Earlier this week, I introduced readers to the incredible author Barry Tomalin, and explored through an interview what influenced and fascinated him most in writing his latest book, The World’s Business Cultures: How to Unlock Them. Now, some additional insights from Barry:
- What is the single most fascinating thing you discovered when writing the book? I think it is the stories that gave life to the book. I follow the Dale Carnegie principle: Tell a story, then make a point; make a point, then illustrate it with a story. It is hard to select just one, but my favorite might be the story I share about Jeanne Brett’s work on Fusion Teams at the Kellogg School of Management, which readers can find on page 169.
- In addition to reading your book and traveling internationally, what else can help enlighten business professionals about world business cultures? The worldwide web. Enter ‘Indonesian business culture’ for example, and readers will open up an ongoing world of advice and support. However, as with everything on the Web, we all have to use our critical judgment to determine what is proven and valuable, rather than unverified advice.
- What would you like to explore next on world cultures? One culture that is absolutely crucial to the understanding of future world business is the culture of China. As the Chinese are learning about us, we need to be learning more about China. I also had the privilege of living in West Africa which is an extraordinarily rich culture. I am keen to do more work in that area.
- What are you reading now? I just found a four volume history of China, written by Chinese scholars, so I’ve begun going through that. History matters in forming cultural expectations. I’ve also updated my book on Germany and found a wonderful reference by Philip Oltermann called Keeping up with the Germans. Anyone interested in Germany will love it!
Many thanks to Barry for taking the time to share his insights with us. I can’t wait to see what is next from him as an author, trainer, and global business consultant!