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 second story, we report on the Cross-Cultural Day event held online in May.

The event was started with an opening remark by Mr. Kawata, Japan Head of Cross-Cultural Diversity of Accenture Japan, who emphasized the importance of cross-cultural diversity especially at the time when the world is still under the influence of pandemic and the continuing crisis in Ukraine. In this event, 2 panel discussions were held on the topics; the collaboration across countries and regions, and five case studies of seamless collaboration in action.

Three members of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds will report on such an event.


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cross-cultural diversity Japan

Mr. Kawata, director of Cross-Cultural Diversity initiative Japan, welcomed all by heartful messages, which were translated to Japanese via an interpretation tool.

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Consensus-building process is the key for success?!


My favorite part of cross-cultural day was the panel discussions about cross-border collaborations which were insightful, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable.

In the first panel with Operations and Technology members, panelists discussed how important it is for cross-border teams to "build trust first before beginning to work". Often this requires an awareness of the cultural differences between local and offshore teams because what seems normal and "common sense" to some people may not be true for others. As part of this, offshore Operations & Technology centers are now running Japanese business culture training for their staff and incorporating Japanese processes such as “nemawashi” (consensus building amongst stakeholders) as a standard practice in project planning for Japanese clients.

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cross-cultural diversity Japan

The first part of the panel discussion. Various perspectives were presented on what is important in a multinational team.

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In the second panel between S&C and Song, panelists talked about how "successful communication goes beyond just language" and how misunderstandings can occur even amongst people of the same ethnicity and nationality. For example, in combined teams of designers and IT engineers, members will have very different concerns, values, and ways of thinking & working which can come into conflict. However, if members in cross-cultural teams can come together in an environment of mutual respect, try to understand each other’s viewpoint, and focus on delivering value, this cultural friction can bring about a lot of innovation and lead to great outcomes.


Difference can ignite an innovation, not conflict


One of the most memorable phrases from this year's Cross Cultural Day event was "communication goes beyond language.

This panel discussion between Strategy & Consulting and Accenture Song members of the Cross-Cultural Diversity Committee focused on working with offshore members and the challenges they face, not only in terms of cultural differences, but also in terms of geographical factors. The discussion focused on working with offshore members and the challenges of working with them.

It is easy to imagine the challenges of language barriers when working in such a culturally diverse environment. The panelists emphasized the importance of communication, which is the key to deepening mutual understanding and bridging the gap, which in turn leads to building a good relationship.

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At the second part of the panel discussion, the story of communication across the language barriers was presented.

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Although I have yet to work in a so-called cross-cultural environment myself, I believe that communication will naturally be smoother if there is sufficient knowledge of each other's cultural backgrounds. Even in case a person would not have sufficient prior knowledge or experience, s/he would take the difference of perspective as a good contrast rather than a possibility of conflict, then I can see a big chance there, like these differences could serve as an ignition or trigger to create major innovations. Of course, the communication should be the fundamental for it, and there, the languages are no longer a barrier or obstacle. This event reaffirmed me that this is the basis for creating innovation.


“Speaks all” ~the key of healthy communication


WOW! What an Event…!!

This was my reaction at the closing of the Cross-Cultural Day… 😊 I was very much excited and happy throughout the session, specially I felt positive vibes when the panel discussion started across the cross-border panelists. Great individuals sharing their experience when engaged into the cross-cultural environment and how they maintain one of the Accenture core values of “RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL”.

Building Trust was the takeaway from the first panel ‘Operations and Technology members’ discussions. Numerous quality discussion was taking place but what attracted my attention was the optimistic discussion with solution approach for “challenges faced during the acceleration of the offshore ratio and how the panelists are trying to drive it from the cross-cultural perspective?’. All the panelists unanimously shared their viewpoint how they focused on the trust building and trying to understand the perspective of individuals for successful collaboration across the teams which helped them in increasing the offshore ratio.

From the second panel ‘Strategy & Consulting and Accenture Song’ discussion, the impactful message “Successful communication goes beyond language” impressed  me and was the “WOW” factor of the event. Discussion on topic like ‘Culture mix – Design culture and IT consulting culture’ was very informative as these are the main communication gap within/across the teams and with the healthy discussion message outcome “speaks all”, these power messages can take the cross-cultural collaboration to great heights. Excited and eagerly waiting for the next Cross-Cultural Day Event.

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The panel discussion was concluded with the notable stories in various situations.

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How was this report of our Cross-Cultural Day event?

You can see the diversity of perspectives and feelings, but also might have found the impressions of our three reporters resonating together like a beautiful harmony.

Accenture continues to share its cross-cultural diversity activities that its wonderful members from diverse cultural backgrounds are engaged in.


The first story, introducing the initiatives of Cross-Cultural Diversity in Accenture Japan is here.


Malay Agrahari

Manager, Accenture Technology

Nene Sakai

Senior Analyst, Accenture Technology

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