Five signs you could be CultureConnector’s next cultural expert

Jul 31, 2016  · by

Success factors of cultural correspondents

Topics: Argonaut, Intercultural careers, Virtual teamworking

From 2014 to 2016 I coordinated Argonaut’s Cultural Correspondent community. Correspondents are the people who bring the culture-specific expertise to CultureConnector. And they are a pretty impressive group of people.

The Cultural Correspondents are using their deep cultural knowledge, their writing skills and creativity to share their knowledge and demonstrate their professional standing in the industry. That makes it a win for CultureConnector’s users who get great content and a win for its expert contributors who get additional visibility. But the role is demanding and to gain a place among the Cultural Correspondents, you need a few factors.

Here’s what I learnt about making it as a Cultural Correspondent for CultureConnector.

Success factors of cultural correspondents
Success factors of cultural correspondents

Five signs you could be CultureConnector’s next cultural expert

  1. Knowledge of an insider, insights of an outsider. Successful Cultural Correspondents know the history and the latest trends in the culture and much of the detail and variety within it. But to truly identify the relevant issues, they also think like an insider trying to build bridges into the culture.
  2. Packaging knowledge into short, powerful texts. Our Cultural Correspondents are great writers. They find the essentials and boil them down into sharp, engaging texts.
  3. Fearlessness with challenging tasks. Even with deep cultural knowledge, some writing tasks are not easy. It can demand deep thought and imagination, and sometimes research too. But the key thing each time is to just get started. Writing is iterative: it gets better with every version.
  4. Community spirit. Writing can be a lonely task, but usually it gets social too. You need to be in dialogue with your editor and to connect with other correspondents who may have worked on the same task as you. We’re all seeking the same goal, so we’re in a collective enterprise.
  5. Understanding the learner. All writers need to write for the reader. That’s especially true when the reader is a busy working person with little time for study but a big need for understanding and context. Experience of working life and training situations enables our most successful correspondents to produce content which really serves the needs of learners.

The rewarding role of a CCCC Cultural Correspondent Community Coordinator

The CCCC title needs shortening, but my experience of the role was not heavy at all. It was my task to help the Cultural Correspondents to get their assignments done. We Skyped and met in informal group sessions which I called virtual coffee tables. We clarified the writing goals and through initial edits condensed the most valuable insights into tight packages of text. I was supporter, assistant, coach, cheerleader, facilitator while at the same time admiring how professional they are.

Our virtual coffee table meetups created a real connection and the feeling of community around the CCs. However, even though we connected using multiple media the fact is that community is not built overnight.

For me the most rewarding aspect of the role is interaction with the correspondents who are located all over the world. Sharing ideas and visions or just simply going through their views about an assignment I felt I always learned something. It is an amazing feeling when you are part of lively network that is truly global.

Get in touch

Get in touch with the Argonaut team if you want to turn your cultural knowledge and writing skills into a business advantage. This could be an important step on your journey to developing and demonstrating the 7 most-requested talents of an interculturalist.

I could see that our Cultural Correspondents welcomed the fact that their knowledge has great value and will stay in demand in the Cultural Correspondent community.


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