“Your car is Japanese. Your Vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant?”
Today (21st May 2018) is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. While we would all like to believe that wars don’t ensue over the way we greet each other, according to the UN, “three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension.”
At Wildmoka, we believe that a company is a representation of a micro-society.
Chances are that as it grows, you will have people from very different backgrounds. To identify them by their religion or skin color (or gender, age, sexual orientation) is to hinder their integration. Now, we appreciate that this might sound like common sense but, as it turns out, socio-economic divide is still a pressing issue in Europe.
Parlez-vous français ?
Our team today consists of 35 collaborators from 14 nationalities, 15 diverse origins and we speak in total 13 different languages. The numbers would go up if we count Jersey & “Ch’ti” as separate nationalities, Texan as a different language, and would go down if we put all Eastern European nationalities together 🙂
We also have clients in 9 countries, on 4 different continents, so having an international team helps us in providing holistic customer success management and bridging an eventual cultural and linguistic gap.
From our experience, it turns out that cultural diversity is great for business (further to other areas of life) as it creates a richness of opinions and it opens new market opportunities. A diverse group of people would naturally provide a larger span of ideas and a greater ability to reach out to new markets for a more successful business expansion. Having colleagues from different backgrounds also teaches us to be more patient and compassionate with one another and this is immediately felt and appreciated by customers, no matter the type of business.
Cultural diversity is here: let’s embrace it
We definitely agree with another UN statement that embracing cultural diversity is a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. Here are some ideas on what you could do this week to go deeper in understanding another person’s values:
- Talk, talk, talk to your expat colleague, neighbor, friend
- Try out a foreign cuisine (why not at work? We have breakfast together every Friday morning)
- Watch an international movie, read an article/book, go to the opera, theatre…
- Make an effort to communicate with someone from another culture even if it means adapting your vocabulary to their tempo
- Be curious about your customer’s culture and discuss something interesting you read about it next time you talk
And a bit offtopic but you can also see our favorite video below, just for a bit of perspective!