Dean Foster to Lead GMS Module 3 in Dallas, 16 May

If you frequently travel for business, work with cross-border teams, or manage global talent, you’ve probably had or witnessed a few awkward experiences arising from a lack of cultural awareness or understanding.

But where do you find the tools needed to master cultural fluency? 

You can start in Dallas Texas, USA, on 16 May 2018, during an interactive, in-person presentation of The Intercultural Challenge: Supporting Successful International Assignments session. It’s one of Worldwide ERC®’s three-part Global Mobility Specialist (GMS)® designation training modules. Coinciding with the Worldwide ERC® Americas Mobility Conference, it’s a cultural learning option, open to enrollment by conference attendees and non-registrants alike.

The full day program, which runs from 08:30 to 16:30, connects you with peers to better understand culture differences, and how and why they developed. Delve into case studies that will reveal the key things to know about intercultural theory and how to apply it. You can learn about the role of culture in global talent assignment assessment and selection, how to be more effective on global teams and some of the keys to developing global leaders. 

Dean Foster, founder of DFA Intercultural Services and Executive Strategic Consultant for Dwellworks Intercultural, will lead the day’s instruction. He brings plenty of experience to the role, having built a career as a researcher, writer, lecturer and consultant to multinational clients on the nature of culture and its role in society and work. He has written five global business books, is a regular guest author on, and hosts the “Oops – Your Culture’s Showing” podcast.

We caught up with Dean during some of his own recent travel around the globe to ask him a few questions about the GMS® Module 3 training.

What’s unique about this training?

“Culture is a subtle, human subject – which is all the more reason to explore it with other people. You can certainly learn a lot from books and the online versions of the GMS® modules, too, and the same information is presented in both the in-person and online version of the Module 3 segment. But the insights, experiences and cultures that participants in the room bring to the session make for a highly enriched learning experience. No two classes are alike - we all benefit from hearing how the information presented plays out in the individuals’ real-life experiences that reflect the very differences we’re talking about.”

"Attendees leave with a plan to do things differently and become more effective in their roles.”

What do you see as the most valuable takeaways from this training?

“We start with an immediately interactive experience, so right away, participants begin to see how culture influences all of us and our interactions with one another. In my many years presenting this course, two things stand out from the feedback we’ve had:

  1. A customized action plan. Participants find the factual information, case studies and strategies very beneficial, but what they really appreciate are the exercises that have helped them identify how that knowledge immediately translates to their own work, and what specific actions they are comfortable doing right away to make a difference. Attendees leave with a plan to do things differently and become more effective in their roles.
  2. More than they bargained for. I can’t tell you how many times people have reported getting even more out of this experience than they expected to. Most people come in thinking about culture strictly in a business or travel context, but they discover that they can apply the practical applications they’re building throughout the day to all of the relationships and human interactions in their lives.”

Why is cultural competency important?

“As I shared in a recent Mobility magazine article, we are living in a world of hyperlinked intercultural contact. In spite of some of the more recent populist or nationalistic geopolitical movements we’re seeing, globalization is not going away. There is a complicated reality of working with cultures that are fundamentally and profoundly different, but that also share a small, thin layer of superficially similar global work behaviors. Understanding and managing those cultural differences remains one of the most important skills to master – those individuals and organizations that know how to manage cultural contacts successfully will come out ahead.”

Take the first step toward mastering your own skills by enrolling in the 2018 Global Mobility Specialist Module 3 course. You can earn the GMS® designation by completing all three modules, in any order (Modules 1 and 2 are available online) and by passing on online exam.

Learn more about how and why to earn the Worldwide ERC® GMS®

Learn more about the Americas Mobility Conference

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