Bridging Cultures Online Learning Event: Register Now!

Bridging Cultures2
How do you translate knowledge of cultural differences into practice? What should you actually do differently to communicate better, and how do you ensure that what you are doing is effective?

  • Identify “bridge builders” and “bridge blockers” to your success
  • Learn techniques for in-the-moment bridging of differences to ensure that conversations spiral upwards instead of downwards
  • Develop strategies to both prepare for and repair cross-cultural relationships
  • Develop high impact, creative resolutions that take into consideration interpersonal, intercultural, and situational factors

During the webinar we will use Cultural Detective Bridging Cultures. This package is a little different than many in our series: rather than focusing on a specific culture, this package includes exercises and processes to help you navigate the differences you face. It is all about translating cultural savvy into action.

Cultural Detective Bridging Cultures cover

As you probably know, the Cultural Detective Series develops three core intercultural capacities: Subjective Culture, Cultural Literacy, and Cultural Bridging. Every packet in our series develops all three of these capacities; culture-specific packages have a particular focus on Cultural Literacy, while CD Self Discovery and CD Bridging Cultures focus more in-depth on the other two target capacities.

The Cultural Detective Bridging Cultures package is for anyone wanting to move from awareness to action, and it makes a great complement to any Cultural Detective culture-specific package. Join the webinar and learn more about the package and how to use its unique activities and exercises to enhance your own skills and/or your training program.


Facilitator for this event will be Kate Berardo, co-author of Cultural Detective® Self Discovery and Cultural Detective® Bridging Cultures. She provides consulting, training, and coaching to help individuals be effective global leaders and organizations to navigate complex cultural challenges. Kate has developed and delivered learning events in more than eighteen countries, with individuals from over fifty nations, using both online and traditional facilitation tools. Her work has been featured in media worldwide, most recently on CNN’s Business Traveller and the Dubai daily Gulf News.

Kate holds a distinguished Master’s in Intercultural Communication from the University of Bedfordshire, UK, and is a summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern University in the USA. She is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. With George Simons and Simma Lieberman, Kate authored Putting Diversity to Work, a training guide for managers to leverage diversity in the workplace. Raised in California, she has also lived in Japan, Spain, France, England, and Denmark. Her work and travel to over forty countries have given her a deep understanding of the intricacies of bridging boundaries and barriers.

Monday, June 13, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (MDT)
Register now to secure your place! 

Cuisine, Culture and Performance

10438640_715299471895885_8128051140435588302_n“A collective. International. Pushing boundaries. Longing to discover new cultures and exchange knowledge. Collaborative. Find your tribe. Exploring the unknown, adapting to uncertain situations, charting new territories to sharpen creativity…”

Does this sound to you like a Cultural Detective? It’s actually taken from the home page of the Gelinaz! website, a collaborative of international chefs doing amazingly creative things. I sooooo want to attend one of their dinners!

Below is a short introductory video to what they are all about:

The group’s tagline is “Cook. Art. Performance.” They last got together at the Villa Panna estate in Tuscany in July for a four-hour, 13-course feast, including a dish with seven varieties of Latin American potatoes, a soup of pig’s blood and chocolate, tripe with wild mushrooms, and crispy pig’s head. Ok, that probably would not have been my favorite meal.

The name “Gelinaz!” pays campy homage to the virtual band “Gorillaz,” who play a fusion of rock, hip hop, reggae, electronica and pop. Like the band, Gelinaz! members combine different genres of cooking in experimental ways. They aim to “build bridges between cuisine and other means of expression,” according to Andrea Petrini, the Italian food writer and founder of the group.Thus far their meals have included Japanese dance, a violinist playing Iron Maiden, and various topless performances.

Gellinaz! reminds me of the myriad of innovative ways you are using Cultural Detective to build intercultural competence in NGOs, communities, faith traditions, at universities, for study abroad, and in multinational organizations. Be sure to share with us your designs and ideas! Together we can change the world.

Recent Upgrades to Cultural Detective Online Enable Even Better Collaboration

QuickViewLensesOur most recent update incorporates significant changes to the user incident sections and the group functionality, in direct response to feedback from CDO users, so please keep those ideas coming! At Cultural Detective, we are always working to improve our flagship product, Cultural Detective Online.

conference_calling_support_headerQuick View Lenses: A New Tab On The Main Menu Bar
Maybe you are in a meeting, and you can just feel you are not quite connecting with the person sitting across from you, or the people on the other end of the conference call. Now you can quickly and easily open any of the Cultural Detective Values Lenses to use as clues in deciphering the dynamics of your conversation, and to help you bridge the communication gap!

The new Quick View Lenses tab is visible anytime you are logged into CD Online, located just to the right of the Package tab. Clicking on this tab will open a new browser window with a drop-down menu listing all Lenses in the CD Online system. Clicking on a Lens name will open that Values Lens in the new browser window.

Group Functionality: New Features
The real magic of cross-cultural collaboration is in using our differences as assets to innovate, create and solve problems—together.

You already know you can subscribe to Cultural Detective Online either as an individual user or as a group. A group may be a team that works together on a project, or a class of students. The group leader may be the team leader or the class instructor.

Collaborative Incidents and Debriefs
Group members have the option of sharing a critical incident they upload with the members of their group with one easy step. The Group Administrator will receive an email requesting approval of the incident for group-wide publication. After publication to the group, the incident creator’s name will be listed as having authored the incident.

A group member now is able to invite other group members to collaborate on an incident. This is a terrific new feature! Let’s say I’m working together with Ana on a project. I upload a story about my collaboration with Ana. She is now able to edit my incident draft, making sure it’s also accurate from her perspective. Then, together, we can debrief what happened: she gives me insight into her intentions, and I let her know what I was intending. Together, we enter interpersonal bridges—what each of us can do to reach out to the other while contributing our personal best, and systemic bridges—what our organization can do to support our efforts and encourage our intercultural success.

Group members can also create a Sample Debrief to aid other group members. The Sample Debrief will appear just like a Sample Debrief written by an author. Collaborators on an incident may also contribute to its debrief. We strongly recommend that group members create a Sample Debrief for each shared incident to aid fellow group members in their learning.

Our recent upgrade included MANY other great additions to the CD Online system. For just US$99/year, or US$150/two years, your individual subscription gives you access to the 60+ packages in our system, and permission to project its contents to your classes, trainees, or coaching clients. I can’t imagine where you can get better value for your investment!

Please join our 130 authors in putting this incredibly robust tool to good use, to build respect, understanding, inclusion and teamwork in your arenas of influence. Want to learn more about what Cultural Detective Online can do for you and your organization? Join us for our next free 90-minute webinar—click here to view the full schedule through the next few months.

Partnerships: 5 Tips for Turning Frustration into Innovation

181461_10151025619791983_1116995086_nI’ve recently heard from several colleagues and client organizations who are engaged in partnerships designed to harness the strength of complementary skills, experience and thinking. Their purpose is to enter new markets, build the business, and create innovative approaches that can only come from an interdisciplinary approach.

The great thing is that they recognize and have committed to the creative power of diversity! They know that research shows that diversity of thought leads to innovation. The trouble is that each of them has encountered frustration and, in some cases, regret: the partnership is not as easy as they’d hoped, they haven’t found their “sweet spot” of collaboration, new customers are not pounding down their doors. They talk over and past each other, they have differing goals and strategies, they feel their partner lacks respect for them. In short, the very reason they are partnering in the first place — to leverage their complementary expertise — is getting in the way of successful collaboration.

What to do? “Come on, Dianne,” they tell me. “You do this collaboration thing for a living. Give us some tips. What are we doing wrong?” Well, instead, how about starting with what you are doing right?

Tip #1: Remind yourself what motivated you to partner in the first place. What skills, experience, contributions or contacts does your partner bring to the table that you want to access? Have you spent focused time listening and learning from your partner, how they do things, how they see things, discovering what about their perspective is unique and can add value to your own? And vice-versa?

Tip #2: Affirm the strengths you see in your partner. Too often we get caught in a blame game, or we get so busy we don’t take the time we should to actually communicate our hopes and appreciation. We take it for granted that our partners know we value them, and why. Speak up purposefully and let them know!

Tip #3: Be honest about the challenges. Collaborating with partners whose worldview is different from our own means that we have to speak a different language, translate our common sense to theirs. Such efforts can get tiring, even irritating. And, when we don’t understand, or worse, misunderstand what our partners are saying or doing, that impatience and frustration show through. Pretending the challenge isn’t there usually is not the answer; it makes the white elephant in the room grow ever more looming. Rather, put your differences out there, on the table for discussion.

Tip #4: Agree on rules for the game. You have partnered precisely because you are different; you are experts in separate arenas, and of course you do things differently. A successful joint effort needs to bring out the best, rather than the worst, in each of its partners. There is a need, therefore, to talk purposefully about HOW you communicate: how you can disagree without offending, how you can make decisions in which all partners feel heard and valued. Such game rules should be revisited and updated regularly. Ten minutes talking about how we communicate can shoot productivity forward. We’ve all been in meetings where we focused on task and drove one another nuts, getting nowhere.

Tip #5: Diverge then converge. And repeat. Diverge by listening to one another. Converge by summarizing what you heard. Diverge by gathering data, doing research, discussing the matters on which you disagree. Get to the point where the convergence emerges: you see the trends in the data, you get to the heart of the matter — exploring the disagreement leads you to a core truth and a path forward. I can not emphasize this last point enough. In thirty plus years leading international teams, team leaders inevitably come to me saying, “we are never going to get agreement. The team is all over the place.” Experience shows, repeatedly, that if you listen to understand, summarize the key points, a path forward that incorporates the diverse perspectives, skills and experience presents itself. It takes a little faith and a bit of letting go. Then the magic begins.

Bonus Tip #6: Know when to get out. Not all matches are made in heaven; not all collaborations are worth the effort. Do your homework before entering a partnership, and be brave enough to make the call when it’s no longer a fit. Of course, filtering out cultural differences to be sure it’s really not a fit is key. But beating your head against the wall and getting yourself into all sorts of contortions trying to make something work is not good for anyone.