Multi-national efforts are now required for resilient corporations. Leaders with a global perspective know that inspired efforts are the basis of sustained growth. Innovation, design, and creative thinking are the areas that distinguish one company’s product offerings, or value proposition from another. This is a crucial topic for students attending OI 361 - Innovation, Design, and Creativity.
Cross-cultural fertilization is a tool used to enhance innovation. Based on observation of things that are popular in parts of the world, it looks at the fundamental reasons why such things became popular. Even in the global age of rapid transference of ideas from one culture to another, there still exists many opportunities for seeing how different cultures approach a particular concept. There is great value identifying what caused the response that created popularity.
Each culture has significant prowess in certain directions. Not everything applies everywhere, but many of the best things are applicable on a more global than localized basis. For example, packaging design in Japan receives more detailed attention than in other parts of the world. In Japan, the presentation of each product is an integral part of the offering. The packaging design is equally as important as the product itself. The Japanese take great care in such packaging even when the product is a very inexpensive one, such as a candy. The excellent presentation of the product is a part of its overall acceptance. German engineers are known worldwide for their attention to quality, which is equal to attention to detail. This is strongly a sense of national pride. These trends are wide cultural standards not at all noted here, to form prejudice or stereotypes, but to recognize the positive benefits of strong cultural influences.
To think “out of the box” is defined as different. Many totalitarian governmental structures cannot tolerate this. Thankfully, there are still places in the world where being unique has its own reward. America earned worldwide prominence based on this essential freedom. In other countries, the group is more important than any one individual. In those places, creative thinking, especially when it goes against the status quo, is not welcomed, even severely discouraged.
Recognizing the benefits and the disadvantages of each culture is the key for creating a global perspective. The utopian view is the idea that it is possible to imagine a world made up of only the best expressions of all cultures. Yet, many things are contradictory such as individual expression versus adherence to group norms. The modern manager understands these contradictions and sees the world as a vast tapestry, with some parts of the world better than others at performing certain tasks.