Viscereality Intercultural Development Brings Intercultural Training to Midlands

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A new Omaha company, Viscereality Intercultural Development, brings a broadened set of tools to Nebraska and Iowa businesses and nonprofits looking to improve their interactions with cultural difference inside and outside their organizations.

As Nebraska and Iowa look to regain economic strength, a new Omaha company is bringing intercultural training and consulting to the midlands region. Viscereality Intercultural Development -- http://www.viscereality.us -- will respond to the cross-cultural needs of local corporations looking to increase global partnerships and trade. Through targeted assessments, benchmarking, and customized training and development, Viscereality Intercultural Development will help companies maximize profits and sustainability, through increasing intercultural competence. As companies increase their intercultural competence, they will see improved human effectiveness internally and improved external customer relations.

Due to the breadth of the intercultural field, Viscereality is also well equipped to serve nonprofits, education, and government entities that want to increase their effectiveness working with people from multiple cultures both inside and outside of the organization. Yet what Viscereality offers is different from traditional multicultural and diversity training.

Viscereality's founder, Stephen Jones, explains that the intercultural approach is distinct from much of what is currently available to midlands companies. "The intercultural approach focuses on the cultural dynamics of different groups and finds ways to increase understanding and synergy between them. As a cultural competence strategy, the intercultural approach is especially focused on what to do, instead of what not to do," said Jones.

Viscereality can provide a variety of assessments, training, and consulting services for local businesses and organizations. Beyond services focused on international and domestic intercultural relations, Viscereality will assist organizations looking at effective change agentry, cross-cultural leadership, teams and conflict, and cultural transitions.

As the Principal of Viscereality, Jones brings a unique set of experiences to Omaha. Growing up in a U.S. Navy family, he experienced many parts of the world as a child. During his undergraduate studies at Grace University in Omaha, Jones studied for six months in central Mexico. Having completed his MA in Intercultural Relations from the University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA) in conjunction with the Intercultural Communication Institute (Portland, OR), Jones has experience in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Most recently, he was responsible for directing teams of students engaged in five month study abroad and service trips in Mali, Africa and various parts of the United States, bolstering both his international and domestic experience.

Jones expressed his hopes for Viscereality, noting "It is important to me that we learn how to recognize our similarities while not forgetting the potential contributions of our differences. In embracing common goals within organizations, we also have the opportunity to really gain from the breadth of experience present in the greater Omaha region."

The Intercultural field is not particularly well known in Nebraska. Having lived in Nebraska since 2000, Jones was apparently the first Nebraskan to become a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory--the premier cross-culturally valid and statistically reliable measure of intercultural competence--back in 2007. "The goal is to bring the best elements of the Intercultural field to the great plains area so that we can benefit from the same kinds of training that are available in Minneapolis and along the Coasts," said Jones.

As part of the effort to bring the Intercultural field to the midlands, Viscereality Intercutlural Development is also producing a blog entitled "The Practical Interculturalist." Viscereality is posting examples of how the Intercultural perspective can be used to understand various facets of daily and corporate life at http://www.thepracticalinterculturalist.com.

"I think the mission really speaks well to what Viscereality can accomplish here in Omaha," said Jones: "Viscereality Intercultural Development Corporation exists to undergird success in the private and public sectors in the Great Plains region through excellence in intercultural training and consulting."

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