Business for Diplomatic Action & Thunderbird team to offer program on global corporate diplomacy

September 18, 2008

 In an age of hyper-globalism and a waning economy, U.S. business must be surefooted in knowing how to engage with the rest of the world to maintain a competitive edge. In response, the nation’s top business-led  public diplomacy advocate and the No. 1 school of global management education are  joining forces to help multinational corporations better understand foreign cultures in order to operate more successfully and diplomatically across borders.  Keith Reinhard, president of Business for Diplomatic Action, and Dr. Angel Cabrera, president of Thunderbird School of Global Management, today announced the global launch of CultureSpan: A Workshop in Global Corporate Diplomacy.

“After listening extensively to business leaders around the world, one of the challenges that came across consistently was the lack of cross-cultural skill sets in the workforce and a lack of resources for building and maintaining effective global teams,” Reinhard said.  “When we learned of Thunderbird’s cross-cultural leadership work it seemed natural for us to partner with them in the creation of a cultural training program and tool kit for executives working in today’s global environment.”

The one-day program provides participants with a framework for understanding and working across cultures and building and managing global teams, as well as providing the requisite tools to develop a global mindset. The seminar also emphasizes the important role business plays in U.S. public diplomacy, which is one of BDA’s highest priorities.

“The school was founded on the premise that the world is a better place when people of different cultures understand one another and are connected by commerce and trade,” said Cabrera. “One of our early presidents said it best when he said, ‘Borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers.  In BDA, we have found a partner who not only shares this vision, but also understands that in order to achieve it, companies must have the global mindset that allows them to work successfully with individuals from diverse cultures and to manage effectively in different social, economic, and political environments.”

CultureSpan is based on GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness), the world renowned research project on executive performance and leadership.  Thunderbird Dean of Research Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., who is also a member of the BDA board of directors, said The GLOBE research involved more than 160 researchers all over the world who surveyed more than 17,000 managers about the cultures of more than 60 societies.

“By blending Thunderbird’s knowledge of global business and cross-cultural leadership with, the BDA’s work on global corporate diplomacy, we have created a workshop that is the first of its kind,” Javidan said. “Executives of every level, including veteran global business managers, will derive an entirely new way of understanding and working with the world after participating in the CultureSpan workshop.”

The workshop is led by Dr. Javidan and Thomas Miller, Vice President of BDA. Dr. Javidan and Mr. Miller will appear at the New York Foreign Press Center on Friday, September 19th from 2-3pm to discuss CultureSpan.  For more information on the briefing please contact Eric Terrell at (212) 317-8333.