In Culture Map, renowned expert Erin Meyer offers highly practical and timely perspective on one of today's most pressing business issues: How do different cultures influence the way to do business when working globally. And she explains how to dramatically increase business success by improving one's ability to understand the cultural drivers of colleagues, clients, and suppliers from different countries. With the rapid increase in global call centers, outsourcing, supply chains, and project teams, cultural diversity touches almost everyone. Globalization has led to the rapid connection of internationally based employees from all levels of multinational companies.
The advent of information and communication technology means that work itself has globalized. Where once you might have been expected to collaborate with colleagues from one or two foreign territories, today many people are part of global networks connected with people scattered around the world. Yet most managers have little understanding of how local culture impacts global interaction. Even those who are culturally informed, travel extensively, and have lived abroad often have few strategies for dealing with the cross-cultural complexity that affects their team's day-to-day effectiveness. Culture Map provides a new way forward, with vital insights for working effectively and sensitively with one's counterparts in the new global marketplace.
©2014 Erin Meyer (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC
"Although we live in an increasingly digitally connected and virtual business world, this book reminds us that understanding cultural differences in human interactions still matters. Global leaders know that blending cultural and individual diversity in teams is a sure recipe for better business outcomes. But this diversity needs to be first understood and then proactively managed. Meyer presents a brave, research-based, analysis of how to do just that. With clear and practical frameworks, The Culture Map will help business leaders become 'cultural bridge builders' to the benefit of their teams and organizations." (Dr. Didier CL Bonnet, Global Head of Practices, Capgemini Consulting)
As for The Culture Map as a book, I found it to be well-written and very useful. Erin Meyer is very knowledgeable and experienced, and her analysis matched much of what I have learned from other respected sources. She not only draws from much of the cultural research, but she also uses a lot of examples either from her own experiences or from experiences of others.
My only minor criticism is that at a few points she presents the visual figures in the book admitting that she based the data for them off of research collected from respected sources (Hofstede model of cultural dimensions, for example) and tweaked them a bit based her on own experiences and her own surveys. It is important that she uses research of others - so good so far. I'm also glad that she tweaked the data to match her own findings - still good. But she doesn't explain just exactly how her own findings were from the other models used, doesn't mention how much weight she assigns to her own data versus others, etc. In other words, we don't know what methodology she used to tweak the data. My own experience in doing business all over the world tends to validate her analysis, so it appears to be sound. Nonetheless, in order to let the reader check her data she could have presented how exactly her own findings were slightly different than others.
I read the other reviews for this audiobook and noted that other listeners have said that the narrator was either racist or borderline racist because of her poor impersonations of accents of people from various countries.
I had no problem finishing the book. The narrator's accent impersonations were pretty bad, no doubt. (Her Brazilian Portuguese accent, for example, sounds distinctly like a bad Mexican Spanish accent). I am a very well-traveled individual, so I am as qualified as anyone to recognize when the accents are off-target. However, her poor impersonations merely reflected her own lack of exposure to many peoples of the world, and in no way whatsoever were her impersonations necessarily racist. She did her best to imitate accents that she just hadn't been exposed to. The other reviewers that call the narrator racist do so by arguing that the book's purpose was to foster understanding among the many different peoples of the world and the narrator presents the people she impersonates in a stereotypical manner, yet these reviewers fail to acknowledge or understand that most people in the world are unable to impersonate a wide range of accents accurately. Those reviewers don't care to learn anything about the narrator and who she is, but they are perfectly happy to put her into a little box and stereotype her as "racist." Hmm...
I found the narrator's voice is very pleasant to listen to and would have no problem listening to more audiobooks from her in the future.
Say something about yourself!
This book is extremely useful for people who travel or work internationally (regardless of where you call home.) There are many "aha" insights.
Although I generally have a mistrust of anything attempting to legitimize cultural stereotypes, this particular book and the research on which it is based are useful in part because they help explain some cultural stereotypes and why, in some settings, those stereotypes might be a valid point from which to begin understanding behavior.
The performer, who I've admired on other audiobooks, nearly ruins this book by attempting to impose stereotyped accents on people being quoted. It moves from comical to offensive to infuriating. Likely, it was the producer's choice not the performer's; but it doesn't matter -- the audiobook is nearly unlistenable and only the highly interesting content made it possible for me to make it all the way to the end.
Turn down the sound and read the subtitles.
If there is any way to have the same performer re-read this book without accents, please do it.
This book has excellent content but the narration was simply atrocious. The narrator tries to provide accents to various quotes and they are ridiculous. If you cannot do the accent correctly, you should avoid it. To try and be so far off is to be insulting. It sounds as if she is "making fun" of people's accents. The Spanish accent and the Indian accent and the Danish accent sound the same. She can't even get the British accent correct.
I will recommend that people read this book in print. Avoid the audiobook completely. It comes off racist, demeaning and insulting to those with accents.
The info seems solid, but the performance makes it a struggle to get through.
Anyone. Karen Saltus would be great if she didn't try all of her pathetic and very obviously not well researched accents. Her "Dutch" accent sounds like a mix of her Chinese and French mixed together. Seriously offensive, terrible and racist accents ruin an otherwise good book. The fact that the book is preaches cultural sensitivity and they have someone making cartoonish insensitive attempts at every accent in the world was a terrible decision.
Awful performance....seriously, the worst.
The information on the book is very useful and may helps professionals who have never worked in different cultures to learn techniques that can be very useful.
Her reading is very clear but when she "plays' accents.... Difficult to bare.
There were great practical advice on how to solve cultural issues.
Having worked in a multinational environment in the US, Europe and Asia for many years, I wish I had read this book years ago! It is perceptive, insightful, practical and well structured.
However, the audiobook version suffers greatly from the ridiculous accents put on by the narrator for direct quotes from non American characters, of which there are many in this book. I have a resaonbale command of five European languages and two dialects of Chinese and found her attempts at foreign accents extremely irritating. Note to audiobook publishers: PLEASE, listeners want to experience the meaning of the texts and NOT be distracted by narrators who want to do Meryl Streep impersonations.
Yes, I think so.
The chinese woman
There are other reviews saying how horribly racist she was with her accents... well, people stop being so sensitive about it and realize that international people DO have accents! She had to find a way to tell the audience who was she speaking for! One thing to admit, is that she was terrible at it... but if you take it with humor you'll find it hillarious, not annoying! :D
I really enjoyed the book and it's a must read for folks that work with folks from different cultures and geographies. Many of the concepts made sense to me from prior experiences but Erin has nicely articulated them with a framework!!!
Easy to listen to and understand new principles.
I can see how this will affect my interactions with dozens of people I work with this year!
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