Course Description

Organizations must manage differences effectively in order to survive and thrive in current interconnected and diverse global environments. Yet strategic management of the cross-cultural dynamic is a competence that very few organizations or professionals have had the opportunity to develop. Increasingly, human resource and organization development practitioners are asked to lead such development, often getting pushed into an “expert,” positivist paradigm. Deriving value from cultural difference, however, requires a coherently applied, constructivist, developmental approach.

This 2-day course will focus concepts from the core Constructivist Foundations and Sustainable Development courses onto the particular challenges of leading a coherent intercultural development effort as an internal consultant.

Target group

Human resource and organizational development professionals in the arenas of education, social service, and private enterprise, and organizational leaders who are committed to making the most of all types of diversity within their organizations.


  1. Understand the intercultural communication competence requirements of today’s successful organizations, be they local, domestic, international or global.
  2. Discern organizational approaches to the management of cultural differences that are grounded in positivist, relativist and constructivist paradigms.
  3. Learn to conduct needs assessments and reference benchmark research that provide strategic routes to the management of cultural differences in the organization.
  4. Gain knowledge of key strategies and design concepts to ensure that your organization’s intercultural learning and innovation efforts are sustainable, and that they enable self-perpetuating multicultural organizational effectiveness.


Dianne Hofner Saphire

Dianne has facilitated intercultural organizational effectiveness efforts since 1979, working with people from over 120 countries. She spent twelve years living and working in Japan, has lived in Spain and currently resides in México. Dianne holds an M.S. in Organization and Human Resource Development from the University of San Francisco, and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of the Pacific (both California USA). She also studied at the Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku (Osaka Japan), and Stanford University. Her client list includes corporations such as ABB, Hyundai-Kia, Microsoft, Mitsui, Royal Dutch Shell, Schneider Electric, Telecom New Zealand, and Texas Instruments; study abroad organizations AFS and CIEE; and universities worldwide. She is creator of Cultural Detective®, a collaborative project in which she leads a cross-functional team of over 150 experts worldwide. She is the author of Communication Highwire: Leveraging the Power of Diverse Communication Styles and the creator of Ecotonos: A Multicultural Decision-Making Simulation and Redundancía: A Foreign Language Simulation