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Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals Hardcover – August 14, 2012
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Succeeding in today's global economy requires organizations to acquire, develop, and retain professionals who can operate effectively around the world, irrespective of country or culture. More than ever before, organizations need a pipeline of professionals who possess cultural agilitythe ability to quickly, comfortably, and successfully work in cross-cultural and international environments.
Filled with illustrative examples from a wide range of organizations, including the Peace Corps, the U.S. military, and many Fortune 500 companies, Cultural Agility offers business leaders and human resource professionals a step-by-step guide for creating and implementing highly effective, cutting-edge talent management practices to increase cross-cultural competence throughout their organizations. Validated through several years of her research and practice, Paula Caligiuri outlines the "Cultural Agility Competency Framework." This framework sets the foundation for the strategic talent management practices organizations need to effectively build a pipeline of culturally agile professionals, such as how to attract, recruit, and select professionals with cultural agility or those with the greatest propensity to readily develop cultural agility.
Cultural Agility also provides guidance for creating organizational cultures and HR systems to support the development of a workforce that is culturally agile. For example, international assignments are commonly enlisted as a means of developing global leaders, but these have proven to be only partially effective for building cultural agility. Caligiuri offers training and development practices that organizations can use in a learning system to continually build professionals' cross-cultural competencies, including specific recommendations for designing truly developmental international assignments.
This book is a must-have resource for human resource professionals and all business leaders who know that the key to their organizations' success in today's complex global economy is their culturally agile human talent.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Cultural Agility
"Any of us who travel outside our home country has experienced firsthand the need to be culturally agile. Caligiuri has done a marvelous job culling research, offering insights, and creating tools that will help us become more personally culturally agile. The twelve competencies give us a standard to prepare for new cultural experiences. Her work goes further to show how companies craft management practices to build a pipeline of agile global professionals. The book has great examples and applicable tools that any business or HR leader will adapt to ensure a stable supply of culturally agile global professionals."
Dave Ulrich, Ph.D., professor of business, University of Michigan; partner, The RBL Group; author, HR Transformation: Building Human Resources from the Outside In
"Cultural Agility masterfully illustrates the complex cognitive blend of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies needed to navigate successfully in cross-cultural contexts. From an overview of the requisite personality traits and skills, to recruiting and selection approaches, to development and training strategies, this work is an invaluable guide for organizational leaders whose success depends on intercultural competence."
Allison S. Greene-Sands, Ph.D., associate director for culture, Defense Language and National Security Education Office
"A must-read for leaders at all levels. Cultural Agility makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the importance of cultural context as a key determinant of the success of global leaders and their organizations. Context mattersand to successfully compete in today's global economy, cultural context matters a lot."
Charles G. Tharp, Ph.D., CEO, Center On Executive Compensation; executive vice president, HR Policy Association
"Every sectorwhether international development, sport, government, military, or businessis affected by globalization and the complexities it has created. This book is a must-read for organizational leaders wanting to ready a workforce able to successfully navigate these challenges."
Nicholas Craw, past director, Peace Corps; president and CEO, Automobile Competition Committee for the United States
"Caligiuri has captured the true essence of cultural competence. She provides practical solutions and ideas on how to implement practices and tools within an organization to develop global leaders!"
Karen Bicking, global manager, international development programs, Johnson & Johnson
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So what did I particularly like? The calls to action at the end of each chapter; her analysis of the important cross-cultural competencies; the practical ideas for assessing 'developmental' roles; the ideas on how to set and assess performance goals for international assignees; her call for recruitment, talent development and global mobility functions to 'work together in a more integrated way, rather than the complimentary way they are likely to be working today'.
Following on this last point, it's interesting to see Paula asserting that 'global mobility professionals have a unique lens through which talent development decisions should be made when the decisions involve international assignments'. I hope this helps challenge some of the narrow, more traditional thinking about leaving such responsibilities divided across HR silos. Companies need to find ways to plug the gap between talent and mobility if they going to succeed in their ambitions for more widespread global growth - and a strategy for invigorating talent mobility by identifying and adopting better practices is an essential first step. In my experience, it is the lack of ownership of the 'value proposition' for fast-track talent development through global mobility that serves to undermine the strategic approach to talent mobility that is essential to building and sustaining a pipeline of culturally-agile global leaders.
Thanks again Paula!
A Bible because P. Caligiuri takes the time to explore the contributions of the main authors and specialists in Intercultural matters.
Overall, Cultural Agility is a must-read for individuals who are in global leadership positions or who plan to be in the future. Students, particularly those who are interested in careers that may lead to global business travel or international assignments, would also benefit from the practical advice and real-life examples that Dr. Caligiuri weaves throughout this piece.