Schlagwort-Archive: Affiliation

What border crossings are about

There was a time when Berlin was surrounded by a wall that made the city an island. At some point, you hit in West Berlin in all directions the wall, with only a few loopholes. Even today, the nocturnal journey through the former Checkpoint Charlie is still a noticeable border crossing, even without control and the wall. One dives from the white light of the West Berlin mercury vapor lamps and fluorescent tubes into the warm light of the East Berlin sodium vapor lamps. Even the attentive pedestrian notices that the traffic light man suddenly wears a hat. That’s what border crossings are about.

All kinds of systems live from the fact that something belongs to them and a lot of others do not. Often these boundaries are not so clearly marked. For this reason, it is important to be attentive to notice a passage from one system to another. The following aspects provide a simple grid to facilitate border crossings in a way that nobody takes any harm.

  • Context
    The space offers many recognizable boundaries – rivers, mountains, roads, walls, etc. Not every limitation automatically leads to an area with new regulations. However, it is very likely that something is changing, when you are exchanging the environment. Anyone who lives close to a river, on the left or right bank, knows these differences. Time also divides incessantly. Be it the past from the present or the present from the future or the before from the after. A border crossing also takes place when you enter a country after a long-haul flight by crossing the passenger boarding bridge – many passengers return home and others become aliens.
    You become aware of the context through these questions: Where am I? At what time?
  • Activity
    Especially diverse systems set up fields of activities or professions. Each type of employment creates a closed system with determined conditions, where those who belong to it understand each other. The others are excluded. This can be recognized by the clothing, the tools or the technical jargon – kick-off, throw-in, penalty, header, off-side (who might this be?). For outsiders, it is a kind of foreign language that must be learned.
    Quick access to the meaning could be achieved by asking: What is being done? What’s it called?
  • Abilities
    Over time, the abilities have become more and more specialized. However, it is possible to define areas of knowledge that together form a closed subject area, which in turn consists of specialized subsystems, which in turn … etc. This leads to different abilities between electro and thermos dynamicists or quantum physicists as well as to barriers of understanding between branches. The associated languages form further boundaries that demarcate or ostracize. Access to a different culture is made possible above all by the corresponding language competence – if Europeans speak of thinking, they point to the head, while Japanese tend to point to the heart.
    Overcoming this border is made possible by questions like – How do you do it? What do you have to learn?
  • Convictions
    The mental models of the members of a system are difficult to explore, because they only have an effect in the minds of the people. They become visible in the context, the actions and the demonstrated skills. The convictions form the mortar that connects groups of all kind. The crossing of the border is recognizable by the reactions of the people. If one violates their beliefs, like certain rituals or behavioral norms, then one is sanctioned without delay. At the same time, one is trapped in one’s own mental buildings – if, for example, justice is determined unilaterally. For some, a prison sentence is the worst, for others a flogging – although the need for punishment is common to both..
    The edge of convictions can be determined by cautious enquiries: How do you say that? What do you have to do?
  • Role
    A special form of border exists between roles. These are exceeded daily again and again – once you are an employee, then a boss, then a colleague, then a spouse, then a father, then a friend, then a member of the association, etc. In business life, roles are sometimes described in writing with task, authority and responsibility. The previous aspects (see above) are also different for each role – e.g. the different languages of the boss, the spouse and the association member.
    That’s why all the questions that were mentioned so far are raised here, as well as: What role is this? Which AKVs are included?
  • Affiliation
    The affiliation is the most difficult border because it hides fundamental aspects. Here the superordinate context of meaning and basic questions of life find deeply anchored answers. Fundamental borders, which are difficult to move, are formed by religions as well as economic and political systems. They are based on the personal belief and the bonds with one’s own roots.
    In order to cross these borders, respectful questions are necessary: What does that mean? What do I have to pay attention to?

Bottom line: We are constantly crossing borders unreflectively. Any border crossing can lead to a conflict. For this reason, it is important to be continuously aware of the limits. For this purpose one observes the context in which one finds oneself, the actions that happen, the abilities that become visible, the convictions that become recognizable, the roles that exist and the affiliation that characterizes the other side of the border. Borders lead to demarcation and ostracism, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional. Crossing borders is unavoidable, but can happen with the respective awareness in a way that nobody gets harmed. These are some aspects that border crossings are about.

The brand stamp – the ideal metaphor for cultural imprint

Common sense is influenced, when you daily take in fictional images of the media that are internalized by the mind like all other experiences – the self-healing powers of righteousness, the role models that achieve everything and the prescribed Hollywood happy ending. At the same time, you are shaped by the practical actions and behaviors, which take place around you. All this burns in permanently. In the end, you will not get rid of it. This makes the brand stamp an ideal metaphor for cultural imprint.

The cultural stamp becomes apparent in the things of everyday life: the context, the actions, the typical skills, the shared beliefs, the established roles and the perceived affiliation.

  • Affiliation
    The sense of belonging is the most sustainable pattern that anchors one in a particular culture. In the own team one is identified by the same shirt and the shared attitudes. This excludes all others who do not belong – especially those who emphasize their own identity. The attachment with one’s own group creates security and is maintained, for example, by a common symbol or shared rituals. This most primitive coinage is the hardest to change, if at all.
  • Role
    Actually, there are similar roles in all cultures – family, religious, social, economic or technical roles. Fearful little minds overlook these similarities and pour oil into the fire of the differences again and again. Although roles provide a good basis for a better understanding of the various cultural imprints. How is the Imam different from the priest or rabbi? How is the little sister (小妹妹) different from the Arab sister (شقيقة) and the sister in Mexico? The roles provide a good starting point for change.
  • Conviction
    The beliefs are the mental guiding principles fir everybody. They include values, mission, vision, strengths / weaknesses / opportunities / threads, goals and anything else that influences opinion- or decision-making. However, we never share all beliefs with other people. The individual properties lead to ever new, unique character traits. It is not enough to limit yourself to the stereotypes of the roles. The actual variety creates a large number of options, of which only a small number become reality. That’s why you have to watch closely and look for creative solutions. Change becomes possible, when the convictions start to shake and new mental conclusions emerge.
  • Capabilities
    While not all capabilities (I.e. skills, knowledge, experience) result from a formal education, these talents are always the basis for the desired outcomes. Skills include elementary sensory-motor (e.g., movements), cognitive (e.g., arithmetic, reading), cognitive-motor (e.g., writing, music-making), social (e.g., dealing with others), and perceptual (e.g., pattern recognition, kinesthetic differences). The knowledge consists of a variety of technical and general knowledge, the experience and the insights that are acquired in the course of practice. The key to new skills is persistent learning. Change can be prepared relatively easily with appropriate training.
  • Actions
    To better understand the cultural imprint, the actions are observed. This can be done by direct or hidden observation. The actions carried out can be interpreted based on the activities (e.g. planning, discussion, production or reporting), the linguistic expression (e.g. the expression of beliefs, desires, intentions, states), and the choice of words (e.g. key, stigma, abstract words and synonyms) as well as the style (e.g. gesture, facial expression, posture, volume, and tone). Through clever task distribution and a conscious corporate wording as well as a special code of conduct changes can be introduced easier
  • Context
    The context describes the environment in which one acts. This includes people (e.g., professionals, character heads), places (e.g., cities, architectural styles, and infrastructure) and things (e.g., vehicles, IT, gadgets). To which extent actions, abilities and values ​​are appropriate, can be determined through the context. Sometimes you have to adjust it, so that the desired changes take effect.

Bottom line: The cultural imprint has a great influence on the activities that are carried out. Roles bundle the individuals into a manageable number of groups, who feel connected to each other. The beliefs mainly include the values that have an effect in the role. Capabilities are the prerequisite for the actions that take place in a particular context. The responsible person for the change needs to take all these aspects into account to actually make a difference. Just as a branding can only be removed with a lot of effort, it is difficult to get rid of its original coinage. This makes the brand stamp to an ideal metaphor for cultural imprint.

Who am I?

The consistent self-image is the sum of the opportunities that are altogether at one’s disposal. This is particularly valid for individuals. Nevertheless, there is also a self-image of groups of any size. Accordingly cultural areas, nations, enterprises and specialists have additionally an understanding of their group. Employees have to co-operate nowadays more and more in temporary work forms, in teams, Joint ventures and the like. It requires that one has to integrate again and to find out the commonalities. Everything starts with the question: Who am I?

Selbstbild02

The model of the Logical levels by Robert Dilts for describing the self-image is a practical approach. The following questions are derived from it and should be answered by individuals, but also by groups.

  • What roles do I live?
    The self-image is certainly determined by the roles that one covers in everyday life – professionally and privately. The superior is a boss, colleague, father, association chairman etc. The aspects of the self-image are molded differently depending upon the roles – sometimes even contrarily. We cannot avoid in everyday life to harmonize different roles. A consistent big picture of all roles reduces tensions.
  • Where am I?
    The context, in which one acts, is crucial. It is specified by the stakeholders, the geographical scope and the timeframe. Even if the technical networks are widening this range, the context, where one personally is, remains the most important one.
  • What do I do?
    The actions become visible in the factual activities, in the recognizable patterns of behavior and in the planned measures. They show, what one does (contrary to what one thinks to do). Tensions result, if one misses to dissolve these differences.
  • What do I know?
    The technical, methodical, social and systemic abilities set the limits for the personal opportunities. Based on an overview of the existing and the required capabilities, the learning needs can be derived.
  • What do I believe?
    The convictions have a strong effect on the perception, the thinking, the communication and the actions. They consist of values, intentions and evaluations. Since these are contents that are difficult to grasp, it is favorable to clarify the corner stones of the personal convictions explicitly and to convey them continuously.
  • Where do I belong to?
    Not only the cultural area defines a person, but also the individual specialist areas. Based on them personal, collective and public order and orientation framework arise. They affect all roles (see above). Serious contradictions between the different areas produce conflicts that can be solved by a constant adjustment. For example, religious rules forbid to practice certain roles. Also a pronounced environmental awareness contradicts occupations that are known for extreme environmental damages.

The more harmonious the aspects of the self-image are, the more a role can be performed and the more authentically one is perceived by others.

Same series:

What do I do?

Where do I want to go?

Mirror, mirror on the wall

The mirror on the wall does not bring the substantial characteristics to light, because the self-image only becomes incompletely visible in a mirror. There are the soft factors that describe the nature of a person or a group of people. These can only be grasped or observed with difficulties. In addition, they are mostly processed unconsciously – if you meet someone for the first time, or look at the person intuitively or spend time with its publications. The explicit format of the self-image is the today’s form of the mirror on the wall. Thus, you describe your own traits and those of other persons and groups.

Selbstbild

These soft aspects of the Corporate Identity determine the social interaction with a target group and the co-operation within your own team.

Look at the target group in its environment. This provides indications of the convictions, the actual distribution of tasks and the affinity with a cultural system. The attributes can be determined in more detail by looking at publications and meetings.

The self-image is the basis for approaching the target group. By preparing the exchange of information, you avoid statements that contradict the attitudes of the audience. The detected traits and habits facilitate a more accurate formulation of your messages.

The mirror on the wall that is extended by the elements of the self-image provides the framework for a common self-understanding that fosters the social cohesion and co-operation.

Bottom line:Interaction within the own area and with others requires good expressions in words and pictures of your own character as well as the personality of counterparts.The self-image facilitates the description of the profiles.

Videos:

The self-image in a nutshell: http://ow.ly/wdjVo

Potential application areas: http://ow.ly/wdjWO

When in Rome, do as the Romans

The easiest way to approach people is via their culture – language, life style and experiences. Who would start in Italy a lecture in such a way: „Bonsoir Mesdames et Messieurs. Je suis enchanté que… “. Of course except, it is a Frenchman, who is giving a French lesson. Even then, it would be smart to start the course at least in Italian.

InRomeasRomans

It will be clear to most people that it is proficient to consider the local conditions in a presentation. Nevertheless, many miss the opportunity to be better understood and eventually accepted by the audience.

This means that you have to recognize the traits of the audience besides the actual contents. With the self-image, these characteristics are well documented comprehensively. They are derived from looking at the visible elements of the target group. This includes the context, the actions and the capabilities. Based on the invisible elements, you can induce through personal observation or the look at the publications. The convictions, the recognizable roles and the fundamental solidarity with certain cultural systems are the result.

Imagine you would like to show a new product to your production area. You present the desired customers, the sales concept and the competitors. You explain the innovative technology and the successful design. However, you say nothing about the new requirements for the production, the manufacturing cells, the organization and the desired numbers of items. All information is important. In this context, it is more important to put the emphasis on the manufacturing aspects.

With this simple example, you can see that presentations should always be accomplished by bearing the target group in mind. If you are in manufacturing, do as the manufacturers. Otherwise, it can be expected that the actual message will not reach the target group and, in the worst case, will end up in resistance.

Bottom line: Specify before any informing the characteristics of the target group, with more or less details depending on the importance. Accordingly, the messages have to be aligned to the target group. An appropriate structure is provided by the self-image.

Videos:

The self-image in a nutshell: http://ow.ly/wdjVo

Potential application areas: http://ow.ly/wdjWO