A recent study by the U. of Phoenix Institute For The Future drew some interesting conclusions about about work skills will be considered absolutely critical by the year 2020. It struck us as interesting that not all of them are things you can learn in school. Of particular interest was the emphasis the study placed on “cross-cultural competency.”
Cross cultural competency may seem like a hard-to-define concept. But the need for it is growing in leaps and bounds as the world becomes more globalized. Companies face a challenge in dealing with the fact that even as we all become more interconnected, individual countries around the world seem to maintain very strong individual cultures, languages and ways of doing business. The need to adapt to each part of the world makes workers with cross-cultural competencies that much more important.
Even within the U.S., cultures have remained strong within individual ethnic groups. That requires a variety of marketing approaches even within North America. In the larger world, an employee who takes an international assignment today is more likely then ever to find himself or herself sent to work in multiple countries later on.
The U. of Phoenix study cites a book by Professor Scott Page of The University of Michigan, stating that “what makes a group truly intelligent and innovative is the combination of different ages, skills, disciplines,” and that “diversity will therefore become a core competency for organizations over the next decade.”