Chapter 2

Ignore Cultural Differences at Your Peril


The amount of untapped talent, skill, and experience going to waste every day in any company that doesn’t understand how to get the most from its multicultural workforce is enormous. The loss of positive human contribution and potential is a greater loss than the losses from communication breakdowns that cost a company a large sum of money and threaten its bottom line.

In the apple story, Amy suffered only a small cut on her finger, and everyone ended up laughing. But failing to understand cultural differences can result in serious company losses—including losses of profit, as in the following story.

Vaugh and the Lack of Understanding

Vaugh, a Vietnamese woman, was working as a liaison ...

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