Sunday, November 9, 2008

3rd Interview: love what you do, do what you love

1st order: I had my third Interview with the head of a well established communication agency in Dubai. The agency comprises 25 people all from very diverse national and cultural backgrounds, including many women. Consequently, all projects are by organizational nature very cross-cultural.
Managing Cross-Culturality and Complexity
When asking how they manage their projects I was introduced to some simple, but straight forward strategies:
1) Keep the number of people working in the organization at around or below twenty. Communication at this size is still possible via mouth-to-mouth conversations. I was told that when the organization grows larger than twenty the complexity increases dramatically. Personal interactions are no longer easy to be managed and the people get out of touch. An organization with twenty people is still the appropriate size in which each member can know what the others are doing.
2) Love what you do, do what you love. Enjoying work is an essential part in successful organization. Clients projects are chosen when someone on the team likes to work on them or not. If this is not the case, projects are refused. Just work with clients who you personally associate with.
3) National background is not of importance, what counts are the personal qualifications and capabilities. People working in the agency are of the same kind: cosmopolitan, open-minded, not restricted by cultural boarders. Multi-culture is a desired asset and advantage.
4) Women in the organization are considred as a competitive advantage for multi-tasking and integrating others.
5) No politics no prides! People in the organization are rather seen as part of a family than just working colleagues. The whole human being is of importance, going out on events, organizing get-togethers, having dinners, fostering and supporting individual development from organizational side.
On Arabic Culture and Identity
I have been told that the Arabic identity follows a cascade of family, tribe, region and then nationality. This has to be considered and is the baseline of all social actions. When it comes to Emirati in Dubai, the systems of political and business circles are much closed. Established ties are strong and relationships are regularly fostered. They tend to be long time established.

1 comment:

  1. According to Hofstede's cross-cultural research, the Arab countries are generally characterised by a collectivistic culture with a high power distance. Therefore, the emphasis is on the group and the community - be it the family or the company.
    With the family as the role model for all collective forms, it accounts for the strong relevance of interpersonal relationships and networking in every facet of Arab society.
    As a consequence, in business contexts, personal qualifications and capabilities are generally less important - as establishing and nourishing relationships define business success.