Robert D. Austin, Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick, explains in this video how Danish software tester Specialisterne maintains a diverse and productive workforce. The “dandelion metaphor” he shares is a great way to explain the “lessons learned” in a context that can be easily understood.
In my humble opinion, we need to make recognizing this a priority; “Being Different” no longer needs to be seen as an automatic impediment to succeeding in both life and career. Rather, we need to treat different perceptions as a positive value that, if anything, offers additional rewards and opportunities for all.
Interesting visualization on how communication styles differ by nationality. Drawn up by Richard Lewis – no, not that Richard Lewis – this one is a Berlitz veteran who is known as an expert in cross-cultural communication.
Personal experience seems to validate several of his observations, but I can’t lay claim to having worked with colleagues from all of these nationalities. I can say that the Israeli model is pretty accurate (“rationality mixed with some emotion” sounds just about right to me) but I think that some of the others would also apply as well.
As an aside: I’ve never had any extensive dealings with Finns in a business context – but what little I know about their culture and history would seem to support Lewis’ direct and to-the-point observations. Not to mention, brings to mind this famous Finnish hero.
A couple of viewers have noticed the small image gallery on the right column of this blog; I figured I’d take a moment to share a little bit of the story behind it. “Meola Works” was the name my late father Al Meola z”l used for his studio where he would create artwork with various media. He would sketch with charcoal, paint with oils, or sculpt with whatever inspired him. As a toddler, I remember our trips to the “D-U-M-P-S” where he would gather anything and everything he could use to satisfy his creative urges. He would work with paint on wood, metal, scraps of broken furniture, door panels, and whatever else he could get his hands on.
The Meola Works page will feature photographs of his original artwork, some of which is still “in the family”; my intent is to update the gallery with additional images of his work whenever possible.
Shabbos (or Shabbat, in modern Hebrew) is the Jewish Sabbath, which starts from Friday right before sundown, and carries through until about an hour after nightfall on Saturday evening. During this time, traditional Jews refrain from certain activities classified as “labor” – in other words, it is a “day of rest”. No iPhones, no laptop, no Twitter (unless you set it up to run in advance, which could be the subject of a whole other post).