In the digital era of the 21st century, inevitably, the core competitive advantages of the global company are the echelon of talents coming from multicultural cultures. Moreover, in the post-pandemic world, the online business is part of the 'new normal' globalization, which means that work will increasingly be done by people from different nationalities, ethnicities, values and beliefs.
Edward Hall, the American anthropologist, said, "Culture hides more than it reveals, and strangely enough, what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants", which is in the same vein of the saying of Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, "Water is the last thing a fish notices". Not surprisingly, "Culture "is the last thing humans notice.
It seems that "all roads lead to Rome", but every road is often a dead end. Therefore, leading across cultures is more critical and complex than ever. We are developed in our own 'Water', which contains different cultural substances. Westerners live in a world of Dichotomy, polarised and against contradictions; Easterners live in a world of Harmony, paradoxical, integrated, holistic and full of contradiction. Whether to follow the traditional western way or explore another track depends on how culturally agile business leaders can be to learn the best practice from Western and Eastern philosophies.
Therefore, to attract and retain the talents for sustainable growth in today's multicultural world, leaders must strive to improve cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity in the workplace, build multicultural teams and develop intercultural capability. Intercultural leadership is essential for cultivating the 'water' of diversity and inclusion.