Mapa Kulturowa, różnorodność

Culture Map – a tool for navigating diversity

Diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI is an established human resource component or initiative in most global workplaces. Every single project has diversity. Teams are global and divers in culture, gender, physical ability, language and many other factors. DEI initiatives work towards establishing equitable and psychologically safe workplace which is a practise element in Agile teams.

Cultural awareness is one of the most important competences of a project leaders.

Components of diversity awareness and cultural competencies:

  • Be mindful of individual and team aims and working relationships.
  • Use a leadership approach and style that best suits the situation and the stakeholders.
  • Understand that motivations and working styles of individuals and groups vary based on experiences, age, culture, job roles, and other influences.
  • Projects with diverse locations, industries, stakeholders, and cultures require communication and openness to build trust

Source: PMI® Authorized PMP® Exam Prep Course

Cultural awareness has several benefits, including:

  • Improved communication.Understanding different cultures can help to communicate more effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Better relationships. Being aware of cultural differences helps in building stronger, more respectful relationships with people from other cultures.
  • Increased empathy. Understanding and appreciating different cultures can help to develop empathy and compassion for others.
  • Greater flexibility. Being culturally aware can help in navigating unfamiliar situations and adapting to new environments more easily.
  • Improved problem-solving. Cultural awareness can help you approach problems and conflicts from different perspectives, leading to more creative and effective solutions.
  • Better decision making. Having a better understanding of cultural context helps in improving decision-making by taking into account the cultural nuances of the problem or situation.
  • Enhanced creativity. Being aware of different cultures improves creativity and generating new ideas.
  • Greater competitiveness. Being culturally aware can give you an edge in a globalized world by helping you understand and connect with diverse customers, employees, and partners.

Join the PMI® Authorised PMP® Exam Prep Course or the Transition Manager Academy (TMA), where we explore the topic of diversity and multicultural teams, and the TMA study programme includes a separate module where you will learn about cultural mapping in practice.

Culture Map by Erin Meyer

Erin Meyer, a professor at INSEAD and an expert on cross-cultural management, has developed a framework called the “8 Dimensions of Culture Map” to help understand and navigate cultural differences. These eight dimensions are:

  1. Communicating – low vs high-context

    The communicating dimension refers to the amount of implicit versus explicit communication in a culture. Low context cultures rely on direct, explicit communication, while high context cultures rely on implicit communication and nonverbal cues. In low context cultures, information is explicitly stated, while in high context cultures, information is often conveyed through unspoken signals and context.

  2. Evaluating – direct vs indirect negative feedback

    This dimension refers to the way people provide negative feedback. Direct negative feedback is straightforward and direct, while indirect negative feedback is more subtle and implied.

  3. Persuading – principle first (deductive) vs application first (inductive)

    Inductive reasoning involves drawing conclusions based on patterns and observations. It is often associated with “bottom-up” thinking, where specific examples or observations are used to form general conclusions. On the other hand deductive reasoning involves deducing general principles from specific premises. In deductive reasoning, decisions are made based on established principles and rules, rather than on the specific context of a situation.

  4. Leading – egalitarian vs hierarchical

    The leading dimension refers to the way power and authority are structured in a culture. Egalitarian cultures emphasize equal distribution of power and authority, while hierarchical cultures emphasize a clear chain of command and differentiation of power and authority.

  5. Deciding – consensual vs top-down

    This refers to the way decisions are made. In cultures that emphasize a consensual approach, decisions are made through agreement and collaboration among all parties involved, while in cultures that emphasize a top-down approach, decisions are made by those in positions of power.

  6. Trusting – task-based vs relationship-based

    This dimension refers to the way trust is established in a culture. In cultures that emphasize task-based trust, trust is based on the completion of specific tasks or goals, while in cultures that emphasize relationship-based trust, trust is based on personal relationships and interactions.

  7. Disagreeing – confrontational vs avoids confrontation

    Refers to the way disagreement and conflict are handled. In cultures that emphasize confrontation, disagreements are dealt with openly and directly, while in cultures that avoid confrontation, disagreements are often dealt with indirectly or avoided altogether.

  8. Scheduling – linear vs flexible time

    The scheduling dimension refers to the way time is perceived and used. In cultures that emphasize linear time, time is seen as a finite and structured resource, while in cultures that emphasize flexible time, time is seen as more fluid and open to change.

Culture map

Cultural map of the nationalities from the first edition of the TMA made in Erin Meyer’s The Country Mapping Tool

Meyer’s framework aims to help individuals and organizations understand and navigate cultural differences in order to work more effectively across cultures. Understanding these eight dimensions can help you to better understand the cultural context of any situation and make more effective decisions.

More on these eight dimensions soon.

Additional materials

Sign up for our newsletter. Each week you will receive a letter from us with articles worth reading, tools for working with teams, tips and interesting facts about project management.