Accenture is a global company with 710,000 employees around the world. Accenture's Inclusion and Diversity activities are focused on helping its diverse group of people to cultivate an inclusive corporate culture for each person, group, region and country. Accenture Japan is also engaged in various activities under the theme of cross-cultural diversity, in which people from various cultural and ethnological backgrounds work together.
The three authors from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds will introduce their activities and their thoughts on the theme of cross-cultural diversity, such as what kind of activities, by what kind of people, and with what kind of passion are being conducted at Accenture Japan in this and following posts.
In this first story, “favored initiatives” of each author are introduced from their respective views on Cross-Cultural Diversity.
Question: What’s your pick for Cross-Cultural Diversity initiatives of Accenture Japan?
Corporate culture where Cross-Cultural Diversity permeates
Which company comes to your mind first, when you hear of a company focusing on I&D activities in Japan?
Three years ago, during my job hunting, I attended a number of company orientation sessions and found many companies that demonstrated to be focusing on contributing to local communities and promoting women's advancement in society, not only to mention their corporate profiles and main business activities.
In a such situation, Accenture Japan not only stated its vision and value, but also touched on its implementation of on-going activities. As I first learned the term "I&D (Inclusion & Diversity)" here, the message left a strong impression on me. I also believe that "Cross-Cultural Diversity" (I&D), one of the key themes in I&D, is especially appealing to those who are interested in global companies and have an international perspective.
I am currently a member of the Cross-Cultural Diversity Committee, a group of employees from various departments who are interested in various areas of I&D. Together with other members who have a wealth of cross-cultural knowledge and experience, I am involved in planning and organizing training materials and internal events for the employees.
The passion of Accenture Japan for I&D, which I felt three years ago, never let me down and I am always inspired by each member's thoughts, goals, and aspirations. At the same time, this passion and enthusiasm for cross-culture is not limited to the members of the Committee, but also permeates the entire company as part of our corporate culture, which is one of the most attractive features of Accenture Japan for me.
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Spontaneously nodding with “Common Stories” video series
The Japan Cross-Cultural Diversity Committee I&D provides a series of training videos to the employees, which showcase work situations where "communication gaps" between Japanese and non-local staff often occur. I found myself nodding along while watching these videos because I have also encountered many of these situations whilst working in Japan. These videos are very instructive and should help all staff to improve their ability to work in culturally diverse teams. I'm looking forward to the next training series!
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It says "She proposed the applicability of the business cases in other country, but...
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“Common Stories” video series make my past encountered be back
I want to click “Like” along with “Heart” to express my feeling for the Cross Cultural virtual connects, events and specially the training videos. I found these videos as ‘Life saving kit’ for the experts who are/will be collaborating into the Global engagements (Japanese or Non-Japanese engagements). For me it was very creative, informative and life experiencing videos. I could feel and imagine my past encountered while working with my Japanese colleagues. For recreating my old memories and taking me in my past I want to give Double Like to the Cross-cultural activities and current situations at Accenture Japan… 😊
Question: What are your passions and aspirations on Cross-Cultural Diversity activities?
Making good use of what I’ve learned in coming days
Although I have not yet actually worked in a cross-cultural environment, I have learned the importance of communication through listening to various experiences as a member of the Cross-Cultural Diversity Committee as well as hearing firsthand the real voices through interviews with my colleagues.
At this moment what I know currently is still “book knowledge”, but I would like to continue to cultivate my mindset and fundamental knowledge; so that I will be able to cope with the increasing number of opportunities to work in cross-cultural environments in the future.
The Cross-Cultural Diversity can be said as one of the most characteristics of global companies. I would like to continue to listen to all voices carefully, regardless of where they are located or whether they are native or non-native speakers on-scene, as well as continue to provide "tips - useful information" that can be used in any cross-cultural situation.
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Practicing Cross-Cultural Diversity by leveraging our expertise
One of the key advantages that Accenture has over local competitors is its global footprint, assets, and network of SMEs. As a bilingual consultant in Industry X, I have worked almost exclusively in Japanese teams for Japanese clients, so I have made bringing our best global assets to our clients into one of my key strengths. Also, by collaborating with overseas teams that have specialized expertise, I have been able to deliver outcomes that wouldn't have been possible using only local resources.
Recently, Industry X has grown rapidly through multiple overseas acquisitions to strengthen our digital engineering & manufacturing expertise, so there will be more and more opportunities for cross-border collaborations to deliver innovative and high-impact projects in this space.
We (you and me) are the culture!
In my initial days, my cross-cultural matters like interaction with my Japanese counterpart (being an English speaker), working with them on common tasks and delivering it as per Japanese quality standard were hard nut to crack. I followed the simple and universal template by focusing on ‘understanding the individual’s perspective’, ‘building trust’, ‘healthy communication’ and above an all ‘understanding the goal of engagement’ helped me in overpowering my initial days hurdles. I would request all experts to follow the same universal template and custom it as per there need, I am sure this template will work for all the cultural matters... 😊
My next actions would be to keep participating into the cross-cultural initiatives and contribute as much as possible for awareness as “We (you and me) are the culture!”
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Accenture continues to share its cross-cultural diversity activities that its wonderful members from diverse cultural backgrounds are engaged in.
In the next post, we will ask the three members who appeared in this post to report on the Cross Culture Day event that was held online in May this year. Stay tuned!
The second story, the event report of the Cross-Cultural Day, is here.