BUSINESS ANTHROPOLOGY

Management consultant Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That’s because any on-paper business plan can’t account for the fluctuations of people, communities and relationships — the intangible but ever-important elements of any business. At Crossroads, we manage those intangibles to create a more stable working environment and greater certainty for proponents. We do this by facilitating the communication that is necessary for any corporation to work effectively with communities and local organizations.

Business anthropology applies anthropological theories and practices to the needs of private-sector organizations and industrial firms to identify and solve real business problems in everyday life. At Crossroads, we study business fields of management, operations, marketing, consumer behaviour, organizational culture, human resources management and international business through ethnographic methods, such as participant observation, informal and structured interviews, and other anthropologically based research methods.

We are able to play key roles in the business world, such as helping corporations develop culturally appropriate ways of doing business with suppliers, business partners or customers, as well as promoting smooth working relationships among employees who represent different age groups, ethnic groups and both sexes. As business anthropologists, we also facilitate organizational restructuring for greater economy and efficiency.

IMPACT BENEFIT AGREEMENTS

We work alongside communities to establish meaningful Impact Benefit Agreements that recognize local values, cultures and needs while addressing business concerns, ensuring positive outcomes for all parties. Our relationship to local cultures and landscapes allows us to effectively and efficiently navigate the cultural differences that occur when large corporations seek to work with smaller organizations and communities. Crossroads’ role is to facilitate meaningful communication between all parties to ensure success for all.

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

We place a great deal of importance on creating a well-defined governance structure, one that ensures due process at both the project level and the program level, for ongoing efficiency and communication over the long term. We put this governance structure in place before embarking on any project by positioning it within a larger program structure and creating the governance structure around it.

“Crossroads made a very difficult situation into a positive one.  Their cross-cultural understanding and ability to bridge the needs of industry and First Nations is not only unique, but very successful.”

~ Stacey Sinclair, Senior Field Manager, BC Hydro