24 May, Friday
17° C

Proakatemian esseepankki

Workshop by tutors

Kirjoittanut: Milana Itäpää - tiimistä Empiria.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

The Culture Map, Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures
Erin Meyer
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 5 minuuttia.

Wednesday 30.11. was a Workshop by tutors to pingsters (a.k.a Tutor paja). Together with this year’s tutors, we planned a workshop for the pingsters and we facilitated it together with a few coaches. The idea of the workshop was that we could all do something together and learn from each other. The pingsters had hoped that they would be able to do things together, for example hold a workshop with the Finnish students and the Entre side. The initial planning and implementation of this was discussed together with the coaches and tutors: the “Tutor workshop” led by tutors and coaches was born. 

Our topic was Bilingual & Multicultural Community. The students were given a pre-task to look Erin Meyer’s culture mapping theory and that was also our theory part of this workshop. The workshop was in Finglish. Primarily in English and secondarily in Finnish. Translations were possible also. There were 6 paja groups, each group with 2 facilitators (overall we had 4 coaches and 8 tutors). Each group had a maximum of 13 people + facilitators. 

In the Check-in -part, you had to introduce yourself. If you were Finnish, you needed to do it in English and if you were international, you needed to do it in Finnish (name, age, where you are from, anything else you want so to say…). 

The goal was that everyone would be encouraged to use a language that is a little more foreign to them and that we would learn about the importance of bilingualism and multiculturalism at Proakatemia and in general. 

Our paja questions/frames: 

Check In 

Question 1: How do you feel about Proakatemia’s bilingual community? Did you expect such a community when you applied here? 

Question 2.1: What are the benefits of Proakatemia’s bilingual and multicultural community?  

Question 2.2: What are the concerns about it? 

Question 3: Where would you put Finland on the different scales of culture mapping (theory)? Why? 

Question 4: What kind of actions can you take (can we take together) to make the Proakatemia community more inclusive? 


We received very good feedback from the workshop. The goals were reached, and everyone did well. The students were excited about working together and discussing. The theory section and the tool were instructive. They are also planned to be used in the future when talking about multiculturalism in the community. The dialogue was also good. There was enough discussion, and everyone dared to open their mouths and say something in English or Finnish. The topic itself was important and timely. We study at Proakatemia, which is mainly a bilingual community. Multiculturalism is also emphasized in our community every year, which is why it was good to discuss the topic. Everyone definitely got a new perspective and ideas from the dialogue and theory, which they use in everyday life as well as at Proakatemia. We learn a lot about the workshop through each other. It was great to hear both the Entre side and the Finns’ thoughts on the subject. The cooperation between coaches and the tutors also went flawlessly. There was also a bit of feedback about development, which is great. Next time it could be, for example, more activities or things to do together/ in a smaller groups in the workshop as well. 

About the Book and theory: 

Book Description 

In today’s increasingly globalized world, success in business requires navigating through cultural differences and knowing how to break down cultures that are foreign to one’s own. In this fun and educational book, international business expert Erin Meyer offers key tactics and strategies to help entrepreneurs overcome cultural barriers and succeed. 

“Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together.

When you have Americans who precede anything negative with three nice comments; French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans who get straight to the point (“your presentation was simply awful”); Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy; Scandinavians who think the best boss is just one of the crowd–the result can be, well, sometimes interesting, even funny, but often disastrous.

Even with English as a global language, it’s easy to fall into cultural traps that endanger careers and sink deals when, say, a Brazilian manager tries to fathom how his Chinese suppliers really get things done, or an American team leader tries to get a handle on the intra-team dynamics between his Russian and Indian team members.” (From the Back Cover: The Culture Map, Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures. 21 Jan. 2016. Erin Meyer.) 

In The Culture Map, Erin Meyer offers a field-tested model that can be used to find out how cultural differences affect international business. He combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice for success in a global world. 

Erin Meyer 

Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading international business schools. His work focuses on how the world’s most successful global leaders navigate the complex connections of cultural differences in a multicultural environment. Living and working in Africa, Europe and the United States made Meyer study communication models and business systems in different parts of the world. His framework allows international leaders to determine their leadership preferences and compare their methods to the leadership styles of other cultures. 

The Book and the Culture Map -theory 

The book answered many complex cultural questions that I have seen in the working world. This will certainly help in the globalized working life of the future as well as in multi-cultural business leadership and teamworking. 

The basic theory of the book is that national or regional culture shapes people’s way of thinking, what they believe and how they do things. What is considered virtuous in one culture is considered rude and frustrating in another. 

The book walks you through 8 key cultural issues which are crucial to doing business globally. Different cultures can view these 8 areas very differently and so you ignore them at your peril. The key cultural areas are: 

  • Communicating (low content vs high content) 
  • Evaluating (Direct negative feedback vs indirect negative feedback) 
  • Persuading (Principles-first vs Application-first) 
  • Leading (Egalitarian vs Hierarchical) 
  • Deciding (Consential vs Top-down) 
  • Trusting (task based vs relationship based) 
  • Disagreeing (Confrontational vs avoiding confrontation) 
  • Scheduling (Linear time vs flexible time)  

Erin has a great method to help you define your “cultural norms” by plotting different cultures on a sliding scale. This will help you understand how you see others and how they see you based on that. It’s like a map: Culture map to help navigate globally. It shows how cultures vary on each spectrum from extreme to extreme. 

Of course, there is no one way to look at these things. Cultural dynamics are complex. There are different personalities and people are individuals. Different companies also have their own culture. However, national culture helps shape individuals, and that’s why knowing it is incredibly valuable. It’s helpful to have some kind of frame of reference to help you – and this book gives you that. 

Overall, the Culture Map offers you a way to unpack how cultural differences affect your international business and brands. 


I can recommend this book to all those business leaders who want to navigate the global management dynamics. Anyone involved in international business will find value in this book. The book is perfect for future entrepreneurs, managers and team workers – this will help you to understand the different dynamics between cultures. 


 The Culture Map a framework of cultural context by Erin Meyer explained  

The Culture Map, Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures. 21 Jan. 2016. Erin Meyer.