In an uber-connected world, with globally-dispersed teams, understanding and respecting cultural differences can be critical to the success of collaboration efforts. “Americans tend to believe that they've reached some sort of pinnacle in the way they practice choice.” Says Sheena Iyengar in her TED talk, The Art of Choosing. Sheena outlines three assumptions on choice by Americans and questions the validity of these assumptions across cultural boundaries.
According to Sheena, the three assumptions are:
- if a choice affects you, then you should be the one to make it. This is the only way to ensure that your preferences and interests will be most fully accounted for. It is essential for success.
- The more choices you have, the more likely you are to make the best choice.
- "You must never say no to choice."
I would like to share with you this wonderful and compelling presentation by Sheena, on the cultural assumptions and challenges on the issue of choice. The presentation is about 25 minutes long and worth every second.
Note: Sheena Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School and the Research Director at the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business.
What challenges have you faced (cultural or otherwise) working in a multinational, global team (virtual or otherwise)? What are your top recommendations?