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Making Expatriation a Success: A Challenge for The Trailing Spouse

Roberto and his wife, moved from South America to Kuala Lumpur 3 months ago. Before embarking on this adventure, they have carefully thought about the implications and opportunities the move would bring  for both of them and they are excited by the challenge.

Yet it only takes a few minutes of talking to them to realize that the situation isn’t all that bright.

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Words to Live By: Anchoring Core Values with Megajana

What if you could align employee behaviour with business values, creating a core culture that enhanced engagement, performance, and customer experience?

If so, how do you figure out the values that your team should live and work by? And how do you align the desired values with desired behaviours?

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Work Safety Tis Served Over Dinner

Come this week, the population of greater Kuala Lumpur will enjoy an expanded, more sophisticated public transit network when the extension of the Kelana Jaya LRT is completed. Thousands of rail infrastructure construction workers have toiled in the past few years to make this a reality, with more than 500 workers at peak from COLAS RAIL ASIA Sdn. Bhd.

Cultural Impact was involved in the company's strategic intervention to promote total awareness for an accident-free work environment during their recent annual dinner. Drawing on their expertise in theatre-based training and education, our consultants Marie Tseng and Gregory Henno conceived an engaging stage presentation that hit the spot: a theatrical performance using caricature, humor, music, and movement.

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Intercultural Readiness: Listen to Marie Tseng on BFM 

 

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Women at work

Malaysia is a country of contrasts and paradoxes. This applies also to how women behave and how they are perceived. As March 8th is the day celebrating Women across the world, it is a good day to reflect on the position of women in Malaysian cultures.

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Going Beyond Cultural Frustrations 

Living and working abroad, we all have at some point complained about our hosts: “Why don’t THEY get it?  Why can’t THEY follow my clear instructions?  Why don’t THEY tell me when THEY don’t understand?” But what if communicating effectively across cultures was a dynamic process? What if it was up to US to make it work?

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The Country of We

January 12, 2013 was a memorable day for Malaysians: tens of thousands of people gathered around Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Stadium to express their views on politics and other issues. For the first time, it was a legal gathering after the passing of the PAA (Peaceful Assembly Act) late last year. Although the PAA has been widely criticized, one essential point of the new law is that it is now legal for people to gather in a public assembly, thus allowing demonstrations to legally take place in Malaysia for the first time.

Read more - French version

How do Global Leaders develop? 

Diversity and cross-cultural training programs are not always a priority for companies, even when employees are working in a multicultural environment. Many skeptics deny the impact of local cultures on organizational cultures, minimize the importance of national cultures in people’s interactions (“After all, we are all the same”) and believe that being exposed to people of different backgrounds is sufficient to become culturally competent.

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Need to be culturally competent 

Cross-cultural consultant Marie Tseng enlightens Aneeta Sundararaj on the importance of understanding cultures for better communication and interaction. The average Malaysian will walk into the office, head for his/her desk, switch the computer on and start reading emails. At most, he/she will say “Good morning” to three people: A secretary, a colleague and the boss.“The French can’t understand this. In France, everyone greets each other and shakes hands. The women will kiss each other on the cheek,” says Marie Tseng, 45, an expert in cross-cultural competencies.

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Lets go Makan 

When asked about what makes them  proud of their country : FOOD is by far the  first thing Malaysians mention. Food is truly the one thing that brings Malaysians of all ethnicities together. Ask any of your local friends or colleagues about a specific type of food and they will go on telling you where is the best place in town to try it , where the dish comes from and where to get the best ingredient for it. 

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Why do Malaysians always say "On Way..."?

Who hasn’t gone native in Malaysia and used this very versatile phrase? Odw :  getting ready to go or odw: be there in 2 minutes. Malaysian time has a very  “rubberlike” nature. Here being accommodating and flexible matters more than being punctual.

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Yes Boss 

One need not be long in Malaysia to notice the police escorts on the streets or the special treatment reserved to VIP at official functions. For someone not used to it, it takes time to understand  the numerous titles and honorific that are common in Malaysia: Dato, Tan Sir, Toh Puan … and the long titles of the sultans of Malaysia.

Read more - French version


Whom you Know  

In Malaysia, 70% of Internet users have a Facebook account. Malaysians have embraced social media with enthusiasm, as one more way to connect. It is not unusual to hear in Malaysia “it is not what you know but who you know” that matters.  Some expatriates looking for work in Malaysia have been unable to find a position despite their very adequate qualifications and the many letters they sent, while others with just a few phone calls to the right people have secured employment much faster.

Read more - French version