Office furniture maker, Steelcase, has performed a study of different national corporate cultures.  This is important because everything about how offices are designed and outfitted revolves around those findings to ensure optimum collaboration, efficiency, and productivity.

One of the markers studied is masculine versus feminine.  The meaning here is do workers tend to identify more with competition (masculine) or cooperation (feminine)?  The US came out as highly masculine while the opposite end of the scale held the Netherlands and Russia.

Another marker is uncertainty tolerant versus security tolerant.  Uncertainty tolerant means workers are comfortable with ambiguity.  China ranks the highest here.  On the other hand, security tolerant’s winner is Russia.

Autocratic versus consultative is another scale.  Nations showing a preference for autocratic are India, China, and Russia.  The more collaborative consultative countries include Germany, the Netherlands, and the US.

Individualist versus collectivist is another scale.  The US takes top position for individualist.  Collectivists nations include Morocco, China, and Russia.

These kinds of studies are all about how people are different.  Diversity of culture must never be overlooked.  Anytime that occurs, everyone loses.  Failing to take these dynamics into consideration invariably harms workers, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Steelcase demonstrates success in its business is not just knowing how to make furniture.  More importantly, success in its business is knowing about the people who will use that furniture.  That goes for you in your business too.  Your product or service might be stellar.  Nevertheless, if you want to achieve maximum success, you absolutely must put the people first.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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