Building a professional core that can better deal with the cultural differences affecting the film experience

About Sony
The client challenge

SONY Corporation is a Japanese conglomerate. It is primarily active as a manufacturer of consumer electronics and its Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a major media player acting as a global media conglomerate. In addition, Sony produces computer games and game consoles (Sony Interactive Entertainment) and provides financial services to Japanese consumers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the group has divisional headquarters in Europe and USA.

The client challenge

With an increased importance of the global influence and expansion of the film business, Sony SPHE was making a larger part of its revenue outside the US (ca. 65%). The program concepts were converted to other cultures without too many changes. This approach was not effective and raised different needs and issues, also internally around staffing and expertise on the leadership side. These issues were stated and understood, but a “doesn’t apply to me” was often the main reply. There was a strategic issue around Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I): Sony Pictures Entertainment  needed a better understanding of diversity in order to maximize opportunities on a global scale, both with internal and external clients (people’s mindset needed to become more sensitive in order to look at their catalogue in a different way).

Our approach to Globalization
1RECOGNIZE2RESPECT3RECONCILE4REALIZE

Recognize

In order to address the strategic Global D&I challenge and the specific needs and objectives of Sony SPE, it was crucial to start with the diagnosis and analysis of the situation to determine the underlying causes of the issues and obtain insight into the hinders and supports for change. As a preparation we conducted the Globalization Readiness Scan revealing the degree to which SONY was globalized. Then we cross-validated the results by interviews. The results of the diagnosis were discussed in a Board session where we jointly determined the next steps of a company-wide program to embed real sustainable diversity within Sony SPHE.

Respect

We started to conduct a Cultural Awareness training in order to increase the awareness and respect for cultural differences. All participants completed the Intercultural Awareness Profile, got their scores and got coached on the differences. The program was founded on a blended learning approach, including on-demand digital and App-based solutions that drew on the findings and recommendations.

Reconcile

We have conducted group work in which participants applied dilemma reconciliation methodology to pre-selected commonly shared dilemmas, elicited through the face-to-face interviews and Dilemma Scan. Participants did work through the methodology and defined practical steps to implement their reconciled solutions in their work environment.

Realize

To root and spread the intercultural mindset across the organization, we implemented an in-depth 3-day train the trainer program preparing Sony SPE facilitators to deliver cultural awareness training based on Trompenaars Hampden-Turner’s model of Seven Dimensions of Culture, including the use and explanation of the Intercultural Awareness Profiler tool.