Your Unique Cultural Lens is a guide to help you develop your own cultural competence – your ability to effectively interact, communicate and influence across cultures at home or overseas. It advocates that the most efficient way to do so is by increasing your self-awareness and supports your efforts through the Unique Cultural Lens (UCL) Exercise.
Your UCL is your own set of perception filters (biases) accumulated over a lifetime. It reflects the rich ancestral, cultural, educational and experiential heritage you emerged from and informs who you are now. Together, these filters define your authentic self, influence how you perceive and interact with the world, and affect the decisions you make – whether you are consciously aware or not of them.
By increasing your own self-awareness, Your Unique Cultural Lens argues you will more effectively be able to create the conditions for better, more inclusive and more productive working environments.
The Global OD Practitioner
By Suzanne M. Zaldivar | Published in OD Review, 2016
Doing OD in our culture-clashing world challenges our sense of ourselves and potentially undermines our values, our worldviews, and our confidence in what works. How do we hone our practice and hold ourselves accountable as global practitioners? How do we bridge vastly different value systems and navigate through the fog of incomplete information coupled with perennial misunderstanding, which are common in cross-cultural work?
Authenticity & Accountability
By Enrique J. Zaldivar | Published in AI Practitioner, 2014
What questions do we need to ask of ourselves and others to stimulate the generative conversations which will lead us towards uncovering what could be in the realm of becoming effective at operating inclusively and productively in today’s extremely challenging and globally diverse world? © Enrique J. Zaldivar
Change in Afghanistan
By Suzanne M. Zaldivar | Published in OD Journal, 2010
Working on change projects in Afghanistan evidenced how embodying the essence of OD is key to positive impact in complex environments. This article explores how the sometimes hidden power of cultural context, in Afghanistan and in the practice of OD, impacted the change consulting process. This exploration is particularly relevant to the profession of OD, increasingly applied in contexts beyond its founders’ culture, and to those seeking change in environments different from their own. OD is in a unique position to succeed in complex, cross-cultural environments due to two of its key elements: use of self and action research. Embodying them enables crucial skills, indispensable when consulting within challenging environments. © Organization Development Journal
International Development Through OD – My Experience in Afghanistan
By Suzanne M. Zaldivar | Published in OD Review, 2008
I recently took part in a USAID capacity building project in the public sector of Afghanistan. The highlight of my stay there was a meeting with a governor and former warlord who spoke with appreciation about organization development. The biggest challenges were security and mindnumbing bureaucracy. I felt humbled by the opportunity to participate, in even a small way, in the healing of this war-ridden country. Ultimately, my contribution to the project was completely different than I anticipated. The learning was exponential.
By Suzanne M. Zaldivar | Published in Washington Women Magazine, 2002
As women, we were taught to observe, anticipate, and relate strongly to the needs of those around us. It is a skill which serves us well? at its best, we can be compassionate, thoughtful and giving. At its worst, we are lost to ourselves. Marching for so long to the beat of another’s drum, we no longer hear the rhythm of our own hearts.