CNBC Business – A Report on Cultural Diplomacy

  April 01st, 2013

Bridging the Gap

There’s a lit more to cultural diplomacy than knowing about a foreign country’s idiosyncrasies, Suzanne Munshower discovers.

Cultural diploamcy, as defined by political scientist Miton C. Cummings is “the exchange of ideas, information, values, systems, traditions, beliefs, and other aspects of culture, with the intention of fostering mutual understanding”. While its place in statesmanship is now given, its role in business is still being defined .

Corporate cultural diplomacy isn’t cultural management, says Mark Donfried, the 32-year-old who in 1999 founded the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD in New York from a fax machine in his college dorm. “Cultural management is getting to know the culture you’re going to deal with. It focuses only on rules for behaviour. For example, always presenting your business card using both hands in Japan, or knowing that at French business dinners, business isn’t discussed until coffee’s being served.”

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