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Smile for the Camera

Humans are inherently resistant to change. In the workplace, we’re most comfortable using technologies that have been made available to us, as long as they are convenient and easy to use. Rarely do we want to stray from business norms. It’s this human behavior that makes the cultural aspects of a business video strategy the most challenging to execute.

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A world beyond clichés and labels

Whether it’s in a television comedy or a real life scenario, we’ve all experienced those excruciating moments when someone tries too hard to be culturally appropriate and ends up getting it wrong. Many of us avoid attempting shows of cultural awareness for fear of the offence we have the potential to cause.

In a global marketplace, many brands (including our own) are looking to build brand awareness and customer loyalty in new markets where social mores and cultural histories are in marked contrast to their own. Yet customers in new markets can often share needs and characteristics with those in originating markets, making a global brand offering eminently possible.

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Can technology help government support community services and reduce costs?

Last week I had the opportunity to host two groups of visitors:  a group of community policing leaders from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and a delegation of foreign exchange students from Iwata, Japan.  I enjoyed meeting all the guests and the conversations we had about the many changes and challenges in our communities.

We discussed the impact of increased diversity and convergence of cultural values, critical budget issues facing government agencies, and the continuing need for citizen services for community safety and emergency response.  We brainstormed ideas for how technology can help.

Despite the severe economic and environmental challenges, both groups were optimistic about our future and the potential for technology to play a positive role.

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Throwaway Culture Can Help Your Security

Today many organizations find themselves addressing concerns over their proprietary information being stolen and their systems being compromised. Some may view this as a single problem since, in most cases, system compromise is an overture to information theft. The most common ways in which computers are compromised include visiting a web site with malicious content, opening a harmful file — malicious or otherwise — attached to an e-mail message, running a program of dubious provenance and clicking the “yes” button on every message that pops up on the screen. Organizations are fighting back by installing virus scanners, blocking known malicious web sites, filtering incoming e-mail and locking down (aka “hardening”) operating systems as much as possible. But let us take a step back and think about this whole situation again.

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Do you have your own individual taste or do you follow the crowd?

The “nature versus nuture” is a famous age old debate. Are our individual physical and behavioural differences driven by our innate qualities we are born with -- “nature” -- or by our personal experiences -- “nuture”?

But researchers from Cambridge University have added a new dimension to this debate. They believe people can be split into one of five cultural types groups -- communal, aesthetic, dark, thrilling and cerebral – and have developed a questionnaire to prove this. Read More »

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