New Online Course

Cultural Detective has grown beyond my wildest dreams. I always say a product is like a child—once it launches into the world, it takes on a life of its own. People use products in ways beyond their creators’ vision. Gratefully, CD has been used by governments, NGOs, spiritual communities, businesses and universities, among many others, to build bridges across divides of opinion, behavior and world view.

You may also remember that we have partnered with our colleagues at Personal Leadership to create a hybrid method that gives EPIC results: EPIC: Essential Practice for Intercultural Competence. EPIC is a go-to method in much of my consulting, coaching and training work.

One of our clients—Debbie Bayes from CultureCrux—a very talented professional who lived for years in the Middle East and is currently in the USA, has put together a wonderful and reasonably priced online course that teaches users the EPIC method. This is 100% Debbie’s course, and she has done a terrific job putting it together.

I urge you to enroll or to pass on her announcement, below, to those you think might be interested. Your enrollment includes license for your use of Cultural Detective Online as well as EPIC. Together we can transform this world of ours, building bridges instead of walls.

Below is her course announcement.

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“The world is experiencing the biggest movement of people since World War II.”
—Rachel Hallet, World Economic Forum
The flow of people around the world in recent years has been extraordinary. The reactions to this movement have also been extreme. Pictures of migrant caravans like the one above elicit emotions that range from profound fear to deep compassion.
The bonus class in the Increasing Intercultural Competence course will create a space to first develop greater self-understanding about your own reactions to immigrants and the role your culture has in how you view these issues. It will also equip you to guide others through productive, respectful, and informed conversations about these explosive and polarizing questions.
Intercultural competence is not only an important skill for people who intend to live their lives abroad. It is also an essential skill for those who remain in the country where they were born but interact on a daily basis with people from different cultures in their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. It is an essential skill as well for those whose power to vote impacts people all over the world who don’t have that power.
Register today for Increasing Intercultural Competence (culturecrux.net) and join us on a journey that will transform the way you see both yourself and the world around you.
Debbie
P.S. See some F.A.Q. below but feel free to contact me with any questions as well debbie@culturecrux.org.
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Registration is Open!

I’m putting the final touches on the Increasing Intercultural Competence online course. It is now open for registration at culturecrux.net.

You can also find a link on my website (culturecrux.org) under Services/online courses.

The course outline is at the bottom of this page.

 

A Few Important Things for You to Know

  • I will be sending out a number of emails between September 16th and 26th to give you more details about the course. In the future you will only receive these kinds of emails if you sign up specifically to get information on intercultural competence development and courses offered.This first time though, I would like you to receive these emails so you have a sense of what’s going on. Many of you are part of what has made this class possible!
  • This course isn’t for everyone but if it’s not something for you at this time I expect you know someone who would benefit from it. Feel free to share this info with others you know who might be interested.
  • Who is it for? The course is for those who interact with people from different cultural backgrounds every day in workplaces, communities, schools, universities, and faith-based organizations and who want to develop their ability to do so more capably, confidently, and effectively. It is also a great course for people who are preparing for short or long term international work.
  • Campus pastors will be able to sign up for a discounted course called Special Course: Increasing Intercultural Competence for Campus Pastors which will have exactly the same content as the Increasing Intercultural Competence course. To confirm they are qualified to receive the discount, I will need campus pastors to email me when they register with their name, university where they work, group they work with (Chi Alpha, Cru, or Intervarsity) and their role (director, staff, admin, intern, other).

Stay tuned! More info coming soon. For now, please look over the course outline below and let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!

Debbie

Increasing Intercultural Competence
Course Tuition: $300 (US)

Increasing Intercultural Competence will center on training you in EPIC (Essential Practice for Intercultural Competence). EPIC is a fun, eye-opening, and practical method of learning to engage with and work through cultural confusion and conflict in ways which lead to right action and creative cultural bridge-building.

It is a process that you can begin using immediately in your every day life and you can continue to use throughout your life as you work to increase your ability to understand and interact positively with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Extremely valuable training for anyone involved in community service, government, education, healthcare, business, church leadership, or other faith-based organizations.

Class One – Introduction to EPIC and Cultural Detective Website

  • A 30-day subscription to the Cultural Detective website (culturaldetective.com) is included in the course! The first class will introduce you to the website and give you time to explore and learn to navigate this fantastic resource which we will be using throughout the course.

Class Two – Something’s Up: Attending to Judgment, Emotion, and Physical Sensation

  • Learn how to stay engaged and open when faced with cultural confusion or conflict.
  • Recognize how our judgments, emotions, and physical sensations can be either barriers or cluesto finding creative and productive ways forward.

Class Three – Careful Observation, Values, and Beliefs

  • Practice your skills of careful observation as we continue to engage with a real life intercultural incident.
  • Develop your ability to look behind the words and actions of cultural others to understanding the values and beliefs behind them.

Class Four – Stillness, Ambiguity, Vision, and Cultural Bridges

  • Learn the role of cultivating stillness, engaging ambiguity, and aligning with vision in interactions with cultural others as we continue to press into a real life intercultural incident.
  • Complete the first time through the EPIC process by pulling together all you have learned to this point and building some creative cultural bridges as you seek to resolve the conflict we have explored in the intercultural incident.

Class Five – Applying the EPIC Process to Your Own Context Part I

  • We will practice the EPIC process again but but this time with the opportunity to deepen your understanding and apply these principals to your own context.

Class Six – Applying the EPIC Process to Your Own Context Part II

  • Pulling together all you have done so far, you will explore potential right action and creative cultural bridges in your own situation.

Class Seven – BONUS CLASS on a special topic which I will announce next week!

  • The bonus class will provide you with an additional opportunity to move through the EPIC process with a focus on a current hot issue in North America today which involves cultural differences.
  • Learn to work through this sensitive issue and gain the knowledge and skills to lead others through it as well.

Class Eight – Continuing your Journey: You’re Not Done Yet!

  • During this final class I will introduce several valuable resources and fun ideas which will equip you to continue your journey of developing your intercultural abilities long after you complete this course.
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F.A.Q.
  • When does the course start? What’s the schedule? It is an entirely self-paced course so it will start when you start and end when you end. The only thing that has a time limit is the 30-day subscription to Cultural Detective but that won’t begin until you decide to begin it. You will need access to Cultural Detectives during the first four classes. It would be nice to have it during the last four classes but it’s not essential. 
  • How much time does it take? Each of the eight classes in the course will take about an hour to complete. That includes watching short videos (just a few minutes each) and doing the exercises included. But, again, it is self-paced so you can do as much or as little as you want at any given time. The course is designed to fit anyone’s schedule, no matter how busy.
  • Are there tests? No! As with the free mini-course that I launched over the summer, this course leans more toward the practical than the academic. You will learn real skills that you can begin using right away in everyday life and you can continue to use throughout your life. It can be a great course to take with a spouse or to discuss with a friend who is also taking it. Learning together is more fun!

CD Certification in Mexico in January!

DSC_4549You have asked for this. Repeatedly. “Help us get out of the snow, cold, and grayness of winter” for some terrific intercultural professional development. A Cultural Detective Facilitator Certification Workshop will be held January 16-18, 2020, in my hometown for the past 12 years—Mazatlán, México.

Mazatlán is home to gorgeous tropical colonial architecture, world-class seafood, dozens of miles of pristine beaches, a seven-mile oceanfront promenade, an historic lighthouse with crystal bridge, and some of Latin America’s best opera, ballet, and modern dance.  Located at the mouth of the Sea of Cortés, you can watch whales doing acrobatics, dolphins and manta rays jumping, huge colonies of tropical birds, and witness some of the world’s most dramatic sunsets. Mazatlecos or “salty feet” (patasaladas) are some of the most outgoing, friendly, and inclusive people you will ever meet. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.

 

I rarely facilitate these workshops, but I will this time, and I hope you’ll join me to learn more about two of my favorite things: Cultural Detective and Mazatlán. Certifications are highly interactive; this one will include a project in the community to enable attendees to get to know a bit of local culture and gain a feel for its people. In addition, we will have optional morning and evening activities to make the most of the location.

Cultural Detective is one of only two process-based intercultural competence development methods, and the only one available online for ongoing learning. Groups and teams improve their ability to collaborate by working together to debrief their own real experiences and sharing their Personal Values Lenses.

These workshops get rave reviews from both highly experienced professionals and those new to the intercultural field:

  • “Cultural Detective has changed my programs from a ‘deliverer of information’ focus to that of discovery, with less pressure on myself and participants.”
  • “Better than a master intercultural workshop! Facilitator exuded training experience and intercultural expertise.”
  • “Cultural Detective has become the backbone, the design core, of almost everything I do.”
  • “Cultural Detective is so versatile: it’s useful for a variety of purposes and it can be used in so many ways. It’s broadened and deepened my repertoire of effectiveness.”
  • “Cultural Detective has enabled me to resolve counter-productive conflicts between co-workers much more effectively.”
  • “Cultural Detective is a wonderful tool! It will help any team to work better as a team.”
  • “Cultural Detective is indescribably valuable in providing directions and methodology to stimulate intercultural awareness and competence.”
  • “Cultural Detective helps me to be a better manager of my employees. It helps make my company attractive to a younger and more diverse workforce.”
  • “Cultural Detective helps me not to be so quick to get angry or criticize. It has made me much more productive.”

Clients have shown us that regular on-the-job use of Cultural Detective improves scores on the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI); one client report its staff gained two stages in just four months! Customers also tell us that use of Cultural Detective increases their bottom line:

  • One client directly attributed a 30% increase in customer satisfaction to Cultural Detective.
  • Dozens of consultants have reported sales increases as their clients continue using their subscriptions to Cultural Detective Online and then ask the consultant back for further in-depth training, consulting and coaching.

Our workshop will begin on Thursday evening from 5 – 8pm for a welcome reception and workshop. This will allow you to fly in that day, take a walk on the beach, and soak in some sunshine before joining us for sunset. Both Friday and Saturday we will meet from 9am – 5pm, and will conclude the program on Saturday with a no-host dinner and night on the town. You may fly out at your leisure on Sunday or plan to stay longer for a holiday.

Our venue is a charming smaller resort hotel right on the prime beach in the Golden Zone—Las Flores Beach Resort. Single rooms have two full size beds for 1755 pesos/night (about US$92); suites also have two beds, a guaranteed ocean view, sitting room, kitchenette, and terrace for 2539 pesos/night (about US$134). There are numerous less expensive options as well as more luxurious lodging if you prefer.

Register now to secure your early-bird reduced rate. Click here for more information, call +1-913-902-0243, or email Greg or Dianne at cd@culturaldetective.com. We look forward to working with you, and thank you for all you do to promote much-needed intercultural competence in this world of ours!

4 Reasons to Add EPIC to Your Toolbox

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Many thanks to Debbie Bayes, Intercultural Consultant and Trainer at culturecrux.org, for this guest blog post.

I recently had the chance to use EPIC (Essential Practice for Intercultural Competence) for the first time with a group of people who train student leaders in a university setting. There were several surprises along the way… all of them good!

  1. Reasonably quick prep to put together a quality training event—The structure of the EPIC process, which brings together both Cultural Detectiveand Personal Leadership methods,made it possible to plan a quality training event in a short amount of time. It saved me hours of work and was a breeze to facilitate!
  2. It was helpful to have the EPIC experience to look back on when going over IDI results after the training—This particular group had asked each member to take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) prior to the EPIC training. As I met with individuals to go over their IDI results following the training, I found that having the common EPIC experience to look back on provided many concrete examples that I could use to illustrated ideas that are sometimes difficult for people to grasp. Concepts like the limitations of Minimization and the value of working towards Acceptance were far easier to explain because moving through the EPIC process so clearly and tangibly demonstrated both.
  3. EPIC worked well with people at all levels—Because I had IDI results on the group before doing the EPIC training, I had some sense of people’s abilities prior to meeting with them. Participants in the group ranged from Denial to Acceptance. It can be difficult to plan an event for a group that has such a wide range of abilities. I was pleased to find that everyone in the group was engaged and interested throughout the training.
  4. EPIC was fun and eye-opening—The two most frequent comments I received on the EPIC training in the weeks following were that it was both fun and eye-opening. The training challenged the participants, caused them to see both themselves and cultural others in new ways, and inspired them to press on to learn more. And all the while, they were having fun!

I expect to use EPIC frequently in the year ahead. It’s a great tool to have in the box!

More Excellent Free Gifts

I just downloaded a wonderful high-resolution jpg of an equal-area projection Peters Map of the world for FREE thanks to Bob Abramms and our friends at ODT Maps, and you can, too!

The Peters Map jpg is branded with the Doctors Without Borders logo, but, hey, you can print it out most any size you want; it is a terrific asset to a classroom, training room, meeting room, etc. Click here to download your copy.

While you’re at it, you can also download a Hobo-Dyer equal-area projection map via this link. This one is not quite as usable, as it has the Carter Center data all over it. But, it is high-resolution and free.

In Bob’s and ODT’s incredible retirement generosity, they have uploaded other free things you can get your hands on:

We are not retiring BUT, as always, Cultural Detective offers a huge selection of freebies, accessible and downloadable anytime here.

Bless you for helping build intercultural competence, respect, justice, equity, inclusion and collaboration in this polarized world of ours! You are doing vital work.

New Models of Intercultural Competency

Cultural Detective Ukraine co-author Elena Shliakhovchuk has just released an extensive literature review of “cultural literacy” that clarifies and critically assesses the term’s history, evolution, and modern meaning.

“An analysis and summary … of common trends for a new set of skills and competencies necessary for success in the twenty-first century, studied by policy-making institutions like UNESCO, by education institutions like the British Council, by multinational corporations like IBM and Google, and by influencer organisations like LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum.”

Entitled “After Cultural Literacy: New Models of Intercultural Competency for Life and Work in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) World”, the article is published in Educational Review, 2019. It is a must-read for any organization desiring to educate and train capable leaders, workers, citizens, and community members, as well as for interculturalists and diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners who seek to build the business case for the work we do. Whether you work in education, business, or in the public sector, with refugees, migration or teams, in economic development or sustainability, this article will prove useful.

“Even a brief analysis of global tendencies – as increased international interconnectedness, the rapid rate of urbanisation, technological advances, increased migration, and the devastation of natural resources – makes it evident that labour markets are increasingly demanding workers with advanced skills. Workplace changes, the transnational movement of refugees, economic migrants, professional and expert service providers, and student exchange programmes created a strong and urgent need for people to learn to live together in this diverse world. Consequently, cultural literacy has come into sharper focus.”

I am proud that the Cultural Detective project has made a huge contribution to the development of intercultural competence in this world of ours. The learning that authors gain while writing their Cultural Detective packages in collaboration with our staff and five to six teams of other-culture authors, and the transformation that the method and materials create with the guidance and facilitation of our expert and dedicated community of practitioners, truly astound me. I’ve always said that products are like children, they take on lives of their own, and Cultural Detective is no exception; it is used in places and ways I could never have imagined, by people I’m proud to work with, and with results that help bridge the polarized divides in contemporary society. This article by Elena Shliakhovchuk, a member of our distinguished authoring team, shows what a fine mind and a determined heart can do to make a difference. Below I will provide a few quotes from her treatise, in hopes that it will pique your curiosity to read the article in full and continue your learning.

The Business Case for Cultural Literacy
(And the use of Cultural Detective, which is proven to develop these competencies.)

  1. “The spread of literacy in the world and the inclusion of the ability to create, consume and communicate different materials associated with various contexts in the modern understanding of literacy, inclines us to be cooperative and more tolerant to a different other. Harvard psychologist Pinker links widespread literacy to the reduction in people’s “taste for cruelty” and the widening of the circle of tolerance towards others, thus empowering ‘the empathy escalator’.” (2011 Pinker, S. (2011). The better angels of our nature: Why violence has declined. New York, NY: Viking.
  2. “Cultural literacy has begun to be seen as a “modus operandi” (Ochoa, McDonald, & Monk, 2016 García Ochoa, G., McDonald, S., & Monk, N. (2016). Embedding cultural literacy in higher education: A new approach. Intercultural Education, 27(6), 546559[Google Scholar]) that “highlights communication, comparison and critique, bringing ideas together in an interdisciplinary and international collaboration” (Segal, Kancewicz-Hoffman, Landfester, 2013 Segal, N., Kancewicz-Hoffman, N., & Landfester, U. (2013). Cultural literacy in Europe today (Vol. January).  [Google Scholar], p. 4). Furthermore, Cultural Literacy is claimed to have the same implications as Opportunity Cost in economics and “can be applied and verified through everyday experience, in any and every context” (Ochoa et al., 2016).
  3. “Similarly, Rosen argues that management and technology alone will not give economies supremacy, but populations will also need to be culturally literate, “Culture is no longer an obstacle to be overcome. Rather, it is a critical lever for competitive advantage”. He postulates that tomorrow’s leaders will strive to be culturally wise by appreciating similarities and differences between peoples, companies, and countries; and they will know that superficial understanding negatively impacts businesses (Rosen, 2000Rosen, R. (2000). Global literacies: Lessons on business leadership and national cultures: a landmark study of CEOs from 28 countries (1st ed.). Simon & Schuster. [Google Scholar]).”
  4. “UNESCO Global Citizenship Education (2014 Global Citizenship Education: an emerging perspective; Technical Consultation on Global Citizenship Education. (2014).  [Google Scholar]) and the UNESCO “The Education 2030. Incheon Declaration Framework for Action” (2016 Incheon declaration framework for action for the implementation of sustainable development goal 4 ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. [Google Scholar]) underline the importance of citizenship education and the empowerment of citizens to resolve global challenges and to contribute to a peaceful, inclusive and tolerant world. UNESCO’s “The Hangzhou Declaration Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies” (2013 UNESCO. The Hangzhou declaration placing culture at the heart of sustainable development policies[Google Scholar]) emphasises that cultural literacy is an integral part of quality education and plays a vital role in the promotion of inclusive and unbiased societies.”

Recent Leading Research on Cultural Literacy
“Over the last decade, reputable institutions… have been analysing the skill set required for a successful specialist in the twenty-first century, concluding that intercultural skills are in high demand.

  1. Oxford Economics, 2012 Oxford Economics. (2012). Global Talent 2021. How the new geography of talent will transform human resource strategies. Executive summary[Google Scholar].
  2. British Council, 2013 British Council. (2013). Culture at work. The value of intercultural skills in the workplace. [Google Scholar].
  3. World Economic Forum, 2016 World Economic Forum. (2016). New vision for education: Fostering social and emotional learning through technology. [Google Scholar].
  4. The latest LinkedIn Workplace Learning Trends Report indicates that soft skills make up the essential skill set that should be cultivated through talent-development programmes. Ninety-two percent of executives name soft skills as equally or more important than technical skills, with 64 percent of responders highlighting the importance of communication skills and 55 percent collaboration skills, confirming that effective communication with others (in its broad meaning) is key to success in the twenty-first century (LinkedIn, 2018 Linkedin, L. co. (2018). Workplace learning & development report 2018 | LinkedIn learning. Retrieved March 21, 2018. [Google Scholar].
  5. P21 Partnership for twenty-first Century Learning amongst education, business, community, and government leaders developed P21’s Framework for twenty-first Century Learning to define and summarise the skills and knowledge students required at work, for life and citizenship in the 2020s. The Life and Career Skills category includes Social and Cross-Cultural Skills as required for navigating complicated life and work environments (P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning, 2016 P21 framework for 21st century learning 21st century student outcomes and support systems framework for 21st century learning. (2016).  [Google Scholar]).

An Updated Model of Cultural Literacy
“Cultural literacy plays an essential role in building social inclusion, promoting economic development, coping with the opportunities and challenges surrounding globalisation and innovation, and fostering sustainability.

Based on the literature reviewed, in order to meet the unique demands of global interconnectedness in a culturally mindful way, the following competencies and skills of the updated cultural literacy model should be cultivated (Figure 3):”

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It is worth noting here that regular use of Cultural Detective develops all of these competencies.

Give Elena’s article a read, and then probe more deeply into a couple of the references she links to. You will be glad you did.

 

Antibiotics and Intercultural

©Dianne Hofner Saphiere, Thru Di’s Eyes Photography.  Used with permission.

For over a decade we have been talking about the fact that developing intercultural competence is a process and a commitment, not a one-shot event. Recently our senior trainer of facilitators, Tatyana Fertelmeyster, interrupted her usual incisive yet humorous social commentary on LinkedIn to share a personal rant:

“I am getting so tired of [the] conversation [that] diversity trainings don’t work! What in the world are we talking about? Antibiotics don’t work! Dah, did you take them twice a day for ten days? No, I took one pill and felt no difference. Or — I took one, felt better, and stopped. And now I am even more sick. Wait — why did a doctor tell you to take antibiotics in the first place? I told him I need to take antibiotics once a year in October. I don’t know why I need to do it and they never make any difference but I still do it. Or — I can’t take antibiotics any more. I have been using them for any kind of health problems for years and now I am allergic to them. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Maybe we first need to define what is a high quality diversity training, what it is and is not good for, who and why should be able to “prescribe” and “administer” that kind of treatment, and how the course of treatment should look depending on the issues and desirable outcomes. The whole process, not a one pill, one time, etc.

I absolutely LOVED this analogy! If bias, injustice, inequity, exclusion, and hate are illness-inducing bacteria, intercultural and diversity competence are antibiotics that can heal society. Yet, there’s a whole lot of garbage out there, and how do we wade through it? As we have frequently discussed on this blog, developing intercultural and equity competencies needs to be done developmentally and sustainably, as with anything in life, and Cultural Detective is a core tool that is proven effective for doing so.

As with any rant by a beloved and respected commentator, a few of the comments were outstandingly salient as well:

  1. “I have two qualifying comments:  1. Diversity training doesn’t lead to change.  People lead to change. No amount of training will change the attitude or behaviour of someone who doesn’t want to change.  I know my life will be healthier if I eat less and run more — but I don’t want to change. Diversity training can only raise awareness and try to influence change. Even the best trainer will not make a racist recant their views.   2. A half day/one day/two day training will not create lasting change, but it’s the pattern of 90% of training offered in this area. You attend, have a great time discussing the ways in which diversity matters, you even strategise on what you can do to improve diversity, but you [go] back to your desk to the 200 emails you need to action, the huge task list and the fantastic training slips into oblivion.  And I haven’t even started on eLearning yet…. To promote diversity and inclusion agendas, we need to mainstream them.  We need to by default consider D&I at every stage of interacting, policy creating, decision making, problem solving, recruiting, firing…….etc.  If we consider D&I by default, then attitudes and behaviours will change.”
  2. “I wonder how many influencers and leaders in business sign up to this training, and also believe in its purpose. Societal change, and change within a business also needs authentic and committed leadership.”
  3. “When I was young I heard this story: ‘A man heard from someone that faith could move mountains. He had a big mountain near his house that cut out the light — so he decided to try this faith idea. As he went to bed that night he said ‘I have faith that the mountain will be gone in the morning.’ The next day he pulled back the curtains and the mountain was still there. And he said ‘I knew it wouldn’t be gone!’ Many companies sign up for diversity training because they heard it helps business. But, like the man above, they don’t really believe it and don’t fully buy in.”

If you’d like to read the full conversation or join in, here is the link. If you’d like to take your first step towards developing sustainable, meaningful intercultural competence, start with a subscription here.

Excellent Free Resource

cds.amazon_1024x1024Now through 30 April download the award-winning Cultural Diversity Sourcebook for free using the coupon code “Sourcebook”, thanks to our friend at ODT, Bob Abramms, and Cultural Detective author extraordinaire, George Simons. Originally published in 1996, it was put into e-book form last year and remains a treasure-trove of excellent material. An edited volume of scholarly articles, classic essays, best practices and quotes from popular culture, poetry and music, I think you’ll find it well worth your time. Thank you for your generosity, gentlemen!