that close to 3000 people participated in this event.
(See Harshad's report on the event here) The winners are supposed to be declared today.Wonder who won it and what did the winning entries look like. Does anyone have a clue on this?

Updated:Nov 9 , 2006:I just decided to send a self-addressed-stamped envelope to Google. If and when I get a response, I will update this post.

Updated:Nov 16 , 2006: One week and no response received. Yes, a self-addressed stamped envelope with a covering note was indeed sent to Google's Bangalore office on the address specified in the event leaflet. Snailmailed on 9th Nov. So much for the mission to organise the world's information and make it accessible to everyone :)

Updated: Nov 29, 2006: I did send a second letter to Google, this time by courier, assuming the previous postal mail failed to reach them. The contents of my letter to Googl…

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हिन्दी लिखना एक टेढी खीर से कम नहीं, ऐसी आम धारणा है। किन्तु क्या आपने प्रयास भी किया क्या? मैंने हाल में गूगल पर ढूंढा तो पाया कि कुछ अच्छे साइट हैं जहाँ आपकी मदद की सहज व्यवस्था है। रमण कौल की साइट सराहनीय है।यदि हिन्दी लिखना चाहते हों, तो यहाँ जाँए।

TOI Chennai Launch - How would the Hindu react?

Of course this post is speculative in nature but then isn't that the case with lot of things :)

The question is, how will market leader the Hindu react to the Times of India's proposed launch in Chennai:

Do nothing, no one can shake me - 0% probability.
Do nothing on the surface, work on the distribution control - 10 % probability.Start outdoors before the TOI does, buy hoarding spaces - moderate probability.Go for a drastic price cut and start a price war - almost certain to happen ( Do remember price positioning is not good but then you just lost the chance)Make the paper better - which means not saying a leading star hotel in Nungambakkam but saying Taj Coromandal instead- 10 % probability.Start publishing more color photos- 50 % probability.
In all we would be keen to watch whether the Hindu would adopt a defensive strategy and try to save the turf or a very aggressive strategy and try to kill the new edition of the TOI. And how about no strategy as a strategy?