Recently I rediscovered a short presentation by Derek Sivers, best known as the founder of CD Baby. Derek gave his talk at one of the renowned TED conferences. I’ve watched this two-and-a-half-minute clip several times over the past years. Even though this video has nothing to do with the cultural differences between Germany and the United States, it has everything to do with them.
What I find so compelling about it is that Sivers manages to challenge monocultural mindsets and to unmask the lack of cultural intelligence in a simple and entertaining, yet charming way. We all make wrong assumptions when interacting with different cultures. That’s why it is important that we are aware of our biases. If we don’t anticipate the cultural gap we’ll have a hard time preparing for it.
It’s a basic cultural competency: Never assume that the norms you consider “normal” are “normal” elsewhere.
Go ahead, watch Derek’s TED talk. Watch it over and over again – let’s say once a quarter. It’s that good.