Free intercultural training tool
Mar 27, 2017 · by Richard Farkas
While it may be true that the best things in life are free, that’s not true in business.
Business almost by definition is about agreeing a price, investing and getting the return. It is about risking real money, not about gratis exchange. Heck, wise business people even pay money to save money.
Intercultural training is a business too, mostly. Cross-cultural trainers and consultants generate value – lots of it, in the case of the best in our profession. So we should be surprised to find an intercultural service like CultureConnector that’s free. How can it exist and why does it?
The more you pay, the better it gets
If you’ve got great skills as a buyer (or an efficient procurement team to back you up), you’re already matching price with value. You should be in a world where the more you pay, the better service you get. For every extra step up the price scale, you’re getting a greater return on your investment. This is the classic idea of price.
So why should you be interested when you find something’s free?
Fast and free
It’s time to update that classic view of price. Zero price no longer means zero value. Thanks to our experience with Google’s search, WeChat, Twitter, Wikipedia, SurveyMonkey, WhatsApp and many more, we now know that free-to-use business services can be high-value business services.
These free services are a good option when there is no time for a procurement process or if your organisation’s licensed tools don’t fit your needs.
For short-term, tactical and local needs, a free tool has the advantage that you probably do not need to make a business case or to wait for a decision before you can start using it. But it has been hard to find the equivalent in the intercultural field.
Why we run a Free intercultural e-learning service
Since 2016, CultureConnector has included a free intercultural training tool. It’s our Free service and it’s one click away. Anyone working with other cultures can sign up and get started immediately.
As a business, we exist to raise the chances of people succeeding in other cultures. We do this by removing the barriers to entry into intercultural competence programs, whether through price, accessibility, motivation, training or availability.
For specialist practitioners, we offer the free service as a chance to engage new customers, to showcase their work, build up the business case in collaboration with their client and charge appropriate fees when that business case is accepted.
For L&D managers with a vision but no budget we offer the free service as a frictionless way to kick-start online intercultural learning for their organisation.
And for anyone with an interest in developing themselves, we offer instant high-quality insights into whatever cultures they choose.
How it works
CultureConnector’s free service is designed for anyone who could benefit in their work:
- you need no authorisation or special access codes to sign up
- you get a profile which you can unlock for free
- unlocking your profile enables not only full country comparisons but also peer-to-peer or coach-to-client comparisons, breaking down national stereotyping by offering a frame of reference which is not tied to country archetypes
- in a face-to-face situation the workshop leader, teacher or coach can sit with participants and discuss the meaning and strategies arising from the personal cultural profile
- there is no trial period: access to your profile stays open
Check out our licence options to decide whether CultureConnector’s free cross-cultural training tools are right for you.
Of course you’ll run into some limitations which can be removed by upgrading. In CultureConnector, the two key advantages of upgrading will be:
- To aggregate a class’s results to create a group profile
- For the trainer to have access through CultureConnector to participant profiles, rather than the need to physically sit with participants and look at their own logged-in accounts.
When is the right time to invest in intercultural training?
Our free online service makes it easier for you to make the investment decision at the right time for your business.
You can use the free service to build your business case, set clear goals, target a measurable return on investment and pilot some processes in collaboration between client and provider or internal stakeholders.
Your free-to-use period can be as long as you need it to be and you may even find that you can grow the value during this period, as you set up ways of working and learn from each pilot case.
When you get the final investment decision, we move back to that classical model of price: it’s important now to invest a realistic figure in a great service and best available partner.
Beware low prices
You may rightly say “free is my favourite price” while you are exploring and innovating with intercultural competence development. But free is probably not a great long-term strategy for you, if you have ambitious targets for business results. Investing more really will get you the best partner, the best experience for your participants and the best impact for your business.
Don’t make “low-price” your next step from “free”. Consistently low prices indicate low value. Your zero-budget period on a free service should have given you a strong business case and brought you to a decision to fully fund your intercultural competence development. If you are stuck in the low-price, low-value zone, we invite you to use our free service as a stepping stone to raising your game and taking your intercultural training to a new level, high on the classic price-value line.