Ochobo’s “Liberation Wrapper”

liberation-wrapper-415x260What a terrific, culturally appropriate marketing ploy! When I lived in Japan, I was oh-so-conscious to cover my mouth with my hand when I laughed out loud, or if I had to open it real wide while eating. “Ochobo,” or a small mouth, is traditionally seen as a sign of feminine beauty in Japan.

A national hamburger chain wanted to sell more of its biggest, juiciest, wide-mouthed burgers to women, so it came up with an ingenious idea: the “liberation wrapper”—a stiff paper burger wrapper, imprinted with a closed mouth. The person eating is able to hide behind a dainty little face, saving others from having to watch them chow down.
Every society is changing, and there are plenty of women in Japan who eat burgers in public. There are also those who don’t cover their mouths when laughing. But, hey, this is fun and cool! Maybe next will come a not-so-culturally-necessary but cool men’s “liberation wrapper”!

Here’s an article on the promotion, from the Japan Daily Press.

This promotion reminds me of a story years ago, recounted to me by the then-Director of Tokyo Disneyland. In planning for Adults’ Day (成人の日), the workers realized that many young women would be coming to Disneyland in silk kimono. Knowing that the water spray could damage the expensive kimono, the workers prepared signs, warning the young women of the danger and cautioning them to avoid certain water rides.

The Director scolded them, saying their signs ran counter to the Disney way. “You must figure out a way to let the young women enjoy the rides, in their expensive silk kimono.” The solution? They had a bunch of plastic raincoats made special for Adults’ Day.

What is your favorite culturally appropriate customer service or marketing story?

Firearms Policy—Role of Interculturalists?

Rate of Firearm Possession per 100
Guest blog post by Jeffrey Cookson, Global Diversity Inclusion Specialist, Organizational Effectiveness Consultant

U.S. firearms policy… a very heated national debate, and a frequent topic of discussion worldwide. You might already have a sense of the role you play personally, among friends and family, or politically. To move towards a society less polarized by the ownership/control debate, we ask you this — what role in this effort might you play as an interculturalist?

With similar and different values held by firearms and control enthusiasts, how can we bridge the gap? We’ve been exploring just that and invite you to join us at the upcoming SIETAR-USA (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) conference in Arlington, VA, November 6-9, 2013.

Cultural Detective will be used in several concurrent sessions during the conference, including in Dianne Hofner Saphiere’s and my session: Gun Violence, Gun Rights and Gun Control: Do Interculturalists Have a Role in Firearm Policy? That session will be held Friday afternoon, November 8, from 3:45-5:00. We hope to see you there!

We believe interculturalists are uniquely positioned to build constructive dialogue around this important national concern and using the Cultural Detective Model, we would like to share our work with you.

Developmental Intercultural Competence Using Cultural Detective Online

CDO
Are you doing your best to develop cross-cultural effectiveness in your organization, and want better results? Quicker results? Longer lasting results? Or, maybe even just results—heightened productivity and satisfaction? Our clients have achieved amazing increases in cross-cultural effectiveness—their people improving two stages on the DMIS (the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity) in a few months, and customer satisfaction increasing 30%—using Cultural Detective developmentally. How did they do that?…

Index for This Post (jump ahead if you’d like)
The DMIS
The DMIS and Cultural Detective
How Customers Successfully Build Intercultural Competence
Additional Resources

Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity ©Dr. Milton J. Bennett, 1986 & 1993.

Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity ©Dr. Milton J. Bennett, 1986 & 1993.

The DMIS
Let me start by telling you about the DMIS. First published by Dr. Milton Bennett in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations in 1986, and more fully developed in Education for the Intercultural Experience in 1993, the DMIS has proven to be a key milestone in the intercultural field. It provides a roadmap for those of us who aim to develop intercultural competence.

A developmental model is a conceptual framework that helps us better understand a progressive process, as well as providing guides for continued development. Examples of a developmental model with which most parents are familiar are those charts that track the major milestones of an infant’s growth. Such models help us anticipate when our baby will smile, sit up, crawl, or distinguish right from wrong, and they can help us ready our children for their next big challenge. There are abilities our baby generally must develop (e.g., roll over) before being ready to accomplish tasks at a higher stage of development (e.g., crawl). At each stage, the baby needs to be appropriately encouraged, while also feeling safe enough to take the risk to try something new.

Similarly, the DMIS is a conceptual model of six stages of the development of intercultural sensitivity, from ethnocentrism to ethno-relativism. The IDI, or Intercultural Development Inventory, is a psychometric instrument that assesses one’s stage of development. Its origins are based in the DMIS, though it uses a slightly modified version of the model today, called the IDC (Intercultural Development Continuum). The DMIS and the IDI enable us to track where we are in the development of our intercultural sensitivity, and ready ourselves for enhanced sensitivity or effectiveness. Back to Index

The DMIS and Cultural Detective
The beauty our clients have found in the Cultural Detective Method is that it challenges and supports, stretches and comforts, learners at each stage of their development of intercultural sensitivity. While the DMIS and IDI indicate where one is on the developmental continuum, Cultural Detective assists in the learning and development of the skills needed to succeed in cross-cultural interactions.

The process works organically. The designer must make the case for diversity and inclusion in developmentally appropriate ways, and debrief learning in ways that comfort and challenge the learners. However, the Cultural Detective (CD) Method itself need not vary, no matter the developmental stage. Learners, depending on their abilities, will naturally use the CD Method differently at different levels of development.

Let me give a couple of examples.
  • Learners in ethnocentric stages of development will easily and fairly quickly solve a Cultural Detective mystery—they will be eager to complete the Worksheet, solve the problem, give the participants in the critical incident advice on what they should have done differently. Facilitators will observe, however, that learners at earlier development stages will suggest Cultural Bridges that are naïve or unrealistic, though of course possible. They might suggest, for example, that “the Japanese person just needs to speak up more assertively,” or “the Mexican manager needs to be more considerate of others and trust that his and his company’s welfare will be looked after.” Both of these recommendations are within the realm of possibility, both are achievable by Japanese and Mexicans of certain personality types or personal discipline, but such Bridges are not realistic for the majority of people from those cultures. Learners in ethnocentric stages feel good that they are able to solve the problem, which encourages them to try another and, with practice, learn what really works and what doesn’t when teaming across cultures.
  • When completing that same Cultural Detective Worksheet, learners in ethno-relative stages of development will enjoy pairing Values, Beliefs and Cultural Sense with the Words and Actions they motivate. They will invest effort into discerning the commonalties, as well as the differences, between the participants in the critical incident. They will develop ways to build on shared interests, while also leveraging diverse opinions and abilities, so that all players more fully contribute and the organization or community benefits. They will, without prompting, compare themselves, their values and beliefs, to the players in the incident—constantly learning, discovering, and refining their self-understanding. They will, in an organic way, explore and cultivate their cultural (or multicultural) identities, their understanding of and empathy for others, and their abilities to collaborate across cultures.

Thus, in a very natural way, learners at all stages of development receive the support as well as the challenge they need to continue their developmental journey towards intercultural sensitivity. There is very little stress on the facilitator to adapt the CD Method for the learner’s level of development, freeing the facilitator to focus effort on answering questions and dealing with resistance in ways that are both appropriately challenging and supportive to the learner.

And such a flexible process can be a blessing when we work with groups from mixed developmental levels. I often compare the Cultural Detective Method to the Montessori approach, because learners at all developmental levels can gain from helping one another. Back to Index

So, How Do Customers Do It? How Do They Successfully Build Competence?

1. Research shows the development of intercultural competence requires ongoing, structured learning. That is precisely what a subscription to Cultural Detective Online (CDO) provides. So, first, get a subscription. If you want to build competence in your team or organization, if you are an experienced interculturalist, or if you are new to the Diversity and Inclusion space, a CDO subscription is a small investment with huge potential. The subscription agreement allows you to project CDO contents onto a screen for group viewing in any work you personally deliver, as long as you explain to your learners that Cultural Detective Online is a tool that anyone can subscribe to. Our goal is to get these materials used!

2. USE the system, regularly. Cultural Detective Online isn’t an entertainment system; it isn’t passive; it won’t give you intercultural competence through osmosis or by using magic dust. (That’ll be version 2! Just kidding.) Log onto the system once a week, and spend 20-30 minutes debriefing a critical incident, and using Values Lenses to supplement what you see. Respond to the prompts asking you what you’ve learned. Review your notes.

3. After a few weeks using your subscription, once you feel comfortable and competent with the Cultural Detective Worksheet, upload your own incident. Choose something from your real life: perhaps an interaction with a family member, friend, or colleague that puzzled you. Once you write the brief story, link the participants in your incident (yourself and others) to the Values Lenses in the Cultural Detective Online system. Think about why you behaved the way you did, and reflect on the influence that national, gender, generational, and spiritual values had on your behavior. Think about these same influences on the other people in your incident.

4. Then, you can discuss the incident with the real people involved in the situation. Having worked through a CD Worksheet, you will be able to move beyond judgment in your discussion. You will have already thought through the possible positive intentions of the other person, so your dialogue will proceed constructively. You both can learn, and collectively develop strategies to collaborate, or cohabitate, more enjoyably.

5. If you are a team lead or an organizational facilitator, gather your learners together regularly (monthly, quarterly), to discuss what skills they are acquiring using the CD Online system, questions they have, and the challenges they’re experiencing in developing intercultural competence.

6. Remember, Cultural Detective need not stand alone; supplement the tool with your favorite activities: simulations, exercises, videos, role-plays, etc. The core Cultural Detective Method dovetails smoothly with just about any other intercultural tool or technique, because it is a process.

7. If you want to track your progress, be sure to use the IDI to get baseline measurements of participants in your group. I’d then recommend participants take the IDI again, after three months of structured learning using CDO. You will be amazed by the results!

8. Cultural Detective Online is a tool. It doesn’t replace skilled facilitation; it supplements and extends it. You may already use the MBTI, the IDI, dimensions models, etc., in the training or coaching you do. Add CD Online to your repertoire and you will be delighted at how it transforms what you are able to achieve with your learners.

9. Be sure to share your Cultural Effective success story with us, and get your organization some positive kudos! Back to Index

Additional Resources
A few years ago, two very experienced and well-regarded intercultural facilitators, Heather Robinson and Laura Bathurst, wrote an article explaining what I’m talking about.

I am also happy to share with you one of the handouts I prepared for a session at a recent IDI Conference (be sure to scroll down to view all three pages). This handout is a table showing the needs for challenge and support at each stage of development, and explicates the ways in which the Cultural Detective Method meets those needs. You are most welcome to download and print this handout. Note that in the handout you will find the five stages of development that are currently used by the IDI (slightly different than those of the DMIS, above).

Please let us know how you have used Cultural Detective in your teaching and training to facilitate your learners’ intercultural development. I would also like to invite any researchers or graduate students who are interested in conducting research on this important topic to contact us.

 

Tips for Working Cross-culturally in Health Care Settings and Beyond

Dianne Hofner Saphiere:

Marilyn does an excellent job with her blog, and today’s is no exception. If you work in healthcare, I believe you’ll find this helpful. —Best, Dianne

Originally posted on Communicating.Across.Boundaries:

Through my years of living, working, and communicating across cultural boundaries I’ve realized two things that sum it all up: one — this road is humbling and two – it’s a life-long learning process. Just when I think I have it all figured out, something, someone will come into my life and challenge my thinking and my well-worn tool box of ‘how to live and communicate across cultures’.

This is setting the stage for this post that is co-authored (though she doesn’t know it yet) by my cultural broker, colleague, and close friend Cathy. Cathy has taught me much about living and working across cultural boundaries. We have worked together to bring resources and workshops on culturally responsive, culturally competent care to health care providers in the Northeast for a number of years. Together we have come up with this list, compiled from a variety of sources. While we work…

View original 433 more words

World Epidemic of Domestic Violence & India’s “Abused Goddesses”

Durga: domestic violence goddess

The Hindu goddess Durga in an ad to end domestic violence in India

According to the World Health Organization, violence against women is a worldwide epidemic. Findings from the first extensive research of its kind, published in August 2013 and conducted by the World Health Organization, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the South African Medical Research Council, show that 35% of women worldwide experience either domestic or sexual violence! Globally, as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. And this, despite a 1993 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This unacceptable reality is not limited to any one region of the world, as you can see in the map below.

Domestic violence by world region

From the report, “Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women,” World Health Organization, London School of Hygience & Tropical Medicine, South African Medical Research Council.

Both men and women are victims of domestic violence, though worldwide statistics show that four-out-of-five victims are women. I know this epidemic first-hand: domestic violence knows no boundaries of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or education. While physical abuse is against the law in the USA, thankfully for us, mental abuse is not and can be far, far worse.

Save Our Sisters, an initiative of the NGO Save the Children India, recently returned to my attention when they released a dramatic series of ads designed to stem the tide of domestic violence. The ads show three bruised and battered Hindu goddesses (Durga, Saraswati, and Lakshmi), along with important statistics—68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence—and a helpline number. The campaign, blending hand painting in the traditional style with photography, was created by the Mumbai-based advertising agency Taproot, and it has already won several awards. You can see the three ads in the slideshow below, along with another closeup.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Recent reports show that one Indian woman is killed every hour just in dowry-related crimes! Most people that I have spoken to in India find the “abused goddess” campaign highly effective: it grabs one’s attention, it is culturally appropriate, and it seems to be raising awareness and reporting. In sharing the campaign on social media, however, I especially found one response (from Darshana Davé—who has given me permission to use her name and asked that we link to her email) insightful:

“It’s a good, effective campaign, but why must it be that only goddesses, mothers, sisters and daughters be treated well? Why can’t Indian men treat all women with respect? Those questions remain unanswered… A powerful campaign, but it also is guilty of perpetuating the goddess versus whore stereotype, where the woman is either a goddess, sister, mother or daughter, who should not be abused, or if not those, a whore, who can be abused.”

Darshana also shared this provocative (though challenging to wade through) article, entitled, “No more goddesses, please. Bring in the sluts,” which I feel makes some valid points—and I do love the title.

What do you think? Have you seen culturally appropriate campaigns to eliminate violence against women where you are? If so, please share!

Violence against women is both a major world health issue and a human rights problem, as indicated in the diagram below, from the same WHO report.

Health effects of domestic violence

From the report, “Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women,” World Health Organization, London School of Hygience & Tropical Medicine, South African Medical Research Council.

In Mexico, where I live, we suffer an epidemic of “lost women,” women who just disappear one day, never to be seen again, victims of sexual violence and murder. Violence against women is a systemic problem, a societal and cultural problem. We need to stand up, to speak up, each of us, in our families, with our friends, neighbors and colleagues. We need to use our cross-cultural skills to help people realize, in ways that make sense to them, that violence is never appropriate.

“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.”

—United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon (2008)

Today as this blog post was published, I happened upon this particularly powerful and discouraging article from the Harvard Gazette. If this topic interests you, be sure to read it and let me know what you think.

Also, do not miss this just-released UNDP study on preventing violence against women in the Asia-Pacific region.

We Have to Teach in Context!

Apple-butterfly

What we learn has to “fit” with what we know.
It has to be appropriate for where we live and work.
Part of learning is to apply the new to the old, integrating the two.

A client called us, saying they had hired a young woman with an MS in Intercultural Communication to design courseware for them. The objective of the courseware is to improve participants’ job performance, in this case, to make them more effective and efficient at servicing international customers.

“We had a lot of hope for intercultural communication training. But we’ve been doing it for nearly two years now, and we are very disappointed with the results. We have seen no bottom-line impact on performance.”

In reviewing the courseware, I found that it in many ways it was very savvy, but appeared to have been taken nearly verbatim from the woman’s graduate studies. The exercises and activities were designed for master’s students in intercultural communication, and had not been adapted for customer service representatives!

We heard from another client recently that had invested three years developing a curriculum to improve the intercultural competence of their global staff. A diverse group of their international employees attended professional development classes in intercultural communication, and an elite group at head office developed a standardized curriculum to be used worldwide. One of the main objectives of this effort is to be able to better resolve conflicts and misunderstandings more effectively.

So what’s the problem? Everyone loves the new curriculum. However, they leave the program feeling no better equipped to resolve conflicts. They love the tools they’ve learned, they enjoy the trainers, but they don’t know how to use the new tools and skills in a real situation!

THE PROBLEM IN BOTH SCENARIOS
What do these two scenarios have in common? In both cases, the training designer was replicating a graduate-level education course—designed for professionals—and repurpose it, as-is, for skill building. And that just doesn’t work! I’ve seen it far too often in recent years, and it’s a distinction we really need to make. Doctors graduate to practice medicine and to help their patients learn healthy lifestyles; they do not generally teach patients how to be doctors.

Professionals need skills they can use on the job, and that includes cross-cultural skills. But those skills must be taught in context, via application and practice in simulated and, eventually, real situations.

SOLUTION ONE
In the first case, Cultural Detective was added into the client’s existing customer service training. Leveraging pre-existing company-specific case studies and audio-visual scenarios, we used the Cultural Detective Worksheet and Values Lenses to supplement the debriefing. In this way, the need for intercultural skills became more evident and was linked to job success for the customer support engineers. In addition, all practice of cross-cultural skills was integrated with the practice of vital job skills.

We retained many of the exercises and activities included in the original, separate cross-cultural curriculum. However, we wove them into the customer service training to supplement, amplify, and deepen learning using the Cultural Detective Method. Once cross-cultural skills were grounded in the business at hand—the purposes of the employees’ work (customer service)—they made all the difference in the world.

This client reported to us a 30% increase in customer satisfaction that they directly attribute to Cultural Detective.

SOLUTION TWO
The second case is still in process. I very much admire the quality of the curriculum and the incredible coordination it has taken to get so many trainers in such diverse locations “up to speed” with the material. Yet, they are starting to realize that although the training has been well-received, staff is not able to use what they have learned once they are back on the job. Yet with so much investment, they don’t want to completely redesign. And they don’t want to be dependent on outside material.

I advised them to weave into their curriculum a simulated conflict scenario, one that could be worked on and revisited throughout the training. In this way they do not need to completely redo their superb design, and the training they have already provided will still be useful. The difference? The revised curriculum is grounded in their reality and will allow staff to practice cross-cultural skills in simulated situations. That way, when they return to work, they will know when and how to apply the cross-cultural skills and tools they have learned.

SAMPLE DESIGN
Let’s look at a typical training curriculum, and then look at how easy it is to weave Cultural Detective into the existing design. Let’s say on Day One they teach what is culture (Iceberg, observable behavior linked to underlying values) and D.I.E. (learn to Describe before we Interpret and then only with culturally appropriate information, to Evaluate). On Day Two, they teach intention/perception and cross-cultural adjustment (culture shock).

Instead, they might start Day One by introducing a case study involving an everyday challenge. Having introduced the context, trainers facilitate learning as planned in the original curriculum (Iceberg and D.I.E.—Description, Interpretation, Evaluation). After doing so, however, they return to the case study, the professional context, and explore: how do values apply to this case study? What are the Evaluations that I am making, based on what Descriptions? From there, it’s a very easy introduction to the Cultural Detective Method, which this client has already licensed and, therefore, is welcome to use.

On Day Two, intention/perception can be taught as part of the debrief of the Cultural Detective Worksheet for the case study. And, the same case study can be used to ground teaching around culturally-appropriate service or cultural adaptation. From there, as they facilitate the remainder of the designed curriculum, they can provide staff the opportunity to speak with the individuals in the case study, in a simulated environment, and to use CD Values Lenses and the CD Worksheet to help them better understand their own values and worldviews. Finally, staff can use the CD Worksheet Method to facilitate a resolution to the case study—harnessing the advantages of diversity rather than navigating around or ignoring them.

If you’ve licensed the CD Method, you know how versatile it is. But what you may not realize is that Cultural Detective doesn’t need to replace other methods. Often, if you put Cultural Detective at the core of what you are already doing, you’ll find the rest supplements it quite naturally.

Always remember, adults tend to learn best in context; they want to know why something is important to know or do. If adults learn to use and apply intercultural tools in situations that replicate real life, they’ll be much more likely to employ them when the need arises.

Cross-cultural Competence Enhances Productivity AND Satisfaction

Last week a new brochure, this week a new introductory presentation! Thank you all for the incredible work you do with this process and these materials, to build cross-cultural respect, teamwork, productivity and equity!!!!

Use it, pass it around, and do the good work! Thank you, everyone!

Foreign assigments and what it could feel like – a real life example

Very typical story, sadly, wasting everyone’s time, efforts and talent. I urge those of you with Cultural Detective Online subscriptions to debrief this story using a Worksheet! Thank you for sharing, Jenny Ebermann, and for your shout-out to our tools.

 

Does Cultural Detective “Work” in a University Setting?

Simons-ESPEME

Click on the image to view a full-size version of this letter.

We are very proud to say that Cultural Detective has been an essential ingredient of the International Business Management Program in the ESPEME-EDHEC Business School in France over the past six-years. Dr. George Simons and colleagues have designed and delivered leading-edge courseware in fully simulated environments, spiraling around a Cultural Detective backbone. The results they have achieved have been remarkable. George has, over the years, most generously shared his experiences, his students’ projects (Blended Culture identity, comparative culture differences, movies, artwork, papers), and his designs with us.

I am thus quite eager to share with you this letter from Elizabeth Dickson, Head of the International Business Management Program at EDHEC Nice and Lille. I’m confident you’ll join me in congratulating George as well as his colleagues for the fine work they continue to do. I believe you will find it interesting to read Elizabeth’s letter, and to view what one head of a major educational institution feels have been the components of a successful international business course.

And, to answer the question in this post’s title, “Yes, by all means. There are quite a few universities on several continents using Cultural Detective to great effect.” It’s not just for business anymore.

There are quite a few other use cases that might prove interesting to you on our website.

“Collide-o-culture” or “Kaleid-o-culture”: GPS for Human Beings

This graphic and the concepts underlying it are the work of Jackie Wasilewski.

“Collide-o-culture” or “Kaleid-o-culture”

I have long been a fan of Jackie Wasilewski’s. She is one of the brightest shining stars in our intercultural field, plus an all-around terrific human being and friend.

Her investigations are motivated by a couple of key objectives that dovetail beautifully with our work at Cultural Detective®:

  • How to include everyone (in her extended family at her holiday dinner table) in their full authenticity?
  • How to reconcile highly contrastive content (how to bridge), when it seems impossible to please everyone simultaneously?

Values ≠ Traditions
One point she makes is that values are not the same as traditions, and the two must not be confused. Values can be held while behavior is changed—a la Cultural Detective. Jackie told us in Spokane that when cultures get threatened, they get reified. That when cultures stop changing, they die. So, our quest needs to be, how to preserve and change, simultaneously?

GPS for Human Beings
Way back when Jackie conducted her Ph.D. research, she analyzed the personal histories of 192 multicultural people. That approach—learning from the inside-out rather than the outside-in, is also the Cultural Detectiveapproach.

One of the outcomes of her research was the graphic shown above, a “GPS” outlining paths to multiculturalism. The negative paths at the bottom of the sphere used to have only one label, subtracting, but over time this label has come to include destruction/loss and shedding, and Jackie tells us that the “choice” of this direction is often the result of oppression. However, this cluster of negative pathways also has a mysterious connection to the creation option at the top of the choice sphere. Sometimes the old has to be wiped away for the new to come into existence. At Cultural Detective we usually aim for mixing, creation, or adding. The final two options in her framework are maintaining and converting/assimilation. Here is a quote from the paper she presented:

To use this “GPS” effectively, each of us has to examine our goals and the characteristics of the context in which we are making the choice. Where do we want to end up? What are the opportunities and constraints of the environment in which we find ourselves? Where are our “degrees of freedom”? What are the costs and benefits of taking each direction? Which “direction” will lead us nearer our goal?

We have to imagine that we are like an aikido master standing in the center of a sphere consisting of the six options or “directions” [maintaining, converting, mixing, adding, creating and the subtractive cluster]. At each choice point, we have to consider all our options, just as if we were considering them for the very first time. None of these directions is better or worse. None is of higher or lower rank. Some are more complex to enact in a given context or set of circumstances. But the best choice is the appropriate one for enabling us to continue towards our goal in that particular context.

To manage these options productively people need a support network; a supra-ordinate goal; the ability to acknowledge their own complexity; the ability to transform negative emotional energy into positive energy; the ability flexibly to use the six options stated above; and at certain key moments, the ability to publicly stand for their full complexity so that new social space can be created.

“Collide-o-culture” or “Kaleid-o-culture”?
One of her definitions of “people power” is the web or sphere of interpersonal relationships we hold. Jackie tells us that if we think in relationships, then when we meet another individual we will realize that we are bringing together two communities. In her words, will it be “Collide-o-culture” or “Kaleid-o-culture”? If we see the relationships, we will be more motivated to try to understand.

Indigeneity and Respect
The concept of “indigeneity” emerged from work conducted by LaDonna Harris, a Comanche woman and political advocate, and Alexander Christakis, a systems scientist. They discovered that indigenous people and 20th century knowledge management specialists had similar approaches to the management of complex problems. The four principles they identified for organizing societies that are both inclusive and just are: Relationship, Responsibility, Reciprocity, and Redistribution. The result of these four R’s is a fifth: Respect. Goals of the ongoing work that has now been taken worldwide include maximum autonomy and maximum choice for the smallest units of society. To again quote Jackie’s SUSA paper:

Physician, therapist and healer, Brenda Davies (2007) says there is “nothing but communication.” Our truth, as we know it, is always what we are communicating. However, we have to be willing to update our truth every second. Our integrity is also a function of our truth as we know it. Each of us has a unique integrity based on our experiences. It constitutes our personal set of rules, but it too is always moving. Understanding another person’s integrity is the best we can do, and it allows us to love them separately from their behavior. The key would seem to be to create discursive spaces like the ones discussed above where we can all update our truth together and enable our mutual integrity to rise exponentially.

This is a VERY brief overview and of course does not do Jackie’s work adequate justice.  I trust it will motivate you to learn more about her work, and to use what she knows in order to use the Cultural Detective method and materials to the highest benefit. You can download a full copy of the paper she presented that this article summarizes.

(This post is taken in major part from an article I wrote in 2010.)