However, such disjuncture quite narrowly focuses on 'culture' - the way people are - and encourage superficial adjustments, whereas I wish to address the issue of behaviour at a deeper level. Expertise is not about wearing a smile and nodding your head correctly: It is about addressing professional challenges and maintaining ethical behaviour in the changed context. Arriving at this not only means dealing with the disjuncture as told - bow when handing over business card to the Japanese business partner - but reconciling it with one's own professional behaviour and ethical standards at the same time. My quest, therefore, is to create a framework that can address such issues.
I am therefore designing an activity to start with, which allows people to examine their own assumptions, by first becoming aware of them. Once this is achieved, the three 'capitals' become easier to acquire. Indeed, this needs to be followed up by Intent, to understand why one must acquire the 'capitals'. This, then, will lead to a plan to acquire the 'capitals', understanding them, exploring the models and resolving the issues around own behaviour and comfort zones. Finally, this should lead to a cycle of application of the learned concepts, which should, in my scheme of things, lead to another cycle of disjuncture, intent, plan and experience, and so on and so forth.
My planned sequence of activities then is this:
1. The Disjuncture - An activity to explore own assumptions that underlie behaviour
2. The Intent - Understanding the challenges of global engagements
3. The Plan - Understanding the three 'capitals', planning to acquire the same by exploring various ways to do so
4. The Experience - Applying the learned behaviour in different aspects of global work, and through this, exploration of own assumptions, yet again.
I am currently putting this learning programme together for a course that I wrote for U-Aspire and want to implement shortly for a group of managers in the UK. But the idea will be to structure this broadly in cultural terms so that this could be easily done for other settings and cultures as well. Indeed, I shall believe that learning is not just about design, and more will be revealed as I start doing it. I know that the simple terms, such as 'knowing cultural assumptions', run deeper - this may need to be explored over and over again, in the context of not just 'national cultures' but the particular influences that particular learner may have had. And, accordingly, all plans are personal - and while I must design the learning, I must keep open the outcomes and be able to accept a variety of views, values and approaches. This is just the first step in this very interesting activity.