If anyone within a company should be culturally competent, shouldn't it be the global mobility team? We can debate that, but while there might be a list of other people that should be culturally competent within your company, the global mobility team would probably be on that list.
So, what exactly makes a worker "world ready?" What kind of information, what kind of skills do they need and what kind of situations will your employees need to understand how to navigate? In other words, to obtain cultural competency, what exactly needs to be taught and how do you know when someone has achieved it?
One of my "go to" people when it comes to anything related to educating on culture is Dean Foster. I can always glean a new learning from his presentations, newsletters, articles and podcasts (Oops, Your Culture's Showing!). In this updated article, Creating the Culturally Competent Company, he charges HR (and I would include global mobility teams) with the responsibility of challenging and supporting the company with the goal of being a successful company...everywhere!
Dean explains that, "Cultural competency is not a “nice-to-do” afterthought. In the highly competitive global market, if your competition has this skill and your people don’t, guess who gets the deal? Cultural competency is precisely the hard skill you need to compete in the 21st century, and it powers every global project and every international assignment toward success. And international HR directors are responsible for making this happen."
Read it to consider what you can do to help your company move from where it is to the next step. Are you primarily focused on domestic and seeking to be global, global seeking to be post-global? He reminds us to "remember that the ability to work globally, to do things in culturally competent ways, is now a requirement for everyone in the 21st century organization, whether at the leadership (strategic), managerial (tactical), or support (awareness) level...there is simply no wiggle room for cultural ignorance anymore."
For more on the topic of cultural intelligence, consider some of these previous posts:
A few days ago, I made a presentation to several hundred HR directors of global companies, each one charged with (whether they knew it or not) the responsibility of taking their companies into the post-global future. As everyone knows by now, the most valuable asset in an organization is its people, and unless they understand how to work in a post-global environment, they — and hence, their company — simply cannot succeed in the 21st century.