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Cultural Services

As in all business, communication is at the center of effective international business. Because each culture has its own way of processing information, however, a multinational firm must pay special attention to how it communicates ... beyond language. In order to manage personnel, train staff, interact with clients or negotiate with vendors, cultural understanding is crucial. When taken into consideration, the cultural aspects of business can result in global success. When ignored, they can prove to be costly in terms of failed training, organizational problems, lost business opportunities, and more. For this reason, V&L International helps firms develop the competitive advantage of cross-cultural competencies.

Cultural Orientation

V&L's cultural orientation programs are custom-designed to foster the skills critical for cross-cultural effectiveness and transnational job performance. Effective cultural orientation teaches managers to communicate within the parameters of another country's culture, so their organizations benefit from improved employee motivation and performance within that country. Similarly, expatriate employees and their family members benefit from an improved ability to live and work in new cultures. Our expatriate seminars include country-specific briefings and global orientation, tailored to both long-term and short-term international assignments.

Our Global Leadership Program provides managers with the tools they need to better serve their clientele across borders, and lead multicultural teams more effectively. Customized training programs build competency in the following areas:

  • Managing communications in new cultures;
  • Problem-solving in new cultures;
  • Coping with cross-cultural stress;
  • Cross-cultural adaptability; and
  • Managing change across cultures.

By giving expatriate managers and employees the tools to understand a new culture, V&L enhances their effectiveness in all of their business relationships, and by extension, the organization's overall success in that international venue.

Cross-Cultural Training

There is a certain amount of resistance to change wherever and however it is done, but implementing change in an international environment poses an additional set of challenges for multinational firms. Combining the best strategies for change management with its capabilities in market-specific communications, V&L offers cross-cultural training.

Cross-cultural training encompasses a combination of translation, instructional design and cultural adaptation, each of which is required to convey new concepts to a target audience in another country. Simply translating training material will not work, as it fails to take into account the cultural factors that influence the trainees' perceptions.

V&L's approach combines all of the resources required to facilitate effective cross-cultural training:

  • Linguistic and Cultural Expertise: As with all V&L undertakings, we use only native language experts to translate your training materials into the target language. Our linguists were born and raised in a specific culture, so they also function as cultural experts who can help to identify "gray areas" of communication, where the assumptions of the training material's authors in the source language may not apply to the trainees in the target language.
  • Subject Matter Experts: Each new business area or technical discipline poses a unique set of challenges to the linguistic expert. Although V&L's linguists are selected for appropriate technical expertise in addition to linguistic skills, cross-cultural training often involves a highly specific expertise such as a new software package or a new factory process. Using subject matter experts in conjunction with the linguist ensures that all issues can be resolved throughout the content development and training processes.
  • Instructional Designer: The instructional designer is an expert in training at all levels. As such, this team member has excellent communication skills in the source language, demonstrated instructional design experience including the design and preparation of training manuals, and familiarity with the subject matter to be conveyed. In fact, you can rest assured that V&L's instructional designer has delivered instruction in your specific discipline in his/her native language.
  • Trainers: The linguist who performs the translation and cultural adaptation of the training material can act as the trainer, or can transition the material to a professional trainer in the target language and culture. In either case, the trainer would have access to the subject matter expert and instructional designer throughout both the preparation and training phases of the project.

V&L's approach to cross-cultural training is the most highly effective method available for implementing change in an international environment. It helps your organization overcome resistance through effective instructional design that is culturally and linguistically adapted for maximum effectiveness with your target audience.



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