Training in intercultural management is a passport to a complex and rewarding landscape of cross-cultural situations and cross-cultural communication challenges. At no other time has there been such a need for managers who understand the intricate cultural dynamics that are affecting professionals in industries all over the world.
With the skill set obtained through advanced courses in intercultural management, an individual has many career choices to pursue. People with this training and background may have titles such as:
Chief Diversity Officer
The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) serves in an executive level leadership role. The role is a fluid one and usually defined within the context of a particular business setting. Having said this, there are some general responsibilities a CDO would be expected to perform, such as overseeing the implementation of a cohesive diversity strategy and ensuring that the strategy is aligned with the business’ goals; creating awareness programs for executives and employees; encouraging the start-up of employee networks and supporting existing ones; offering expertise to help facilitate innovations within organizational teams; and managing demographic changes that influence cross-cultural communications.
There is no one set career path, which is why many of today’s diversity officers emerge not only from human resources but from other core disciplines such as marketing and operations.
As corporate diversity grows, the need for diversity officers grows as well. In 2005, less than 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies employed a CDO. That number has grown considerably, and companies such as Starbucks, American Express, W.W. Grainger and McDonald's have created chief diversity executive positions.
Global Operations Managers
Global Operations Managers are generally responsible for providing leadership for the organization’s operations to ensure organizational effectiveness and contribute to the development of long-term policies and strategies that are aligned with the organization’s business philosophy and culture. They may also direct the US side of manufacturing, engineering and purchasing; coordinate, manage and monitor the workings of various departments; prepare operational budgets; monitor adherence to rules and regulations; coordinate cross-cultural communication; and maintain customer interaction and explanation of operational practices.
As with the chief diversity officer, global management is relatively new and the role and path to it are undefined and constantly evolving. It should be noted, however, that global companies and multinational organizations are looking for a new breed of manager, someone who can lead as well as be a member of a team, understands complex systems, and can develop and maintain flexible and innovative business practices.
International HR Directors
International Human Resources Directors will work globally in company operations; implement staff placement from returning overseas assignments; train team members to work in various international operations and translate cultural and international customs for North American staff. They may also maintain corporate policies for transportability to other countries; inform executive management of all transitional issues and provide solutions when needed.
The career path of an international HR director is a bit more defined than other intercultural business positions. Generally an individual would climb the HR ladder, starting with a position as a generalist HR and moving through the ranks of talent management/recruitment, HR systems manager, occupational health and HR business partner, before settling into an international position.
There is an upward trend for many international business careers. As more companies hire employees within the United States as well as overseas, the role of an International HR Director will develop and play a major part in how business is conducted in the global arena.
There are many exciting career opportunities within management that require intercultural management expertise. A few have been covered here, and our information is meant to introduce the scope of intercultural management. Individuals who are interested in following one of these career paths are advised to research further and look into local requirements and job market conditions.