Cross-Cultural Competence – What we can learn from the Instagram Beauty Community

Hi everybody,

Beautybloggers and Cultural Competence
Beautybloggers and Cultural Competence

I know, the title might sound a bit weird as it’s not what I would regularly post- but it’s true and I think essential. I consider myself as slightly makeup addicted and so would do my friends. Therefore it was time to share my passion with same minded people. I chose Instagram as my favourite channel to do so. I created a beauty account and started blogging about beauty. First, it was more a fun thing (which it still is, I love it). I wanted to see how quick I could build a community within a new media (for me at that time absolutely new, just used it as a private user).  Since a couple of months I am now posting on my Instagram account nearly daily and give recommendations, product reviews, makeup of the day shots etc.. I expected to find maybe a couple of other girls that love makeup. But I didn’t not expect THIS! It’s just awesome. We are a community. I guess it’s not called for no reason Instagram-Family because I consider this is what we are, somehow. I have now over 900 follower – many others have soooo much more followers but it doesn’t make any difference. Everybody is an equal member of this family. In this post I want to share with you why I think it as great as it is and what we can adapt to open up our minds.

We are a community

Beauty blogging is like a huge community that embraces new members, new looks, new faces. I don’t wanna say that there are no ‘haters’ out there. Especially people with a hugh YouTube channel will experience hater comments from time to time – I guess this is just the ‘normal thing’. Bullies that hide behind the anonymity of the world wide web. Well, I haven’t experienced anything like this myself so far. I started getting into this community by posting first makeup pics, hauls, reviews etc.. The fun about this is the interaction with other members. Sure, as in every family there are sometimes disagreements especially about cruelty free products or products of companies with a bad reputation. But in general we can figure this out and it’s nothing personal but just disagreement with this decision to use a certain product. Unethically user behaviour however is handled more critical – you have always the chance to unfollow.

We have a purpose

I guess for most people the purpose is to educate, explain and share best practices on ‘how to dress your face’. When someone is showing his makeup stash and storage solutions it’s not about ‘showing off’ but to share ones passion with the others. Usually this makeup addiction is something ‘everyday friends’ who are simply not that much into make up can’t and don’t want to handle. So, to whom talk about it when not having a bunch of makeup artists in your friends community?

However, after starting my blogging some girls of my private life are seeking out for some great makeup tips – the exchange does outgrow the online space.

We embrace individual differences and empower

Here are two great examples – however, there are sooo many more great people out there who embrace and inspire daily!

Nikkie from Nikkietutorials with her pretty famous ‘The power of makeup’ video (watch it here: The power of makeup) with the message: Makeup is fun! You don’t do it for boys or because you are feeling insecure but because you want it!

Em from mypaleskinblog with her absolute bold and courageous video ‘You look disgusting’ (watch the video here: You look disgusting ). She is an absolute hero. Em is an absolutely gorgeous, sweet girl who is doing acne coverage videos and create awesome, stunning looks out of it. I absolutely love watching her tutorials. Many girls are not too comfortable to leave the house without any makeup – we simply feel insecure because of the expectations and beauty forces we are exposed to. Em starts her tutorials without any makeup on. She has acne and gives tutorials on how to cover it. These tutorials are absolutely amazing and should be a great help for all girl with skin problems. However, she got so many ugly, nasty comments that she made a video out of it (see above). Those comments are not just mean but also weird as they turn into nice compliments for her stunning looks after applying makeup. I would expect those comments do

Makeup a fake?
Makeup a fake?

come mainly from people outside the beauty community because ‘this is fake advertising’ would no makeup lover ever say! This whole things is pretty tragic and I just can say ‘Em, chapeau, for all your courageous to publish this video and making people aware of the bullying’. What happened is – she got a great positive resonance and the haters were simply shut up. This is for me absolute top level of answering haters! You are a role model for everybody! Chapeau!

Age, language, religion do not matter at all

The closest ‘buddies’ I found mainly not my age at all. To be honest, the age differences are pretty big – but it doesn’t matter! We are family! I post my picture  captions mainly in english and comment in either german or english. This means not everyone can understand my comments. Neither can I understand everything what my dutch, Egyptian, spanish are talking about. But with our likes we share our understanding and our togetherness.

Everyone is equal – no matter gender or number of followers

Sure, when you have more follower you can reach more people out there and are more influenceable and you are more busy to reply to comments etc. However, I know so many people with many followers that are just really likeable and still close to their ‘fans’.

I put on gender here because I assume that most people would think makeup community is just a bunch of girls crazy about makeup. It’s not. It doesn’t matter the gender. There are some great guys out there whose contouring skills are just out of reach, whose highlighting is on point and who manages the art of an absolute flawless complexion. And I think this is an absolute awesome example on embracing everybody’s individual differences and in living diversity. Check out Alex here and you will also find so many more great male makeup artists. Makeup is a fun thing and it’s for you to feel good.

Great stuff leads to great feedback

It doesn’t matter how much makeup you owe, how much high end makeup do you have or what’s the overall worth of your products. Within the community there are different sub cultures that are embraced and celebrated. For example a lot of people post haul videos on youtube – each month. These videos have the content to show what the blogger has shopped. No intense review, not really much added – just shopping. These videos are highly popular and I guess nearly all of us love new makeup. However, there is a community determined to ‘pan’ their makeup. This is a term for finishing makeup (i.e. use it up). ‘Hit the pan’ is the status when for example an eyeshadow is so much used up that you actually can see the pan that holds the eyeshadow. This community with their philosophy ‘shop your stash and finish your makeup before buying new makeup’ is the totally opposite to the ‘shopping community’. But again, differences are embraced and people that manage to finish up a whole eyeshadow palette inspire others to do the same. Both communities are growing and supporting each other! Again, embrace diversity and celebrate individual differences, behaviours and ways of thinking. In general do I experience the makeup community as pretty supporting – as each other online community. The members are family.

It’s no longer ‘just makeup’

Makeup was our starting point – we have outgrown this and we are on the way to become friends. With many users I am in a daily exchange – although it is sometimes just a ‘good morning beautiful, have a fab day’ or just a heart emoji or a bunch of likes on the new stuff. We make sure that we show the others (of course not everybody, but your close buddies) that we are there. And as I said some relationships are getting even closer. Some of the girls do know better what’s in my mind, what’s happening through my days, what challenges I am facing and how I survive than some of my real life friends. And same way around. I am happy to give some advice to a girl who needs me. And I guess the anonymity and distance does it make easier for all of us to open up, to be just us. Some girls you get really close to without knowing their name, maybe without ever have seen their faces but all these ‘things’ that are highly important in real life just do not matter. It’s not about first impression management. It’s not about whose face has the nicest and most prettiest features. It’s about your skills and your passion for makeup. And I guess this unconventional way to get to know a person is a great basis to start with. And I know many makeup lovers who have met on blogger events, personal dates or exchanged packages and became real life friends. People that maybe have never met in real life or haven’t found out what their connection might be.

This is just an example but I just want you to go out, find your buddies and get to know the people behind a cultural branding. People are so much more than just their cultural backgrounds. People don’t need words or the same language to become friends or have a good time together. Be open, grow your mindset, push your boundaries and find new friends that make you smile every day.

Get out of your comfort zone!

Make the magic happening - My Nut Share
Make the magic happening – My Nut Share

 

I simply just love this drawing! Found it on Instagram @6amSuccess – it is absolutely on point! As it got already shared on Twitter with the words “Found some Marketing in the Wild” I thought it might be time to get this thing on the blog – to clear up the wild a bit. Thanks for sharing @blogtolearn!

For more daily, inspirational and motivational quotes please check out the @mynutshare account on Instagram.

What is Culture? (Infographic)

What is Culture? Infographic by My Nut Share
What is Culture? Infographic (not fully comprehensive) by My Nut Share

Poor Performance – Beyond Lacking Ability and Motivation

Howdy,

in recent posts I talked about talent, potential and performance. As it has been said already job performance occurs in different stages and with different focus (task performance etc.). To see my other posts around this idea please check the category ‘talent’. Business Dictionary defines performance as ‘The accomplishment of a given task measured against present known standards of accuracy, complexness, cost and speed. In a contract, performance is deemed to be the fulfilment of an obligation in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract’.

Well, this definition is quite technically and heavily focussing on task performance – how to perform in executing one task. Further research findings around ‘performance’ were pretty often in line with the model of MindTools – developed from ‘Developing Managament Skills’ by Whetten & Cameron, 2011. This model states:

Performance = Ability x Motivation

With ability being defined as a ‘person’s aptitude, as well as the training & resources supplied by the organisation’ and motivation defined as the ‘product of desire and commitment’.

Facts are:

  1. Ability and motivation are definitely important factors of performance.
  2. Performance is an absolutely essential measure of each company – no matter the company’s size.
  3. Individual’s performance can impact organisational performance.
  4. Many companies prefer focusing on good performance rather than negative performance.

Ability and motivation are important and regarding the fact that many companies are not keen or don’t have the financial resources to focus on too much employee development and training it is essential that abilities and motivation are in place. However, I don’t think this can’t be it. During selection processes we focus mainly on ‘who to select (in)’ – who is the right match for our company / role – whom to pick.

But when we review the impact individuals performance has on a whole team or even organisation shouldn’t we focus more on the parts that trigger poor or even negative performance? Shouldn’t these factors be at least as important as the ‘good’ factors? Shouldn’t we also focus on who to ‘select-out’? Whom to let go?

HR Zone states that good performance does occur on 3 levels:

  1. Relationships between individuals and their boss
  2. Relationships between individuals and their team
  3. Relationships between individuals and their wider organisation

I absolutely like this wider idea of performance. As it does say a lot about the underlying behaviours that form the relationships. Behaviour and soft skills are somehow developable as well as ability is somehow trainable and flexible. Motivation can somehow be increased through external factors like money and other rewards. But shouldn’t we focus on what motivates an individual from the insight? What are the internal motivators? Where does intrinsic motivation comes from? What are the underlying personality traits that form the person’s behaviour, thinking style and finally motivates a person?

In all these definitions above I miss the personality part of performance. Especially the parts that could lead to derailment and contra productive work behaviour which definitely can impact performance – negatively. The relationship levels give a first, nice indication about how people behave in contact with others but to get a real picture of this they must already be employed.

One of my favourite books  is ‘Why CEO’s Fail: The 11 Behaviours That Can Derail Your Climb to The Top & How to Manage Them’ by Dotlich & Cairo (2003). CEO’s who are obvisouly top performers by definition – how else could they have climbed up to the company’s top – are mainly not failing because of lacking ability or motivation. CEO’s mainly fail because of derailment, contra productive workplace behaviour. The  11 described behaviours like e.g. arrogance, mischievousness,  and perfectionism are formed by underlying maladaptive personality traits. Let’s just summarise – an individual’s performance can influence the performance of the whole company. How big also could be the potential damage when a CEO is not performing appropriately but is rather performing bad? Not bad in the definition of not hitting targets or not setting a vision but in influencing others negatively? Shouldn’t we focus, besides ability and motivation, on personality too? Personality traits are stable and unchangeable. This means we can’t change them with training or development. Shouldn’t we pay more attention to ‘whom select out’ in our selection processes rather than ‘who has the ability and motivation to perform’? Isn’t personality a main factor? Aren’t people the most valuable asset of each company? Aren’t people the ones who interact with your customers and who sell your products? So, why is the measurement of so called ‘maladaptive workplace behaviour’ not mandatory in selection processes?  So many companies use psychometrics like personality testing for their early stage selection process but focus in doing so mainly on the desirable traits they would like to select in rather the negative traits they would like to select out. Quite a few companies are not happy to admit that they do have low performers and are less happy to take action. I guess this is something that should be changed. What are your thoughts about this topic? How do you measure performance? I’m absolutely keen to get to know your view.

 

My Nut Share – The WHY’s

Hello everybody,

My Nut Share, my business blog, has kicked-off last month and some readers found I put pretty much effort into ‘just a blog’ with having also a presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and of course the webpage itself. So I thought it might be the time to express my WHY. Why am I blogging? Why this name? And why do I want to blog about these three main topics.

  1. Why do I blog?

Obviously there are many good reasons why people or businesses do start a blog. My main reasons are that I do like blogging and I think it’s an awesome way to share what drives my mind. And especially to share it with people who are interested in it, hopefully. This blog is not going to give answers to all questions I might ask but it helps me to organise my thoughts. To create a proper blog post I am kind of forced to do some research, to learn about things, to extract the keys and to share my thoughts around them. I hope over the time to be able to build a network to exchange ideas and help to close the gap between research literature and practitioners point of views.

To summarise it: My Nut Share shall help to connect the world in a fun and enjoyable way and motivate others to not stay shut up but embrace your own thoughts.

  1. Why did I pick the name ‘My Nut Share’?

I absolutely do love squirrels and it’s my nickname. And squirrels do love nuts – to share something that is important to you makes a nut share.

  1. Why do I want to blog about these topics?

Talent

People are simply the most important asset organisation has!

Entrepreneurship

I am fascinated with entrepreneurial thinking and I do believe that intrapreneurship is still not getting enough attention by now. So I want to give a shout out to all (corporate) entrepreneurs out there.

Culture

I do believe that “Being global is not an option. It’s an imperative” (Cabrera, Unruh, 2012) – but many of us are not yet global enough. I am crazy enough to believe we can change the world or at least open up our mindsets and get rid of a couple of boxes.

Maybe My Nut Share can help to provide curious minds with a bit more cross-cultural confidence – myself included.

My Nut Share is somehow my learning process. A journey I got myself on and I am happy to share my findings with you. I am keen to see who might walk a bit with me on this journey.

Happy Blogging!

In case you want to check out My Nut Share on the other platforms, here are the links:

My Nut Share on Facebook

My Nut Share on Instagram

My Nut Share on Twitter

Intrapreneurs – The Corporate Entrepreneurs

A while ago I read an article at Entrepreneur, which was called ‘5 Reasons Why I Quit My Own Business to Work for Someone Else’ (Check out the article here). The 5 reasons have been:

  • Paid education
  • Accountability
  • Play a bigger game
  • Meaningful relationships
  • More disposable income

Entrepreneur Magazine is very well known for great articles that embrace entrepreneurship, support pushing your own boundaries and awesome advice on how to get your own business perform even better. I found this title pretty surprising and it caught my attention immediately. Some posted comments reflected that others shared my amazement. One person commented ‘this person has never been an Entrepreneur’. But do we really need to be self-employed to be an Entrepreneur? Does this mean every self-employed person becomes automatically an Entrepreneur or a solo-preneur?

In my last post I mentioned that we are obviously not capable of coming up with a general applicable definition of what entrepreneurship is. The term ‘novelty’ seems to be important. But is the environment we are operating in important as well? Who are the real drivers of innovation? Can’t it make total sense for a solo-preneur to get back into a corporate environment? To have the benefit of leveraging an idea ready for execution to much larger, already established client base? Shouldn’t we appreciate people as Entrepreneurs who thinking entrepreneurially and take over responsibility while operating in a corporate environment? Aren’t maybe some of this so-called Intrapreneurs ore corporate Entrepreneurs even more successful than many “real” Entrepreneurs? When thinking of entrepreneurs one might have Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey in mind – but how many Entrepreneurs in total do really kick ass and become that successful? What does success even mean? We are likely to talk only about successful examples when discussing entrepreneurship because these are the examples we are aware of – success stories sell better than serial success less failures. In corporate environments we tend to talk about brands in general and the brand’s reputation. However, we should not forget who is behind that brand! People, Employees, Intrapreneurs. In the following I’d like to give you a quick overview of intrapreneurship.

 

Intrapreneurs are corporate Entrepreneurs

Intrapreneurs think, act and behave like Entrepreneurs with the difference that they are doing this within a corporate environment rather than an own company. This means the focus as well as the level of responsibility differs. While Entrepreneurs are responsible for their whole company and need to overview the operating business as well as the big picture. Intrapreneurs are mainly responsible for a single part of the business or a product and Intrapreneurs are not necessarily financially involved.

 

Intrapreneurs are drivers of innovation

‘Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard’ with these words Guy Kawasaki relates straight to a very well-known issue of many big companies. The execution and implementation of ideas is crucial and inevitable to stay competitive in the current market. Loads of large corporations have established their own departments solely focusing on idea creation. Some will shop ideas expensively from external consultants. With having loads of ideas on board the execution, the happening, however is often still neglected or poor. What companies now need more than ever are people who execute these ideas and implement them. What corporates need are hands-on intrapreneurs ideally at each hierarchy level. (Simon Parker, 2011).

 

Intrapreneurs understand the market and draw off trends

Like Entrepreneurs Intrapreneurs know the market they are operating in, they know their customers and their needs. Intrapreneurs are industry experts who seek new growth opportunities and question the why of each trend to identify and create value.

 

Intrapreneurs are not just employed but are part of the company

Intrapreneurs are not driven by money. Their goal is not to become super wealthy. Their reward needs to be broader than only money. Treating Intrapreneurs as part of the company, valuing their input and offer partial ownership might be a way more appealing deal.

 

Intrapreneurs take calculate risks and care about the company

Intrapreneurs take risks and like successful Entrepreneurs they do it with respect and pay attention to potential consequences. Intrapreneurs grow with independency and autonomy.

 

So, what do you think? Shouldn’t we treat Intrapreneurs the same way we hype and admire Entrepreneurs? Shouldn’t we appreciate the fact that this person has taken the brave step to leave independency and be willing to go back into a corporate environment to add value there – and is even willing to share his story on Entrepreneur Magazine? Shouldn’t we stop judging people over their title on a business card? Shouldn’t we trust and more appreciate the results and outcomes a person is delivering rather than the label the person is given?

Entrepreneurs the New Economical Superstars – a Definition

It seems nowadays entrepreneurs are becoming the new economical superstars who drive change, disrupt markets, exit innovations and create competitive edges by being one step ahead. The more surprising it is that there is no existing generally applicable definition of “Entrepreneurship” or “Entrepreneur” . Some would agree that entrepreneurs are the ones who build an own company, some would agree entrepreneurs are the ones who think entrepreneurial, take on calculated risks and make things happen – no matter in which environment. Others would maybe agree that entrepreneurs are a too heterogeneous and widely spread group to be treated as just ‘one special bread’.

Definition-wise we might lack a bit agreement but I think the definition of Eckhardt and Shane (2003) is a nice one as they define entrepreneurship “… as the discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of future goods and services … [by] . . . creation or identification of new ends and means previously undetected or unutilized by market participants”. I like this definition as it is not too limited to the act of building a new business but could also be used for entrepreneurs operating in a corporate environment, so called intrapreneurs. So, novelty seems to be the cutting edge within this definition. That goes along with probably a generally applicable opinion of what entrepreneurs should be like.

As I’m quite interested in the whole research around entrepreneurship and personality I would like to share with you my findings within the next posts and am keen to get to know your opinions and views about the new superstars.

For a daily dose of inspirational and motivational quotes please find My Nut Share now also on Instagram as @mynutshare (@mynutshare on instagram). Would love to see you there as well.

Stephanie

Personnel Selection and Performance

When talking about ‘getting the right people into the right place’ its mostly linked to the goal ‘to get job done’. So what does this exactly mean?  People differ in their ‘talents’ – their knowledge, skills, abilities and others differences. Therefore in order to reach this ‘getting it done’ goal personnel selection should define the relationships between the needed ‘talents’ and the performance outcomes they should ideally lead to.

Viswesvaran and Ones (2000) defined job performance as “scalable actions, behaviour and outcomes that employees engage in or bring about that are linked with and contribute to organisational goals”. Performance could either be related to specific tasks and goals or be a factor that influences goal achievement maybe indirect (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993).

So, to make the right decision in a selection context companies should define:

  1. What are the company’s goals? And are they transparent communicated to the HR departments?
  2. What ‘talents’ are needed? Was there a proper job analysis conducted to find out?
  3. How are these ‘talents’ gonna be found, attracted and got on board?
  4. What would be a good way to identify if it’s the right ‘talent’ before being hired?

Are those elementary first steps not done this could lead to high costs of poor selection.

Furthermore shouldn’t we think one step ahead and instead of just considering what ‘talent’ is needed in this actual moment? Shouldn’t we focus on the future? Wouldn’t it be useful to define what ‘talents’ or qualities will be needed to perform effectively in more than just one future role? Shouldn’t we focus on ‘potential’ rather than ‘talent’? Shouldn’t we consider a look at what performance a candidate is maximal capable of? Or should we focus on the typically shown performance? And which environment would be needed to support maximal performance?

I am keen to get to know your thoughts about ‘Personnel Selection and Performance’.

Stephanie