We had three days of training last week, ranging from presentation skills to intercultural readiness. We definitely learned, and we also had some fun. My favorite moments.
Teacher: "Person Y, how would you feel if Person X was getting paid $10,000 more for the same job as you?"
Person Y: "I would be happy for him"
Needless to say, other than the fact that compensation might be a touchy subject based on all of us just having our performance review, that question couldn't have hit the nail on the head more closely. Of course following that was a description of an experiment illustrating that even monkeys react negatively to unequal compensation...
This was one of a few sessions that came very close to Pandora's box. It was just classic when the teacher would ask a question and there would be silence on our end. It wasn't that we didn't have an opinion, it was that we didn't feel like saying what we really thought...and in some cases, when we did, the point did not very clearly make it to the management (I will censor those stories). It did make us wonder at times who really needed the intercultural readiness though...
And last but not least, how to be an agent of change:
Teacher: "How do you tell them to do something different?"
Student: "I tell them Nokia/GE/Apple is doing it."
Ah yes, the world of the fast follower. Logic is less important than what our competitors are doing. But that is what keeps it interesting in a large corporation, right?