Cross-cultural means not only the differences between ethnic, racial or national groups. It is more. Cross-cultural confrontations arise by the differences of genders, educational levels, differences in thinking of diverse companies` departments (e.g. production versus research & development, marketing versus finance), the mix of musicians or styles of painting. However, there is a lot of danger in cross-cultural collaboration: Diversity means different views, opinions, values and objectives easily generating misunderstandings and quarrels possibly ending up with serious conflicts. The conflicts may trigger new approaches and breakthroughs or lead to a state of frozen relations and stagnation. Sensitivity to the values and views of other cultures, open communication and aware leadership are traits helping to capitalize on cross-cultural influences. In further discussions with our friends of the EACI board we changed our mind for the new conference topic to CROSS-CULTURAL INNOVATION. Cross-cultural Innovations are new and origin problem solutions, which are generated in confronting problems with cross-cultural aspects. In many cases such solutions are breakthroughs and the start of a paradigm shift. Another advantage of such solutions is that they even influence the subconscious of stakeholders' problems. Only cross-cultural solutions minimize the risk of hidden problems which develop under the surface in merger projects. Especially mergers of big companies are successful if change-managers are able to transfer cross-cultural conflicts in new challenging objectives. Bridging cultural gaps by visionary leadership is the way to bring people together and to create new common innovative enterprises or departments.
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