Slam-Bam Sam (that was me) is making his way to the Shopping Centre right down the road, or so he thinks. I am standing at the bus stop, but the buses keep going the wrong direction – why?
I am standing on the right side of the street but the buses are going left. Before I moved to West London, I didn’t study the geography of the city. And once I got there I hadn’t paid enough attention or become immersed in my neighborhood to have NorthSouthEastWest become commonsense in my head, so that I would stand in the correct place – WHY NOT?
Maybe this: I thought that by way of a sort of Spirit-compelled teleportation, I was lifted mid-career out of my day job in Trenton, NJ. My transition overseas was so spiritual that it seemed unnecessary to know east from west in my next venue. I’ve got the Spirit. Mission over mind – who needs skills? What?
Given the urgency of the mission, given that I was a smart and successful guy so far, what prep did I really need? Let me get Slam-Bam on his way and get the job done.
You may think: As a business expert with international experience why research markets? After all, even Mike Baer says, “Market research . . . is both a very important part of a business plan and at the same time can be a big waste of time.” But maybe you disagree. Whether you agree or disagree, at least like many BAM proponents you are talking about business skills leading to business profits.
Yet for many BAM proponents “Cross-Cultural” is pretty much a waste of a word, two words. Much of BAM discourse uses “Cross-Cultural” as a throwaway adjective. It only means – “We are leaving America!”
On our very best platform, one BAM author writes: “Cross-cultural issues are very complex.” The author drops this CROSS-CULTURAL hat on us, and that’s it. Then the author walks away and talks away about a business issue– making sure that the market in the Other culture will pay. For them, it’s about business skills not cross-cultural skills.
Let’s really start talking about how Other cultures operate in life and business.
Other-culture commonsense underpins Other-culture business!
What will motivate us to skill ourselves so that we learn and use the essential commonsense of the Other culture for business . . . and also for mission?
BAM conferences, websites and bloggers need to generate serious professional talk about skills in cross-culturality that lead both to profitable businesses and to good news that can be understood in the Other culture.
Don’t be like Slam-Bam Sam and end up waiting on the wrong side of the road for a bus that never comes.