- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (May 27, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1610392507
- ISBN-13: 978-1610392501
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 227 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business Hardcover – May 27, 2014
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"Whether you're a corporate or traditional diplomat, global traveler, government official, or passionate world citizen, this is the one book you should not miss. Chock-full of real-world examples and a simple framework that can be utilized in any cross-cultural context, Meyer's work is characterized by a fresh and relevant voice, distilling down the essentials of communicating, persuading and working effectively around the globe. It is rare that I pick up a cross-cultural book and can't put it down."―Cari Guittard, Huffington Post
"With business becoming ever global, there are a raft of books available on dealing with cultural differences. If you only read one, make it INSEAD professor Erin Meyer's...Skillfully blend[s] real-life examples...with an analytical framework... What brings this book to life are the numerous examples Meyer has encountered, both in her own life as an American living in Paris, and in her experience as running the Managing Virtual Teams module at INSEAD."―HR Magazine, 5 star review
"The book abounds with well-chosen anecdotes to illustrate the misunderstandings that can arise from clashing cultural assumptions, making this enlightening book a pleasure to read."―Foreign Affairs
"This readable book explains how to dramatically increase organisational success by improving our ability to understand the behaviour of colleagues, clients, and suppliers from different countries."―Professional Manager (UK)
"A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures...Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business."―Kirkus Reviews
"In a relaxed, entertaining, but always knowledgeable style, Meyer draws on numerous examples from her experiences to explain how to detect the invisible barriers in the global business world--and how to get past them."―Siemens Industry Journal
About the Author
Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, one of the world's leading international business schools. Her work focuses on how the world's most successful global leaders navigate the complexities of cultural differences in a multicultural environment. Living and working in Africa, Europe, and the United States prompted Meyer's study of the communication patterns and business systems of different parts of the world. Her framework allows international executives to pinpoint their leadership preferences, and compare their methods to the management styles of other cultures. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Singapore Business Times, and Forbes.com. In 2013 Erin was selected by the Thinkers50 Radar list as one of the world's up-and-coming business thinkers. She is the recipient of the 2015 Thinkers50 RADAR Award. Follow her on Twitter: @ErinMeyerINSEAD
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The content is common sense, the framework is easy to grasp, and the author has collected years of anecdotal observations appropriate for widespread relevance. She's clear and diagnostic in her advice and communication. Solid credibility, expertise and content. Get the book, read the book, full stop.
Two giant and important stars docked as an alert to potential buyers of the audio portion of the book, which I would rate a zero were there not a text version available. Stop reading now if you were only going to buy the text version.
Three irredeemable strikes against the audio version undermine Ms. Meyer's excellent efforts:
1) The voice. As a business professional, you expect an authoritative presentation, much as you would experience during a conference or training session. You do not expect to be "read to" like a child attending a library reading. Yet the sing-songy community-theatre performance sounds just like the latter. (In fact, would be great at voicing schoolbooks to bring education to life.) This kills any notion of serious executive authority.
2) The presentation. Because the narrator is obviously not versed in the language of business (let that sit for a moment...) she presents topics that are fundamental and crisp enough in writing as overly pedantic and breathless epiphanies. If you come across this sentence in the middle of an everyday business book paragraph - "One crucial principle to remember is that communicating is not just about speaking but also listening." - in context, a reader can reasonably assume we've finished with discussing the speaking topic, and we're transitioning over to the listening topic. However, the narrator naively presents this like it's a knowledge bomb you've never heard before -- ARE YOU WRITING THIS DOWN?? -- making the topic level seem more elementary and basic than you thought.
3) I've saved the most surprising - and most egregious - for last. I'm still kind of not believing it myself.
During the numerous multi-cultural examples, the narrator acts out the quotes from various cultures like puppet-show skits... by using mildly offensive, badly-impersonated foreign dialects in fake-broken English. Think of every cartoon stereotype, and it's re-enacted in this audiobook. I can't even begin to put my head around how the decision was made in developing a "how to communicate professionally across international cultures" book that it's OK to categorically lump entire countries into an inexpert caricature of their languages. Hey, it's not me being overly sensitive: it's pointing out the irony of this conscious decision in an international communication handbook!
Maybe in the finale (I am having trouble getting through it) the narrator will surprise us in the audience with the revelation that the audio performance was just a parable to teach one of the "practical strategies for handling cross-cultural missteps" that the book promises and otherwise delivers on.
We are business readers and we expect business value, not a sugar-coated lesson from Mary Poppins. To be clear, Mary Poppins is the definitive darling and a greatly loved character - but not a business trainer. Please, please narrate this book yourself, just as you train and present and educate. Please tell me this was a V1. Please tell me it was a joke.
Myers says, "The point here is that when examinging how people from different culture relate to one another, what matters is not the absolute position of either culture on the scale but rather the relative position of the two cultures. It is this relative positioning that determines how people view each other." In other words, you can't claim someone is a specific way without understanding the person you are describing them to more fully. For example, if I say "she is friendly" to both a very quiet person and to a vocal extrovert the expectations they develop may vary. One version of friendly might look very laid back and smiley, while the other looks more chatty and charismatic. I plan to use this resource for all levels of culture mapping both when abroad and on my home base.
Most recent customer reviews
My daughter (a China expert) referred this to me -- for 'understanding' of 'East vs West'...
VERY, VERY HELPFUL...Read more