“We have achieved, for the first time in my five years working on the Learning and Development team, a 100% satisfaction rating from our learners. This is quite an achievement, considering that learners spent 12 hours over three days in the classroom. They typically are resistant to being in the classroom for more than two hours at any given time!”
Such feedback from one of our Fortune 500 Learning & Development Managers is so wonderful to hear and just as powerful is what led to these results — it is a great story to repeat. Take a read!
“Our initial plan was to offer strict localization training that would concentrate on such basic details about Australia as spelling, unique business terminology, time zones, and the fact that they use the metric system. We also planned to train basic Australian etiquette: the do’s and don’ts.
In my search for training that we could purchase and customize to our specific needs, I came across Cultural Detective and discovered that we could, using your materials and methodology, offer our learners much more than the basics. In fact, what I found in Cultural Detective was an approach to cross-cultural communication that would leverage and greatly enhance the communication skills that our team already puts to use every day to achieve shared understanding with our U.S. business-to-business customers.
Clearly, Cultural Detective was a natural fit for us—a fact that was driven home when I attended the FOLE (facilitated online learning event) sessions and saw a great example of how the training could be delivered online (something I very much appreciated, since most all of our training will be virtual by next year!). The FOLE sessions put all the pieces of the puzzle together for me and gave me plenty of ideas for conducting the training in a fun and engaging way.
After attending the FOLE sessions, I worked closely with an Australian SME who works on our Customer Services team. His willingness and enthusiasm to share his culture made adapting Cultural Detective to our purposes a real joy. As your methodology strongly suggests, having someone who grew up in the culture directly participate in the development process helped breathed life into the content, and it also added a level of credibility to the training that made it even more engaging and effective.
But what really made the Australian training effective was the fact that we prefaced it with your Self-Discovery course. Learners who may have been a bit skeptical about having to take part in a course on “culture,” when they typically receive “nuts-and-bolts” training on how to meet their customers’ technical and marketing needs, were plainly won over to the idea, at times in moving ways. Members of our team whom I have known and trained for a number of years, and who rarely participate in the classroom, shared powerful childhood stories that demonstrated their ability to connect the personal and the cultural in deep and meaningful ways.
The Self-Discovery course cleared the way for us to dig into the Australian Cultural Detective course and make what in some cases were startling discoveries. One such discovery emerged when my Australian SME, who was in the training session (not only because he is my SME, but because he will be part of this new Australian program), shared his cultural core values with the rest of the group, all of whom are native-born Americans. His values were not only quite different from the rest of the group, but they meshed perfectly with the Australian core values, once I revealed that lens to everyone. The impact on the class, including on my SME, was clear and immediate: they were startled by concrete evidence of fundamental cultural differences.
Because of this discovery, as well as their very personal engagement with their own cultural makeup, learners were able to engage with the Critical Incidents deeply, perceptively, and energetically. We were able to pull out and analyze many “clues” from the incidents, while having a lot of fun doing so!
The other discovery came when I was working with another trainer on my team whose focus was on our new client company’s marketing strategy and how it evolved over many years in Australia. When he shared his extensive research on that strategy, it was immediately clear that the Australian core values I was covering were at the heart of our client’s branding. Based on that finding, we were able to weave our courses together into a powerful and cohesive curriculum.
To ensure that the lessons learned in the classroom stick and continue to grow, our coaching team (who participated in both beta sessions and live training) are now making connections back to the Cultural Detective method, concepts, and terminology as they guide learners through the initial relationship-building process with our customers. And the anecdotal evidence of the overwhelming effectiveness of this coaching is pouring in already.
I have received kudos from my managers and the Vice President of Services for having chosen and successfully delivered the Cultural Detective training. But the kudos should really go to you and your company, Kris. Cultural Detective is a rock solid methodology.
Thanks again for all your help making this training possible. When we take our next step into the global market, we know who we will turn to for training solutions.”
When you take your next step into the global marketplace, who will you turn to?