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Navigating Intercultural Complexities

Navigating Intercultural Complexities

This program is designed to equip managers to deepen their awareness and become part of the solution in building culturally inclusive teams.

About Intercultural Competence

Intercultural competence is a valuable asset in the contemporary world where globalization is a force of change, and the push to drive innovation requires leaders that are interculturally competent. 

Middle managers today must help their teams succeed and thrive by maximizing the value from an ever-increasing range and depth of cultural differences on their teams. They have a significant influence on whether culturally diverse teams will thrive or stumble.

The term culture in this context does include race, nationality, and ethnicity but goes beyond these identity markers as well. We recognize culture as a complex code of behaviors, values, and interaction styles to create a shared identity by specific groups such as gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, religion. 


About the program

Whether you have long been a  manager or are a recent one, this course will provide you with a toolbox and simple steps that you can take to create a welcoming inclusive team that harnesses its diversity to drive productivity, innovation, and creativity. 

The program is designed to broaden your intercultural competence, equip you with strategies to increase employee engagement, counter unconscious bias, foster collaboration and make truly inclusive decisions in all aspects of people management. 


Program Dates

8 afternoon sessions between
October 13 - November 17, 2021

Full schedule below

Program fee

$4,500* + HST

  • Tuition
  • All program materials including assessments and tools
  • Completion certificate

Participant profile

Middle managers with minimum 6 months of experience leading and managing teams

Experience working in multi-cultural environments in any sector

A growth mindset and an eagerness to understand how cultural values impacts behavior and how to create inclusive teams


Apply now →

A deposit of 50% of the program fee is required at time of application. The balance of the program fee is due 30 days after receipt of invoice or 30 days before the start of the program, whichever is first.

Alumni Discount: 
Rotman Initiative for Women in Business participants, Business Edge graduates, or Rotman MBA/EMBA alumni are eligible for a discount equivalent to 10% of the Program Fee. One discount may be applied per person. 

Cancellation Policy:
Please review the full version of our Application Policies for cancellation information.

Application Deadline: October 8, 2021

Program Themes 

Intercultural Competency

Develop an awareness of how culture influences your own values and preferences for behavioural norms and intercultural communication. 

Uncover the impact that a good understanding of intercultural values, contexts, and communication styles can have on your leadership style and approach to managing diverse teams. 

Explore your mindset and worldview and develop strategies to be interculturally competent.

Barriers to Inclusion

Examine the systemic barriers created by unspoken and unwritten rules and eliminating these barriers to support the career development of your team members. 

Learn to recognize and navigate systemic barriers that may be limiting your own and/or your team’s career progression, exploring unspoken and unwritten rules in the workplace.


Leveraging Diversity and Counteracting Unconscious Bias

Cultivate a growth mindset around diversity and inclusion, exploring strategies for embracing and navigating differences in teams. 

Explore the dynamics of leveraging the diversity of teams as a leader, through the lens of unconscious bias

Fostering an Environment of Engagement, Trust, and Belonging

Apply practical tools to create stronger engagement in teams, support diverse talent to contribute fully, collaborate and reach new levels of performance individually and as a team

Discover new strategies and apply practical tools that leaders use to drive stronger engagement, contributions, and performance within diverse teams.


Being an Ally and Disarming Microaggression

Explore and practice how to engage in the challenging conversations needed to address microinequities, microaggression, and unconscious bias in the workplace. 

Program dates and schedule

    The program schedule includes:

  • Instructor lead webinars running from 12:00– 3:00 p.m. (EST)
  • 1 – 2 hours per week of self-paced online study
  • Online networking opportunities with peers

      Dates Sessions
      •  Week 1: October 13
      • Introductions & Psychological Safety
      • Program Themes & Needs Assessment
      • Foundations of Culture: What Is Culture, What is ICC, 5 Golden Rules of ICC
      • Week 2: October 19, 20 & 21

      • Welcome Orientation
      • Unwritten Rules - Barriers to Inclusion
      • Intercultural Competency - From Awareness to Practice
      • Leveraging Diversity and Counteracting Unconscious Bias
      • Week 3: October 26, 27 & 28

      • Fostering an Environment of Engagement, Trust, and Belonging
      • Let's Talk About It (12:00-3:30pm)
      • Developing an Action Plan
      • Week 4 & 5

      • Program Break
      • Implementing the Action Plan 
      • Week 6: November 17

      • Intercultural Inclusion Plan (IIP)

Program benefits

Participant Benefits

  • Identify potential barriers to inclusion on your team and design customized solutions to create a more inclusive workplace
  • Learn how to amplify diverse voices on your team and improve team performance
  • Widen your worldview and become culturally agile to create richer solutions,  and maximize productivity, innovation, and creativity
  • Learn how to coach your teams to co-create an inclusive environment
  • Enable all members of your team to reach their full potential

Organizational Benefits

  • Develop your management talent to become inclusive leaders and achieve the organization's goals of being diverse,  equitable, and inclusive
  • Unlock individual potential, enhance the collective power of teams and develop your organization's ability to innovate and grow
  • Gain a competitive advantage by supporting your leaders to fully embrace the vast diversity in today's workforce 

Faculty and instructors

Jia Lin XieJia Lin Xie >>

Magna Professor in Management
Professor of Organizational Behaviour & HR Management

Ann Armstrong >>

Director, Social Enterprise Initiative, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Assistant Professor, University Guelph

Sarah Neville >>
Founder and Principal of Open Line


Who should attend


Candidates for the Navigating Intercultural Complexities for Middle Managers program are high-potential professional managers with a minimum of 6 months of experience leading and managing teams.  Participants are senior team leads and emerging executives with direct reports who require new skills for greater authority, accountability and influence within their organizations.


For application information please contact the program at ISL@Rotman.Utoronto.Ca.


Each application is reviewed by an admissions committee to ensure their suitability.


If space is available and eligibility requirements are met, participants will receive a notice of admission within 3 business days of receipt of their completed application and fee deposit.

Fees and payment


$4, 500* + HST


  • Tuition
  • All Program materials
  • Completion certificate
  • Online networking opportunities


A deposit of 50% of the program fee is required at the time of application (refundable only to applicants not accepted to the program).  The balance of the program fee is due before the program start date. 


Please review the full version of our APPLICATION POLICIES » for cancellation information.


If the Program is employment-related training, Rotman must receive a letter from the employer confirming that the Program constitutes such training within the meaning of Canada Revenue Agency Interpretation Bulletin IT-470R.  Generally, the Bulletin states that where the training is taken for the benefit of the employer, there is no taxable benefit to the employee.

If the tuition fee is paid for by the employer, it is the employer’s responsibility to determine whether or not the fees paid on behalf of the individual is a taxable benefit and should be included on his/her T4 slip.


If an employer has not sanctioned that the Program is being taken for employment reasons, any discounts are taxable benefits to the individual participant and should be included on the individual’s tax return.

Technical requirements

Technical Requirements

This program will be delivered virtually over Zoom. This program requires:

  • A stable internet connection
  • The latest version of the Google Chrome internet browser
  • A Zoom account (sign up for free)
  • A web camera or computer/laptop that has a built in web camera, and the use of a microphone

Have a question?

Contact us.

Intercultural Skills Lab
Rotman School of Management

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