International Business

Managing international teams

Cross Cultural Management Course Guest Lecture Series

 hosted by Roosalina Wulandari, M.Psi

As part of the Cross-cultural Management class learning outcomes, understanding how to work with diversity is non-negotiable. In effort to gain not only theoretical perspective, an outlook from the industry perspective is also imperative to ensure that our students experience a comprehensive learning process. Hence, on 12th of May 2020, an online guest lecture session was conducted. The prominent speaker invited was Rahimah [Ima] Abdulrahim, Director of Public Policy for Southeast Asia Countries at Facebook. Due to the high interest on the topic, the other parallel classes also participated in the online session and was showing enthusiasm in engaging with the conversation.

Some of the notable points were oriented towards exploring the excitement and challenges in dealing with different culture and diversity, leadership style, and the importance to find common ground of shared norms and values when working with people from different backgrounds. Before landing her current position in Facebook, Ima spent a good 19 formative-years with The Habibie Center, an NGO and leading think-tank established by the late President B.J. Habibie. With her last position at The Habibie Center as the Executive Director, she compared and contrasted some of the major cultural difference between the two organizations. In addition to that, she also shared the similarity of the values and leadership styles that she was able to exercises with both organizations, despite the variety of her team’s nature and demography.

After sharing the Q&A session with participants on the floor, Ima shared an important takeaway point on how to help manage and develop her team. Whenever she needs to provide feedback, she starts with WWW [What Went Well] and continues with a constructive critique of EBI [Even Better If], in effort to express support instead of discouragement. She closed with a remark that in life there will always be “the Big Table”.

“So, if you ever get a seat at the Big Table, you better know your shit”   [Ima Abdulrahim, 2020]

I will not have her quote edited, unapologetically.