Friday, May 27, 2016

Review of "Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process" by Andy Molinsky

This is a much delayed review post of the book "Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process" (published by Harvard Business Review Press) written by Andy Molinsky.

I've had Global Dexterity for two years now and while life events have prevented me from writing a review for IHEC Blog the time allowed me to find time to read it twice.  It's a fantastic book on one that I keep in the International Programs Office library at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and I recommend to many of the MBA students I meet with to talk about their international exchange program interests.  I have found Global Dexterity to be very helpful to me in my international travels!

Andy Molinsky is a Professor of International Management and Organizational Behavior at Brandeis University's International Business School and he is an expert on the challenges people experience when adapting to foreign settings.  Molinsky defines global dexterity as "the capacity to adapt your behavior, when necessary, in a foreign cultural environment to accommodate new and different expectations that vary from those of your native cultural setting".

Global Dexterity is an easy read and one that is accessible to people from all cultural backgrounds and is broken down into three parts.  The Table of Contents follows:

Part One
Why Global Dexterity Matters

1. Introduction to Global Dexterity
2. Psychological Challenges of Developing Global Dexterity

Part Two
How to Develop Your Own Global Dexterity

3. Diagnose the New Cultural Code
4. Identify Your Own Challenges with the New Cultural Code
5. Overcome Challenges by Customizing Your Cultural Behavior
6. Integrate What You Have Learned Through Rehearsal and Evaluation

Part Three
Fine-Tuning Your Global Dexterity

7. Charting Your Progress Over Time
8. Getting Others to Forgive Your Cultural Mistakes
9. Finding a Cultural Mentor
10. Choosing Whether or Not to Adapt Your Behavior

Conclusion: The Myth and Reality of Adapting Behavior Across Cultures

The most valuable part of Global Dexterity for me is the second chapter on "Psychological Challenges of Developing Global Dexterity".  Molinsky's first statements in this chapter really hit home with me and it is this chapter that really captured my attention.  Molinsky states that "many people assume that knowledge is the key to intercultural success.  But mere knowledge about cultural differences is not enough to be successful abroad. You need to be able to transfer that knowledge into action." and he is so right.  The book really makes one reflect and the book only gets better as you read on.

Global Dexterity will be of interest and value to everyone who crosses international borders for personal travel, study/research and business and is a book that I fully recommend without reservation!  You can purchase your copy today (at a very nice price) via Powell's here.

Disclaimer:  Aside from receiving a copy of the book I receive no compensation or any privileges from the review of Global Dexterity.

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