Modern Franchise Magazine August 2013 - Page 56

profile building cross-cultural effectiveness, effective communications and engagement. There is an increasing demand for our One-onOne coaching services. We draw from a wide range of proven, research based tools to up-skill and strengthen leadership, improve staff engagement, enhance productivity and strengthen cross-cultural effectiveness. These tools include Appreciative Inquiry, workstyle profiling, Lominger Architect suite of tools, ExcelL and CultureActive (two inter-cultural skills tools) and Culture-Connect which is a unique approach we have developed through our work in this area. 7. What challenges did you face in setting up your business? Being new to the market, establishing ourselves and deciding the best business model for us were challenges. For the past six years we have used an associate business model. However our biggest challenge has been in getting companies to recognise that in a growing global economy more than ever before, effective cross-cultural communications skills are an essential leadership and staff competency. Interestingly this challenge is in itself a reflection of Australia and New Zealand’s egalitarian values i.e. that we all have the same opportunities and should treat all people the same. Often our services have been engaged for other work, where we can see that there are deeper cultural influences also play. Part of our challenge is getting our clients and potential clients to recognise and acknowledge those cultural Influences. 8. Tell us about some of the expectations that you had. Have they been met? This is very much a work in progress. We wanted to work with ‘Perfect Clients’ i.e. clients where we shared a strong alignment of values, had a mutual respect and were willing to explore building a longterm relationship. This way we are really able to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of where we can add greater value in addressing their needs. This is far more satisfying than a more transactional relationship. We are committed to making a positive difference and to helping our client’s achieve their business objectives particularly in the areas we work. For us one of the best ways to do this is by working with influential leadership groups. By and large we have managed to do that. Much of our work has come through and continues to be on a referral basis. It is hard work but good work and it has always been enjoyable. 9. What types of services do you offer? We offer a range of diversity training, cultural awareness and cross-cultural communications skills workshops. These also include pre-posting and pre-travel briefings, Inter-cultural mentoring and In-Country transition training. We have particular expertise in strategic facilitation, executive coaching, team development to build high performance teams and Pacific Communications. We are in the process of developing an online stream to our business. We also work with businesses expanding or exporting overseas to assist with improving their cultural awareness of the of the region in which they are expanding or exporting 56 | Modern Franchise Magazine maxiom