who we are
The gateway to a culturally connected workplace.
Cultural Business Consulting (CBC) provides coaching in cultural competency to enable globally diverse corporate work teams to function harmoniously with a deep appreciation of the dimension of culture, enhancing productivity and profitability. The master facilitators that lead CBC programs study the nexus of culture and business, politics and current events to provide the most up-to-date insights about the people, places and values that influence borderless global commerce.
Our corporate clients are among the most renowned companies in the world and span myriad industries including technology, automotive, financial services, insurance, professional services, manufacturing and consumer products. We also work with various governmental agencies with an inherently international focus. Every organization that recruits talent from diverse locations around the globe can benefit substantially from our training sessions, which are conducted exactly the way our clients work – both live and onsite, and through tech-enabled multi-location telephone and Internet conferences.
why culture is important and its impact on the workplace
Culture is a universal characteristic of all humanity and pervades all aspects of social interaction. Each of us views the world through a lens of values, morals, mores, behaviors, attitudes and ethics that are unique to our country of origin. Culture informs every aspect of how we live, function and interpret the world around us. When diverse cultures are brought together in one workplace, inadvertent misunderstandings that hamper productivity frequently occur, despite a common shared language. CBC removes this barrier by offering instruction in successful intercultural communication that advances the organizational agenda. Our training essentially lifts the lens of culture to promote clear understanding of multicultural perspectives in the workplace, much like removing a pair of sunglasses enables seeing the world in a more accurate and in fact, realistic, light.
Understanding Cultural Ideologies
CBC training promotes awareness of the values, beliefs and collective mindset of persons of the same culture.
Communication in Culturally Diverse Settings
CBC provides guidance for successful communication and collaboration in culturally diverse organizations and workplaces and addresses stylistic differences in leadership, project management and on-time performance.
Advancing Your Organizational Mission
CBC works with each client to understand its mission and tailors our cultural competency instruction to reinforce the shared goals that advance the organizational agenda.
Whatever challenge in cultural connectivity an organization is encountering, CBC has a training program to address the issue. By fostering understanding between cultures, we enable corporate entities and other global organizations to position themselves for optimal international engagement and workplace productivity.
With a network of master facilitators around the globe, CBC is prepared to offer instruction virtually anywhere in the world in a team or individual coaching format; half day, full day and two-day curricula are available.
In addition to live training and group webinars, CBC offers one-on-one coaching ideal for C-level executives, professionals relocating abroad for long-term assignments and spouses and children affected by a corporate relocation.
CBC works the way our clients work. Many have global multi-location, even multi-continent, work teams connected via the Internet and teleconference. CBC can administer our training exactly the same way. Our webinars score high marks from diverse teams the world over.
Returning to one’s country of origin after a long-term assignment can be a jarring experience. CBC helps professionals and their families who are returning from abroad leverage new skills and global competencies to ease social and professional integration.
CBC customizes the course curriculum for each and every client session. We hone in on providing the information your team needs and every class is uniquely tailored to meet client goals.
CBC helps our clients assess their needs in the cultural competency arena. We work with each organization in identifying the most vital aspects of culture affecting their workplace, productivity and profitability. The entire CBC experience is always a program fully tailored to each client; there is no “one size fits all” model for cultural competency training. CBC recognizes that each organization has a unique identity and faces unique challenges — CBC embraces such uniqueness and elevates client success.
We provide cultural assessment tools and questionnaires, including our trademarked Individual Cultural Blueprint Indicator ™, ICBI, to measure one’s own cultural preferences as well as gaps in comprehension of other cultures. The ICBI tool provides a framework for narrowing these gaps and promoting improved intercultural interaction.
CBC training is micro-focused on navigating the challenges of country-to-country relocation as well as fostering cultural understanding within culturally diverse work teams. CBC has the resources to offer instruction to individual professionals as well as teams relocating from India to Belgium, or from the United States to China, essentially anywhere to anywhere. We work with professionals whose assignments and travel itineraries require them to immerse in and address a myriad of unique cultures.
The CBC team is globally recognized for excellence in cultural competency instruction. Our senior management executives are supported by an international network of master facilitators who are scholars with in-depth knowledge of the cultures for which they provide instruction.
Valerie Bath founded Cultural Business Consulting 15 years ago, following a career at one of the foremost management consulting firms in the world, Accenture. Her Accenture clients were leading global corporations. Ms. Bath also worked directly for scientific technology leader Texas Instruments. In both organizations, Ms. Bath designed and implemented enterprise-wide multi-continent systems solutions.
A descendant of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Oliver Wolcott, Ms. Bath’s experience living abroad and working with highly talented professionals from literally all corners of the globe enabled her to identify cultural understanding as one of the most vital competencies for any corporation with a global workforce, leading to the founding of Cultural Business Consulting. Today, Ms. Bath works side by side with her international team of cultural competency experts, facilitators and program directors, and she is a sought-after speaker on the international corporate conference, university and professional organizations circuits. She frequently addresses C-level executives, government agencies and community leaders on the importance of diversity and cultural perspective in corporate innovation, productivity and profitability.
From Valerie Bath: “In the present knowledge and information economy, each of us is just one click away from communicating with a co-worker living on the other side of the world, or we are sitting at a desk next to a colleague whose home country is in another hemisphere. Culture is an intangible but undeniably relevant, and indeed pivotal, dimension of communication in the workplace. I founded CBC to enhance understanding and productivity. We offer courses on the cultural perspectives of nearly every country, and we have the ability to customize all of our course offerings for any type of corporation or organization. I’ve assembled a team of cultural training experts all over the world who study specific countries and cultures and keep abreast of the social, economic, historical and political ideologies informing the collective perspective of each.
I’m proud of our clients who wisely invest in this training which prevents misunderstandings and etiquette offenses amongst workplace teams and fosters understanding about the various degrees of collegial and independent work styles that are innate to each of us, depending upon our culture of origin. It’s no surprise that companies that celebrate, embrace and honor culture as an indelible and highly valuable aspect of each employee’s character also tend to be the most creative, innovative and profitable.
We teach clients to compare their work styles to other cultures to enable an understanding of diverse perspectives. Essentially, we remove the concept of “foreign” from the international workplace to create harmonious and high-functioning corporate teams that align in unison on a single shared mission to bring to market the very best products and services.”
Director of Client Solutions
Claudia ZyskDirector of Client Solutions
Claudia Zysk is an important member of the CBC leadership team. She has worked for more than 15 years in people development, cultural competence development and project management, both internally as facilitator, training manager and instructional designer at Amazon and Expedia, and externally consulting with clients such as NASA, Philips, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Luxottica and Heineken. Claudia helps leaders and individuals to develop cross-cultural awareness and competence resulting in positive and productive professional and personal relationships both at work and at home. She is a believer that professional development initiatives need to have real business impact, beyond the wow factor and formal training.
As the CBC Director of Client Solutions, Claudia applies her full-circle learning and development expertise by asking the right (and often tough) questions to identify underlying issues, designing and delivering customized solutions, and measuring the results her clients achieve by applying what they learned to their jobs and lives. People who have worked with her say her superpowers are speed, resilience and turning chaos into order.
Claudia is originally from Stuttgart in Germany but has gained all her work experience outside her native country. In addition to having lived in the US and Italy for almost three decades, she lived in Japan and India to experience first hand the challenges and opportunities of living and working across cultural differences.
Claudia holds an MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a BA in Translation from Italy, and a certification as Certified Professional for Learning and Performance (CPLP). She currently lives in Port Townsend, WA.
John LeihVice President
John Leih has been a senior member of the CBC team for many years. John is a globally renowned training and development leader and educator. His specialty is cross-cultural coaching and linguistics. John provides customized programs for multinational corporations based in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.
He also delivers programs virtually and in person, serving the global business community throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
A master intercultural communicator, John is proficient in Spanish, and communicative in German, French and Italian. He also has a working knowledge of several other languages, including Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Turkish and Portuguese.
John designs and teaches international management and communication courses at San Jose State University’s College of Engineering (San Jose, California). He has been a lead presenter at international business conferences in the United States and Europe.
John holds a Master of Arts in International Management from the
School for International Training (Brattleboro, Vermont), and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley, California).
John currently makes his home San Jose; he frequently travels to Europe and Latin America for both business and pleasure.
Rossina Gill is an integral member of the CBC senior management team. She is a leadership & organization development practitioner who has provided consultation in the global workplace to more than 2,000 executives in over one hundred Fortune 500 companies. She is an executive coach and interculturalist who has served as the 2014-2015 chair of Nashville's Civic & Business Leaders Mentorship Programs. She has also served as the vice chair of the Middle Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Presently living in Nashville, Tennessee, Rossina has lived and worked in Spain, Denmark and Colombia. She speaks Spanish and has knowledge of Danish and French. Rossina leveraged her international experience into a position at Disney Interactive’s International “Edutainment” division. This post ultimately led to her position as Global Product Manager and Interim Director at Mattel Media, in the company’s global headquarters in El Segundo, California. Rossina was responsible for overall P&L for a team of 30 and she oversaw the product roll-out of 16 titles to 12 regions.
Rossina continues to conduct group and individual cross-cultural training sessions. Her consulting clients have included Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Amgen, Baxter, Abbott Labs, Toyota, Occidental Petroleum, Nestlé, Mars, Merrill Lynch and Edwards Lifesciences.
Rossina earned a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, with practical application in Lyon, France, Monterrey, Mexico and Beijing, China. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Studies with an emphasis in Foreign Policy from the Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Politics and Economics. Rossina received a Bachelor of Arts in International Communications, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a minor in Business Administration from Pacific Union College (Napa Valley, California). She has held a faculty position with California State University Northridge. She is a qualified administrator and interpreter of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), DiSC, DiSC-Indra, COI, CWq, and Ntrinsx.
Rossina authored The Corporate Looking Glass: Using Culture for Your Competitive Advantage, available on Amazon.com. The book is required reading at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business & Management. Rossina has been a conference speaker at UCLA, Rice University, American Society for Training and Development, Las Vegas University, California State University Northridge and the Society for HR Management.
Senior Intercultural Consultant
David SanfordSenior Intercultural Consultant
Senior Intercultural Consultant
Sirous KavehercySenior Intercultural Consultant
why a shared language is only one dimension of cross-cultural communication
Though the predominant language of global commerce is English, being fluent in English does not necessarily promote genuine understanding between colleagues of different cultures. We often must learn to both speak and listen in the second language of culture. The cultural perspective of an individual cannot be severed from his character, nor is such an objective desirable. CBC enables diverse work teams to comprehend their unique cultural perspectives and honor each, resulting in a dynamic and unified workplace sharing the business objectives of a single organization.
In the current knowledge economy, companies consistently procure talent from every continent. Workplaces are more diverse than ever before and more professionals are working outside their home countries than at any other time in history. On a planet comprised of 196 countries and even more unique cultures and subcultures, culture becomes either a potential impediment to productivity in a multicultural workforce or a gateway to the most innovative products and services created collaboratively by the best minds in the world.
Similar to teaching a foreign language, CBC instructs in multicultural competency. For instance, we can train an American corporate team to live abroad in Finland for a work project and we can also provide instruction to Chinese scientists relocating to Brazil for a long- or short-term assignment. CBC frequently partners with our corporate clients as extensions of their training and development departments to provide ongoing instruction about cultural perspectives in the workplace; we have maintained relationships with many of our clients over several years, instructing thousands of employees, year after year.
CBC training focuses on how the multicultural members of a work team are more alike than different while fostering a respect for the cultural perspective of each. When culturally diverse colleagues understand each other’s ingrained perspectives and linguistic interpretations of simple concepts (such as yes and no), common goals that bolster the productivity and profitability of the corporation can more easily be achieved.
CBC is proud to work with the most renowned international organizations in business today, many of which have benefited from thousands of hours of customized cultural competency training for thousands of employees all over the globe from the entry level to senior management. Here is just a sample of our prestigious client roster:
A leading IT services company with offices on six continents needed cultural business skills training to improve communication and collaboration with teams in India. CBC trained and coached over 3,000 employees as well as the firm’s clients’ employees in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The parties involved were able to meet service level agreements due to improved collaboration and deepened understanding of how work styles vary by culture.
A lending institution was receiving complaints related to U.S. Fair Lending practices. CBC provided the firm’s employees a better understanding of expected business practices and cultural context as a dimension of client service. The organization was then able to close more loan transactions with a broadly culturally diverse clientele.
A major aerospace company transferred a couple to live and work in another country. Both were experiencing assimilation and cultural challenges. CBC provided a two-day cross-cultural training session for the couple. After completing CBC’s “Living and Working Effectively in your Host Country” course, the couple had a better understanding of culturally relevant business practices as well as the local community.
Strategy Services Firm
A U.S.-based scientific and commercial strategy services firm was organizing an international conference. The company contacted CBC to deliver cultural awareness sessions for employees involved in the conference. Understanding business protocol and etiquette as well as culturally unique business practices gave this firm the competitive advantage to deliver a successful conference.
All content covered was useful and real life examples were provided. The instructor kept the presentation engaging, fun and relevant.
Participant, UK, Centrica
The workshop was educational and interactive. The instructor held our attention the entire presentation and the material covered will strengthen communication in our multicultural teams.
Participant, Oslo, Norway, Gard
The facilitator gave an informative and impressive presentation. The strategies and examples discussed were valuable. Our employees will benefit greatly.
Operations Project Lead, NYC, Emblem Health
CBC’s facilitator was excellent and had such a depth of knowledge! Our teams really enjoyed the presentation. Thanks for your partnership with our important initiative!
Participant, Assistant Vice President, Learning & Development, Denver, CO Oppenheimer Funds