BI Update and the Program all Australians should watch

I hope your intercultural endeavours are going well. What an interesting time in terms of working in intercultural capability development and inclusion.

JakartaThe Q&A Indonesia program from Jakarta should be essential watching for all Australians. Click here to watch – and do so by 18 July when it is removed from the ABC website. A refreshing take on Australia’s position in the world from an Indonesian perspective, the program showcases some of the most entertaining and articulate panelists we’ve seen for a long time.

If you are interested in exploring intercultural capability and inclusion, there are lots of interesting forums coming up – come along. I’ll be presenting:

SwitzerFor some insights on realities of the ‘how’ of Asia capability, here are some articles/interviews we’ve done recently which may be of interest:

Also some resources and new thinking:

I’m delighted to introduce Bojana Tomcic, who is the hub of our ever travelling team. Bojana has worked with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Belgrade for more than 10 years and brings a wealth of experience. Don’t hesitate to be in touch if we can be of support through the provision of coaching, training, facilitation or consultancy services


Good reading and listening on diversity, globalisation and Asia

It’s so important that we are constantly challenging ourselves in this space that we work.  The BI team are voracious readers and listeners and we frequently share favourites.  The conversations that ensue are always vibrant and we often disagree, and that’s the more interesting part!  So here’s what we’ve been into lately:

Monocle Magazine

We find Monocle Magazine fun and ridiculous in equal measure.  We love the focus on international affairs, politics and travel.  The articles about the best interior design of private fleet aircraft are a little out of our league in terms of potential benefit.  That said, magazines are escapism, right?  So, onto the private jet and off to have a chat to Kim Jong-Un about his basketball fetish and lavish collection of Nike trainers…One edition and series of articles worth a look is the March 2012 special on Australia.

The Social Animal, David Brooks

This book was our BI Christmas gift.  A controversial one as some of us loved it, and some of us hated it.  I liked the book for the perspective it provides regarding how people from diverse backgrounds often have insights others don’t have access to, and how important it is that we can tap into their perspectives.  It also explores power and how easy it is to surround yourself with people ‘like me’ and how dangerous this insulation is in terms of understanding the complex and diverse realities of the societies we live in.  That said, the method the book uses to explore these themes has a few drawbacks.  Here’s where we get to the hatred part – Brooks uses two fictitious characters as the narrative thread throughout the book.  These characters in the book are titled ‘Julia’ and ‘Rob’.  Among our BI team members,  Emma, Tom, (and Tom’s wife for that matter) found Brook’s characters immensely irritating.  Emma said she preferred watching Brooks on TED.  I saw him on TED and preferred his book!  Ramona on the other hand loved the storytelling style, saying she enjoyed how Brooks’ focused on the impact of early lessons and experiences influencing the people we become was fascinating.  We’d love to know what you thought if you read it?!

The Art of Choosing, Sheena Iyengar

Ramona gave me this book for Christmas and it is great.  I prefer Iyengar when she delves into the depths of intercultural perception and attitudes toward choice, but much of her market share in the ‘business space’ I am sure is due to the value of her insights on consumer behaviour.  Iyengar is the source of the famous jam study – you remember the one where they tested purchasing behaviour when people had the option to taste and buy more than 30 flavours or just six?  Her results were so powerful, we see groupings of six or less in most consumer contexts to enable us to get our heads around the cognitive challenges of choice leading to action.  Iyengar has a compelling personal story.  She is the child of Indian Sikh migrants to the USA, and blind – a lifestory which causes her to reflect deeply on the cultural attitudes of her family and the navigation of choice in life. Well worth reading.

The Lady and the Peacock: The life of Aung San Suu Kyi, by Peter Popham

I loved this book.  What’s not to love?  A gripping story of an amazing woman, a very current and topical issue, and a focus on something we are all looking to learn more about.  These types of biographies have the potential to be a bit dry with endless historical recitations, but Peter Popham manages to tell the story of the person and her journey and keeps us interested at every turn.  Myanmar is rapidly changing and the removal of sanctions and ‘opening’ is creating a gold rush mentality in the business space.  At the Australia Thailand Business Council we’ve now appointed a ‘Regional Collaboration: Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia’ Committee Chair to keep us focused on this and the implications.  Christa Avery presented on the changes last week at our strategic business dialogue.  Christa lived in Myanmar in the 1990’s during the last ‘opening’ – we hope this round will be more long lasting.

Radio/Podcasting – Start the Week on BBC

Emma Kettle recommended this programme and what a discovery.  Start the week is hosted by Andrew Marr and features an extraordinary diversity of guests.  The episode last week on the science of creativity with neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer; author Joanna Kavenna; musician and sound artist Scanner; and chemist Rachel O’Reilly was one of Emma’s favourites.  I really liked the episodes on National Identity and China.  The Australian culture’ episode with Thomas Kenneally, Deborah Cheetham and Kate Grenville was a highlight for me.  It’s always refreshing and suprising to learn about your own culture as perceived by others.

Watch  this space – Our Business Book

I attended a Sydney Writers Centre workshop last week on ‘How to write a business book’.  Hopefully a BI book will eventuate.  Valerie Khoo, the presenter was very honest and I am back to the drawing board!  Watch this space…

BI Update – What we’ve been doing, new people, transitions…

What we’ve been doing…

Emma Kettle in the Solomons

It’s been a busy start to the year.  I have enjoyed working with the Asia-Pacific leadership team of the International Committee for the Red Cross, delivering corporate keynotes, working with the leadership team of an ASX listed company and working with the ABC to facilitate the ‘Freedom of Expression’ event in Jakarta.  Emma Kettle has been in Honiara working on Australian/Local Staff Intercultural Essentials for an Australian client, Tom Parker has been delivering training on Intercultural Communication in and working on our new ‘Parents enabling Asia literacy ‘ program with peak parent bodies, the Asia Education Foundation and funded by the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations. Ramona has been working with an internationally focused government client on Values and Ethics – training their trainers to take our BI program in-house, as well as continuing to deliver ‘Intercultural Essentials’ programs around the country.  Robert Bean, our Adelaide based consultant has also been delivering ‘Intercultural Essentials’ programs for government.  John Fawcett, our NZ based consultant is currently directly engaged with the provision of counselling services to government in Christchurch.  After 30 years of post-crisis HR Consulting, this is the first time John has had to work in this capacity in his home country.

Joe Crumlin, our International Negotiations specialist has been working with our team to deepen our understanding of values-based negotiation. It’s interesting to note how the ability to engage with others, to find common ground and understand deep values not only underpins effective negotiations, it is also essential for good business, and effective intercultural engagement.

Honey has stepped into a new Client Relationship Management role at BI and is coordinating our service delivery.  It’s been a busy time for our home base in Surry Hills as we’ve also transitioned all of our IT systems and platforms and moved from PC to Mac.  We have even deeper empathy for our clients undergoing change and transition as a result!

Transitions and new people

Judy Hui

Emily D’Ath, who has done a superb job of Coordinating the BI team for the past four years has now taken up a position in Corporate Social Responsibility in Beijing as an AusAID Youth Ambassador for Development.   You can follow Em on twitter @EmilyDAth  We have a wonderful new Administration Coordinator at Beasley Intercultural.  Judy Hui loves excel spreadsheets and is keeping all of us organised.  She also happens to speak fluent Mandarin, Cantonese and English and has grade 8 piano.

Another intro – BI Consultant Tom Parker and his wife Rachel have just had their second daughter.  Welcome to the world Lila and huge congrats to Tom, Rachel and big sister Sylvie.  Lila will be speaking Mandarin in no time…Tom and Lila

Former BI Consultant and member of the extended BI Clan, Dr Melissa Butcher, who is now based in London, is finishing her next book – watch this space.  I’ve only read Chapter 6 so far and it is great stuff!  Will tweet when it’s out.

BI Update

News from the team

A group of BI Team members went away together to Port Stephens to discuss all things intercultural and drink some wine and eat some food.  As we usually all work globally, virtually and spend a lot of times on planes, it was a wonderful opportunity to do the catching up and have the conversations you can only have over a shared meal.  It was a great chance to get to know our two newest team members Emma Kettle from Melbourne and John Fawcett from Auckland.  The meal started at 1pm and seemed to simply continue until 11…Highly recommended practice for Global Virtual Teams!

What we’ve been up to:

  • I spent some time working in Shanghai with Emily, and have been supporting our clients through consulting on issues of diversity, engagement and Asia strategy.
  • Ramona has been delivering ‘Doing Business in Asia’, numerous ‘Intercultural Essentials’ programs around Australia, ‘Values and Ethics in Diverse Contexts’ and ‘Intercultural Essentials: India’ programs.
  • Emma has been spending almost every week in Canberra for the past few months supporting our government clients, delivering ‘Intercultural Essentials’ and ‘Intercultural Essentials; Middle East’ programs and consulting on L&D for a global agency.
  • John has been delivering pre-departure programs for pre-postings to developing countries, and will be working in Honiara with local team members on ‘Effectively working with Australians’.
  • Tom Parker has been supporting clients who are engaging with China through the delivery of tailored training programs in Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney.  He’s also been delivering ‘Intercultural Essentials’, as well as working with a Chinese client.
  • Tim Hackett has recently joined the team and has been delivering ‘Intercultural Essentials: India’ programs around Australia for a corporate client who has been offshoring.
  • Joe Crumlin has been assisting BI negotiate an international contract, and lecturing in International Negotiation Skills at the Australian Graduate School of Management.
  • Sallie Beaumont has relocated to New York.
  • Emily has been managing all of us and keeping the show on the road! She also spent a couple of weeks in Australia.
  • Honey has been supporting the Thai government in international activities and went on study leave for four weeks in India exploring cultural issues, including time spent in Bhopal.

BI Update

Catching up in India                                                  

Two members of the Beasley Intercultural team, Tamerlaine and Ramona had a fabulous week in Indiacatching up with Melissa Butcher, talking about all things cultural and enjoying Holi

in Delhi. Melissa is a former team member at BI and now lecturing in globalisation studies at the Open University in London. If you have been a participant in Melissa’s previous BI programs, or would like to see her current publishing and academic research areas, click on the link below

Promoting Asia Literacy in the National Curriculum

Tamerlaine has been an active participant in the National Curriculum forums, and a panel member at the History Consultation. We believe Asia literacy is vital for the future prosperity of our nation and want to ensure industry has a say in the future national curriculum. Support us in our input! If you are interested in participating in the consultations, register on the site of the National Curriculum Board.


Virtual Global Teams & Social Networking

Global and intercultural collaboration is now occurring in new and exciting ways.  To ensure we are up to date, we’ve been topping up our education in this area.  We attended a fabulous workshop led by Anne Bartlett-Bragg on online learning, and are now embarking on a new phase of twittering, delicious and wiki usage.

Follow us on twitter: @BIntercultural

Anne’s blog is a fascinating source of information regarding digital dialogues. Click here:

Safina’s film ‘The Good Man’

Safina Uberoi, one of our India cultural specialists is a leading filmmaker, highly acclaimed for her film ‘My Mother India’. Safina has recently made an extraordinary documentary about the true story of a struggling Australian farmer, his quadriplegic wife, their new-born baby, and their plans to open a brothel in a small country town. The film debuted at the Adelaide film festival and will screen on ABC television later on this year.

BI Update

Public Programs Coming Soon!


Beasley Intercultural are excited to announce we will be launching our first ever public programs in April this year.  In the past our programs have only been delivered in-house to our clients.  The one day programs initially offered are:

–    Intercultural Essentials:  India

–    Intercultural Essentials:  China

–    Intercultural Essentials:  Virtual and Global Teams

If you would like to be mailed details of these programs, please email.

Other Opportunities

1.  Churchill Fellowships

A Churchill Fellowship is an award of an opportunity through the provision of financial support, to enable Australian citizens from all walks of life to travel overseas to undertake an analysis, study or investigation of a project or an issue that cannot be readily undertaken in Australia. Currently the average fellowship is $25,000.  Applicants must be able to complete a minimum of four weeks overseas travel to complete their research.

2.  Australia Thailand Institute Grants

Through a competitive selection process, the Australia-Thailand Institute provides financial support to selected projects which aim to build community links between Australia and Thailand, particularly with regard to: public policy (including legal issues and education), health and science, culture and the arts.

The Executive Committee of the Australia-Thailand Institute is now calling for funding applications. Project proposals that focus on building links among youth and that have or are likely to have partner funding from other sources will be favourably considered.