By the way: You will find an overview of the handpicked recommendations of our editors in our section Editorial book tips in cooperation with our partners Managementbuch.de & Roter-Reiter.de!
Germany needs immigrants - successful proposals for an integration policy
Against the background of the ongoing discussions in Germany about the so-called refugee flows, the book by Jamal Qaiser can not be denied a certain explosiveness.
The author writes from his immediate experience. He came to this country with 8 years, and has made a picture book career despite all the adversities.
Germany is dependent on immigration
The author begins with an analysis of current statistics that demonstrate the demographic dilemma in which Germany is located.
For many years, this country needs more migrants than migrants to shoulder all the challenges of the economy. And it is about massive political changes and reforms, so the integration works.
So that Germany can grow - cornerstones of successful integration
Chapter by chapter, the author analyzes analytically the obstacles to successful integration. He is dedicated to tax, family and education policies that have devastating effects on the founding spirit of (not only) immigrants.
And Qaiser does not shy away from difficult issues, for example, when he deals with fundamentalism or the so-called "foreigner crime". Jamal Qaiser's book provides exciting thoughts and impulses for social policy. His ideas could benefit everyone in this country.
How intercultural teams are led virtually
Unfortunately, nationalist slogans and resentment towards other cultures are regaining ground in Europe. A tendency contrary to the aspirations in the economy, because there the cooperation with experts from other countries often belongs to the everyday life. What was promoted as "offshoring" in the software industry is also being practiced in the middle class.
In international teams different cultures and mentalities meet, which must be reconciled by executives. And because of digitization and its possibilities for videoconferencing and webcasts, the participating experts encounter each other less and less personally. So virtual leadership is needed here.
Diversity is fertile
The experienced author and lecturer Connie Voigt has laid one of her main focuses in intercultural communication. Already the first chapter of her book is a pleasant counterpoint to the tendencies outlined above to isolate themselves from other cultures. She holds a passionate plea, diversity in Company promote innovation through the exchange of knowledge through different mindsets and mentalities.
There are three major topics that Voigt sees as a challenge for intercultural cooperation. The basis is trust, in which intercultural leadership does not differ from good "old-fashioned" leadership. In this context, the author is also concerned with how the executive can succeed in countering her fear of losing her job or her influence. In doing so, Voigt's gaze focuses on the peculiarities of virtual collaboration, which dispenses with those small gestures and vibrations that are recognizable when people meet in person in a room.
Trust and intercultural cooperation
The second challenge is to get the group to cooperate. Again, the necessary confidence must arise. Only - what does trust in other cultures look like? Which expectations are there, for example, in India and China? Connie Voigt dedicates another chapter to these and similar questions.
But there is a third focus: The exchange of knowledge can only succeed if there is a corporate culture that promotes it. This applies regardless of intercultural exchange. Which adjustments may be necessary here is another central question of the book.
Practical implementation of their topic
The author attaches great importance to the practice-oriented implementation of her topic. So she does not stray and spreads a carpet of mentality descriptions or cultural features in front of the reader. Her book is a concrete guide to installing intercultural teams in companies, promoting knowledge sharing among stakeholders, and leading such a group using modern technology. The already positive impression of the book is rounded off by the checklists and practical examples.
Diversity enriches a company and the intercultural exchange of knowledge promotes innovation. This very good book describes how companies can use the inexhaustible resources of knowledge and ideas in this way.
Working and leading internationally is easy. Do not you believe? But - at least if you have read this book. Because it explains easily how it works with the intercultural diversity - by the way, not to be underestimated as an employer branding factor.
Other countries, other customs - almost everyone has this almost become a commonplace saying. But it is also true for international business, in which diversity and cooperation in different countries are capitalized. Yes, one can say: Collaboration across national borders has long since become part of everyday life even in many medium-sized companies.
The smooth communication and cooperation on the international level, however, does not just have something to do with language skills. It is also about understanding the culture of colleagues, customers and business partners from abroad.
A compass for common understanding
The differences between cultures, linguistic misunderstandings or different behaviors in business life could be discussed on the basis of empirical studies.
Or you do it like Erin Meyer and write an entertaining and eventful book. Her work led the Professorin to Africa and Europe, and the encounter with many people of different cultures laid the foundation for their study of communication patterns.
8 scales as the key to intercultural success
The author has developed a model from eight key areas. And managers must pay particular attention to these scales. The differences between the cultures vary between the respective extreme values of the individual scales. The areas are:
- Communication: from context-poor to rich in context.
- Evaluation: Negative feedback is given directly. The opposite position forms indirect negative feedback.
- Conviction: Principles vs use cases
- Leadership: Egalitarian vs. Hierarchies.
- Decision: in consensus from top to bottom.
- Trust: based on work or based on relationships.
- contradiction: Seek the confrontation or avoid the conflict.
- Punctuality: temporally linear compared to temporally flexible models.
In business, success depends on the leader knowing where a team member or collaborator from other cultures is on those scales. Because then it can be specifically addressed and controlled.
Nice is not always nice
The eight scales also form the outline for the Culture Map. But there is no depth psychological analysis of the different cultures. Erin Meyer provides many stories and examples from which the reader can learn directly. Because often there are misunderstandings, such as hierarchies and nice comments that are not meant to be.
This not only facilitates understanding in the collaboration, for example, when you know that American colleagues like to fire their criticism after some very positive-sounding comments, but also prevents projects from getting out of hand.
Punctuality as a virtue?
Because different time perception in the cultural circles lead to excitement especially with us Germans, because we all have a different understanding with regard to the binding nature of temporal statements. The proverbial Prussian punctuality can be greeted here.
What makes the book even more valuable besides the many examples are the strategy recommendations in each chapter. They provide the tools in a compressed form to cope with the respective extreme, but also show a way, how to reconcile the different extremes in a team.
The book by Erin Meyer is pure reading pleasure, thanks for the excellent translation. Their examples are crystal clear and comprehensible written. "The Culture Map" should be required reading for all managers and executives working internationally.
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