Idea's space

This blog is dedicaded to share ideas coming randomly from my experiences

Archive for January 2010

Work in a multicultural environment.

with 2 comments

Work in an multicultural environment

I spent a major time of my career to work for international companies. When I remember  these assignments contracted in international companies, I can say there were exceptional opportunities for many reasons, and not only for professional opportunities, but also for personal opportunities.

In international environments, you are working with colleagues from different nationalities, multicultural environments where often, the working language is English. As French speaking native, living in a country where there are three different cultures (Flemish, French and German), the presence of colleagues from other countries was the opportunity to improve and practice English language on a regular basis. The basis of collaboration is the communication, but communication is impossible without language knowledge. But language is also the basis of the thought. Better will be the knowledge of a language, better you will express your thoughts, your feelings. But you will be able also to understand also the others.

Starting from the language, you will talk with your colleagues about professional matters, but also about many other matters, which means that you will learn other cultures. By learning different cultures, you will probably discover other sensibilities, other customs and habits, which will make you better understand the point of view of the people on a particular subject, to see different approach from yours. You will establish a better relationship with the people. And if you take care of this, most of the time, people appreciate the interest you bring to their culture. Most of the time, if I know the language of the people I want to talk with, I start to speak in his language. It is an opportunity to practice and to improve my language knowledge.

By sharing our knowledge, our experiences, by sharing different point of view, we acquire new possibilities to move forward our thoughts, our ideas. In some mind mapping seminars, we talk about radiant thought. If for example, you think about an apple, you can think about the tree, about the country where the apple was picked, to the person who picked it, … What I mean here, is that the point of view of somebody having a different culture than your, can bring new ideas, new approaches to you, and increase  your intellectual capabilities.

Do not forget also the social dimension of such multicultural environment. When people from different cultures are developing smooth collaborations and relationships, the success of social integration is ensured. The gratitude of the accomplished work is a key element of our self respect, the condition to respect the others.

As conclusion, it is obvious that multicultural environments are a wealth, the only wealth which nobody can steal, which has an inestimable value. This should be a leitmotiv for everybody, in our professional or personal life: how to transform relationship in wealth ?

Image source:


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

January 18, 2010 at 22:31

Statistics, the best way to lie.

leave a comment »

Unemployed people

This week, listening to the news of the French Belgian radio (RTBF), I heard a new about a pessimistic forecast about the unemployment in Belgium for 2010. Following a study led by Philippe Defeyt, economist and member of the board of directors of the IDR – Institut pour un développement durable (Sustainable development institute), the unemployment rate in Belgium should reach a historical level in 2010 compare to 1970, with a rate of 14,6% of the working population, representing a number of 750.000 unemployed people.

The IDR analyzed few macroeconomics variables from 1970 until now. If the number of jobs increased of 17% compared to 1970, the total number of working hours done by this working power is lower compare to the number in 1970 (less 5% in 2010 compare to 1970). During 31 years, the working population increased of 1,3 million of people, but the available jobs increased only of 650.000 units, it means only the mid of what should be necessary to give a job to everybody.

These are few elements included in the study. But what was amazing, is the reaction of the minister of employment, Joëlle Milquet about the figures related to the unemployment forecast. She told that these figures were totally overestimated, giving a worse picture of the situation. Really ?

Here is the question about the definition of an unemployed people. Following the minister of employment, the definition of unemployed people includes the workless people looking for a new job. It means that the unemployed people who are 58 -60 years but not looking for a job because considered as too old, are not taken into account.  Following Philippe Defeyt, the two categories are included in the statistics, as they are facing the same problems when they are looking to their bank account at the end of the month.

It is a bit difficult to understand why a category of unemployed people are not taken into account by the statistics of the government, when such government includes political parties defending social values, and when they are claiming to develop social politics to decrease the poverty. Belgian is one of the countries where the rate of unemployed 50-60 years old people is the lowest. It is totally senseless to ignore such people from official statistics.

By reading this, I remember my studies, where one of my professor of statistics defining statistics as ‘the Best way to lie”.

Institut pour un développement durable –

 (Picture source :×300.jpg)

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

January 6, 2010 at 23:27

Posted in Economy

Tagged with , , , ,