Tampere
18 May, Saturday
24° C

The library of essays of Proakatemia

The Benefits of a Multicultural Team



Kirjoittanut: Sanaa Jellouf - tiimistä Sointu.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

By Niina Sipilä and Sanaa Jellouf  

Introduction  

It is no secret that the international team companies in Proakatemia struggle a bit more than the Finnish team companies. In Proakatemia, we have noticed people talk a lot about the negative sides of starting an international team company, but what about the benefits of being in a multicultural environment?  Instead of focusing on the negative side, we should start embracing the advantages of multiculturalism and put them to use, especially in today’s world where businesses are starting to get increasingly interconnected and globalised. In this essay, we will be discussing how a multicultural team can enhance communication skills and boost innovation and creativity. 

How Multiculturalism Enhances Communication Skills  

Enhancing communication skills in a multicultural team is one of the most crucial factors for achieving success and harmony within a diverse company. The language barrier, cultural norms, and communication styles require a delicate approach that goes beyond linguistic proficiency. 

Activities outside academic purposes are often more rewarding than school tasks, making a significant impact on students’ motivation, enthusiasm, and confidence within the team. When team members feel more confident in their abilities, communication becomes more open and respectful, building trust and creating a safe environment. Moreover, developing extracurricular activities involving students from different countries within the team to complete various projects with relevant outputs for the community usually improves students’ enthusiasm, trust, teamwork, and communication skills. This fosters a positive team culture, allowing individuals from divergent backgrounds to work together towards common goals. It is also a powerful tool for teaching and encouraging students to develop heightened sensitivity to effective communication and how to interact with people outside their team, promoting cultural intelligence, deeper empathy, respect, transparency, and accountability among team members. 

Furthermore, constant interaction in a multicultural team cultivates active listening and open dialogue, encouraging a collaborative environment where ideas are shared, questioned, and refined. This collaborative approach enhances interpersonal communication skills and emphasizes the value of diverse voices within the team. However, multicultural teams often face challenges that require creative problem-solving. The diverse backgrounds and experiences present in such teams contribute to a variety of ideas. Effective communication ensures that these various ideas lead to innovative solutions, drawing on the strengths of team members. Overall, a multicultural team enhances communication skills by promoting linguistic adaptability, cultural intelligence, encouraging open dialogues, and utilizing diverse perspectives for creative collaboration. The constant exchange of different languages and cultural backgrounds within the team creates an environment where effective communication becomes not only a skill but also the foundation of success. 

How Multiculturalism Boosts Innovation and Creativity  

Innovation requires new ways of thinking and doing things. By bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, you can create a colorful mix of perspectives, experiences and ideas. This diversity challenges the norm and encourages thinking outside the box. This also leads to more innovative approaches that teams of people with similar skills, strengths, race, etc., may overlook. For example, a marketing campaign designed by a multicultural team may embody elements from diverse cultures, which makes a broader audience resonate with the campaign.  

A book that supports this claim is “The Medici Effect”, by Frans Johansson. In this book, Johansson explores how the intersection of diverse ideas and backgrounds can, in fact, boost innovation and creativity through the practices of the Medici family in the Renaissance era. The Medici family was known for fostering a Renaissance environment where diverse thinkers and creators came together, which led to extraordinary advancements in art, science and culture.  

“The Medici Effect” challenges the idea that expertise should be confined within narrow boundaries, and encourages a more open, explorative mindset. In a multicultural environment, team members contribute a spectrum of perspectives, drawing from their unique cultural backgrounds.  

The book encourages people to step outside their comfort zones, embrace uncertainty, and actively seek connections with diverse thinkers. In the context of multicultural teams, this translates into creating an environment where team members feel empowered to share their insights and challenge conventional thinking. The ability to navigate cultural differences and appreciate the richness of diverse perspectives becomes a foundation for unlocking creative potential.  

Reflecting on this, we should realize the power behind being in a multicultural team as it forces us to be surrounded by differing ideas, which, combined, could turn into something truly innovative and groundbreaking. Although Finnish team companies have their own strengths, they are usually more limited, as they are surrounded by what’s familiar: other Finnish people.  

Conclusion 

The benefits of a multicultural team are undeniable, offering a variety of advantages that go beyond the initial challenges faced by international team companies in Proakatemia. Rather than dwelling on the perceived drawbacks, it is crucial to recognize and harness the positive aspects of multiculturalism in today’s interconnected and globalized business landscape. This essay has highlighted how a multicultural team enhances communication skills by promoting linguistic adaptability, and cultural intelligence, and fostering a positive team culture. The constant exchange of diverse backgrounds within the team creates an environment where effective communication becomes the cornerstone of success. Additionally, multiculturalism proves to be a catalyst for innovation and creativity, challenging conventional thinking and encouraging a diverse mix of perspectives. Drawing inspiration from “The Medici Effect,” the essay underscores the transformative power of embracing uncertainty, stepping outside comfort zones, and actively seeking connections with diverse thinkers. In a multicultural team, this mindset becomes the foundation for unlocking creative potential, leading to truly innovative and groundbreaking outcomes. Ultimately, the essay advocates for a shift in focus towards embracing the myriad benefits that arise from working in a multicultural team, recognizing it as a source of strength, dynamism, and unparalleled creativity in the contemporary global business landscape. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:  

 

Motschnig, Renate, and Seyhan Güver. “Improving communication in multicultural teams—A web-based model and its application in project management education.” 2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). IEEE, 2017. 

 
APA  Motschnig, R., & Güver, S. (2017, October). Improving communication in multicultural teams—A web-based model and its application in project management education. In 2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (pp. 1-9). IEEE. 
ISO 690  MOTSCHNIG, Renate; GÜVER, Seyhan. Improving communication in multicultural teams—A web-based model and its application in project management education. In: 2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). IEEE, 2017. p. 1-9. 

 

Post a Comment