Many multinational mentoring programmes are at risk because employers fail to think strategically, adapt their approach to local cultures, or offer participants adequate cross-cultural training beforehand.
These were the key messages emerging from contributions to the multinational mentoring stream in the European Mentoring & Coaching Council’s (EMCC) first ever mentoring e-conference on 16-18 January.
David Clutterbuck, co-founder of the EMCC, said many organisations fail to change. “One of the mistakes I have seen commonly is for the headquarters of a multinational to assume that what works [fits] culturally in the home country is the right way to do it everywhere else. This cultural imperialism often leads to conflict and the abandonment of very effective local programmes.”
Adina Tarry, director of Rich Answers International, who has lived and worked in seven countries, and works with multinationals, said she has never seen a cross-cultural competence development programme precede mentoring, for example. She said businesses have a limited understanding of what cross-cultural experience, awareness, competency and sensitisation are, and do not appreciate that specific preparation is needed.