Our intention is to partner with individuals and organizations in the pursuit of their full capacity resulting in fulfillment and organizational gains... beyond the bottom line!
About Dr. Mankins... Kent Mankins, Ph.D., M.Ed., L.M.H.C., N.C.C., is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has a Master's in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Idaho as well as a Ph.D. in Transformational Leadership/ Socio-Economic Transformation, with a specialty in Multicultural Teambuilding, at the University of Buckingham, UK. He has also studied Critical Realism at the University of Cambridge's Judge Institute of Management. Kent is strategically networked with Prince Charles' International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the Transcultural Research Centre, Trans4m, and Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, providing a unique international opportunity for influence and transformation.
Kent is a counselor, organizational coach, and an ordained minister. In addition to Lead to Succeed, Kent serves as a Pastor in Spokane, WA (www.valleyassembly.org). As a pastor, Kent understands the importance of addressing the needs of the whole person, including the spiritual needs which often go unaddressed.
Here to serve!
Counseling: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a Nationally Certified Counselor, Kent can offer a variety of Counseling services for: Individuals, Families, Couples, Organizational Teams, and Conflict Resolution.
Public Speaking: We can provide customized guest speaking for a variety of occasions and topics. A partial list of available workshops is below. Organizational Consulting and Coaching: We can provide a number of services for your organization, please have a look through the rest of this web-page and feel free to contact us on how we can be of any service!
Multicultural Issues: Kent also offers a unique opportunity to be among the first to participate in the emerging Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method (ITSM) which offers organizations an opportunity to develop synergistic multicultural relationships.
Testing & Assessments: Personality, Developmental, and Pre-employment Screening Assessments are available, both online and offline. We have chosen to utilize the ASSESS Testsfor our online testing. This assessment offers a variety of options from very in-depth career and personal development to basic pre-employment screening. For offline testing purposes we use the 16 PF, the Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Spectral Management Type Inventory (SMTI) , both excellent personality profiles.
Take the ASSESS (click on ASSESS to be taken to the test)
Kent's Research & How it may benefit you...
As the global economy becomes a genuine reality, leaders will be faced with issues that may have gone unaddressed in the past. It is not uncommon for organizations to have locations in various parts of the world, or at very least to have employees or clients from various parts of the world. As technology and transportation have increased opportunity for trans-global commerce, so must our understanding of cultural and spiritual aspects. The events of September 11, 2001 in New York City illuminated religious differences as a significant source of debate and at times violence. Margaret Thatcher said, “You never really know someone until you understand their assumptions” (C-SPAN, 1996).
Kent specializes in Transcultural Communication and Teambuilding. He has developed a new technology for building relationships, specifically multicultural relationships. Relationships are the core of any organization. "Business used to be built by relationships; now it is dominated by deals... it needs to come back to relationships" (Peter Brew, International Business Leaders Forum). The Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method (ITSM) was developed to assist organizations with multicultural employees in developing cohesion and synergistic teamwork through understanding and respect. (The first chapter of Kent's PhD thesis is below.)
When an organization employs people from diverse cultural backgrounds, a variety of issues arise. Organizations across the globe are finding the importance of awareness to the cultural nature of their employees. A new awareness of the whole person is developing in the corporate world, and companies are finding it highly beneficial to address more than financial profitability. The cover of the January 2001 edition of Fast Company Magazine read, “The best leaders know where all great companies start… It’s the people stupid!” It is becoming increasingly apparent to the corporate world that the people behind the company, make the company. If individuals are finding a sense of purpose and fulfillment, the company will experience growth beyond the bottom line. An organizational culture of acceptance, understanding, teamwork and awareness is likely to increase performance .
When people from differing cultures join a team, the potential for conflict is great, however, the opportunity for growth is greater! Let us help you develop your team from a wholistic approach... and see success beyond the bottom line!
Examples of Available Workshops...
Kent is available as a guest speaker for a variety of events. Whether preaching for your church, speaking to a small group of leaders, or large conferences, let's discuss how we may best serve your needs!
1. Who's the Author of Your Life? Intentionally living the rest of your story 2. Who's the Author of Your Marriage? Intentionally living the rest of the story of your marriage 3. E.A.T. I.T.! Learning to live with hurt and grief 4. Can You Hear Me Now? Learning to communicate effectively 5. Learning the Ropes Before Tying the Knot! Learning the ins and outs of marriage, before you say “I do” 6. Shh! Don’t Say that Word! Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex… It’s not a dirty word! 7. Train Your Brain! Learning to overcome defeating attitudes and behaviors 8. How to conquer worry, stress, and depression 9.I Just Don’t Like Him!Discovering how personality styles effect our relationships 10. Synergize! Using Storytelling to build effective transcultural teams (ITSM) 11. An Invitation to Intention! Developing and executing your mission with intention 12. Inspired! Discover your calling and help others discover theirs 13. Inspirational & Servant Leadership 14. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (S.R. Covey) 15. Counseling for Maximum Impact! Basic competencies in people helping 16. Finding Purpose in Your Career 17. From Maintenance to Excellence 18. Change Your Thoughts- Change Your Life!
Please contact us for information on how we may serve you!
(Following is Chapter 1 from Kent's PhD thesis, copyright 2007) Chapter 1 Introduction to the Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method
1.Research Question: How can hermeneutic methodology and narrative storytelling identify and enrich cultural similarities and differences, enhance communication, deepen understanding, and create synergy in multicultural organizations?
2.The Problem: Growing Global Economy and Traditional Approaches to Multicultural Management 2.1 The Growing Global Economy As immigration and globalization increase, so will the demand for multicultural fluency.The purpose of the Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method (ITSM) is to provide a protocol for building synergy in multicultural teams. Utilizing storytelling is an established practice for building teamwork within organizations.However, the literature is lacking regarding the use of storytelling specifically in building teamwork within multicultural settings.The present research will contribute to the field of management by examining the use of storytelling for specifically this cause. “Culture,” “ multicultural,” and “transcultural” have varying definitions.In the present work, “culture” refers to the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values. (Hofstede, 2001) Culture is an “historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic form by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes towards life” (Geertz, 1973).Culture does not necessarily imply different races or nationalities.For example, great cultural differences exist in the United States between the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western cultures.“Multicultural” refers to a community, group or organization with individuals from more than one cultural context.“Transcultural” refers to an item or philosophy that extends through many cultures.Therefore, the Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method is transcultural because of the contention that storytelling extends to many cultures and in essence transcends cultural boundaries. Individuals from specific cultural backgrounds may exhibit characteristics different from their general cultural context.While experts, such as Hofstede, recognize this, most of the present research is based on the generalization of cultural populations.By utilizing storytelling and hermeneutics, the participants in the ITSM are exposed to specific cultural characteristics of individuals rather than simply relying on generalized assumptions about an individual based upon their cultural background. The Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method is intended to provide a method for building relationships within a group or team by identifying cultural differences and intentionally enhancing these differences to create synergy. Stephen R. Covey states, “Simply defined, [synergy] means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Covey, 1989, p.262).He continues, “Valuing the differences is the essence of synergy- the mental, the emotional, the psychological differences between people. And the key to valuing those differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are” (Covey, 1989, p. 277). During the ITSM workshop, participants are introduced to exercises that assist them in gaining self knowledge so that they can better understand the lenses with which they see the world. I contend that cultural differences are included in the essence of synergy, and in light of the evolving cultural climate, these differences will become more pronounced. Thomas Friedman (2005), and Samuel Huntington (1996, 2004) have written extensively on the changing nature of the global climate.Friedman offers a broad view of the evolution of the global market place.Huntington places the evolving American culture in context of an evolving world.Both are prominent figures on the subject, and both present substantially different approaches to addressing this cultural evolution. Friedman (2005) chronicles the explosion of the global market place in the twentieth century.He begins this prolific work with a personal experience of his journey to Bangalore, India: Outside, some of the traffic signs were also sponsored by Texas Instruments, and the Pizza Hut billboard on the way over showed a steaming pizza, under the headline “Gigabites of Taste!”No, this definitely wasn’t Kansas.It didn’t even seem like India.Was this the New World, the Old World, or the Next World? Here I was in Bangalore- more than five hundred years after Columbus sailed over the horizon, using the rudimentary navigational technologies of his day, and returned safely to prove definitively that the world was round- and one of India’s smartest engineers, trained at his country’s top technical institute and backed by the most modern technologies of his day, was essentially telling me that the world was flat- as flat as that screen on which he can host a meeting of his whole global supply chain.Even more interesting, he was citing this development as a good thing, as a new milestone in human progress and a great opportunity for India and the world- the fact that we had made our world flat!(p. 5, 7) Freidman identifies two forces that “flattened” the world.First and foremost was the fall of the Berlin Wall.This event had major implications for the people of Germany, the Soviet and Communist countries, and it also impacted foreign policy.However, Friedman states that the fall of the Wall had far-reaching philosophical impact that changed the global market.Friedman (2005) states: The fall of the Berlin Wall didn’t just help flatten the alternatives to free-market capitalism and unlock enormous pent-up energies for hundreds of millions of people in places like India, Brazil, China, and the former Soviet Empire.It also allowed us to think about the world differently- to see it as more of a seamless whole.Because the Berlin Wall was not only blocking our way; it was blocking our sight- our ability to think about the world as a single market, a single ecosystem, and a single community.Before 1989, you could have an Eastern policy or a Western policy, but it was hard to think about having a “global” policy. (p. 51) Friedman quotes Indian economist, Amartya Sen, who tells a Sanskrit story of a frog that lived in a well, and how his whole world view consisted of that well. After the Wall fell, it was as though that frog was suddenly able to communicate with frogs in other wells. (p.51)Sen states, “Most knowledge is learning from the other across the border” (Friedman, 2005, p. 51).The fall of the Berlin Wall opened up the borders to communicate with others around the globe, and had a significant impact upon globalization.Of course, Friedman acknowledges, the fall of the Berlin Wall did not initiate globalization.In fact, globalization had as much of an impact on the fall of the Wall as vice versa.With technology such as computers, Windows operating system, the internet, and telephones, the iron hold on information necessary for totalitarian regimes to control masses was compromised. Netscape’s IPO, Friedman acknowledges, was the second factor in flattening the world.Netscape’s influence made the internet accessible to the masses, and therefore further changing the way the world communicates and does business.Work Flow Software is the third flattener Friedman acknowledges.This software enables the creation of literal global offices that are not contingent on the boundaries of time or space.People and programs anywhere on globe can be in instant communication at any time.The fourth flattener is Open-Sourcing, which “makes available for free many tools, from software to encyclopaedias that millions of people around the world would have had to buy in order to use” (Friedman, 2005, p. 102).Outsourcing is Friedman’s fifth flattener and Offshoring is the sixth.Supply-chaining is number seven, which is a method of collaborating among suppliers, retailers, and customers in order to create better value. (Friedman, 2005)Number eight on Friedman’s list is Insourcing, and In-forming is his ninth.In-forming constitutes the information technologies that have dramatically impacted global business, such as search engines.The tenth flattener, Friedman calls the Steroids, which includes the myriads of high technology advancements, such as wireless connections, which are relatively young and maturing with speed. On a global scale multicultural management issues are increasing, and these issues equally affect the United States.Estimates place the world’s Caucasian population at less than ten percent by the year 2010, a dramatic drop from seventeen percent in 1997.In the USA, the populations considered to be minorities today, will be the majority by 2040.In 2005, Texas joined the ranks of California and Hawaii as states where Caucasians are no longer majorities.“In 1970, nearly 99 percent of all Americans were identified as either white or black. Thirty years later, that percentage had fallen to about 87 percent, with the white population declining from 87.4 percent in 1970 to 75.1 percent in 2000, and the black population increasing from 11.1 percent to 12.3 percent over the same period. The change in the white population was offset by the rise in the ‘other’ population, which increased from 1.4 percent in 1970 to 12.5 percent in 2000” (Singer, 2005).The ‘other’ populations include all other races.It is estimated that Hispanics, for example, will constitute up to twenty-five percent of the USA population, by the year 2040. (Huntington, 2004, p.224)Huntington’s work (2004) addresses what he terms, “The crisis of national identity”.In the foreword, Huntington states: This book deals with the changes occurring in the salience and substance of American national identity.Salience is the importance that Americans attribute to their national identity compared to their many other identities.Substance refers to what Americans think they have in common and distinguishes them from other peoples. (p. xv) Huntington addresses three key arguments: 1.The salience of American national Identity has varied through history.Following the Civil War, national identity flourished until the 1960s when subnational, dual-national, transnational identities evolved and began to deteriorate the national identity.This multi-identity lasted until the tragedy of September 11 when the national identity was given a remarkable boost.Huntington states that the high sense of national identity is a result of Americans feeling their nation is endangered or threatened.“If their perception of that threat fades, other identities could again take precedence over national identity” (Huntington, 2004, p. xv).I agree with his assessment that the rise in national identity has the 9/11 tragedy as its motivator, and that the fear of the enemy, perceived as Islamic Militants, kept that identity intact.However, I have two observations that lead me to different conclusions.First, as the dissent over the current administration’s foreign policy, in general, and the Iraq War, specifically, continues to boil, the national identity that initially bound the USA together is evaporating, resulting in a defined schism between and within political parties.Although there is no evidence that the threat of terrorism has diminished, the fear of attack is not potent enough to withstand severe discrimination of ideologies.It is apparent that fear is a powerful motivator, but an inadequate sustainer of national identity. 2.Americans have, over the years, defined the substance of their identity in terms of race, ethnicity, ideology, and culture.“Race and ethnicity are now largely eliminated:Americans see their country as a multiethnic, multiracial society” (Huntington, 2004, p. xv).Huntington asserts that key elements of the original American culture included the English language, Christianity, religious commitment, English concepts of law, responsibility of rulers, and the rights of individuals.Protestant values of individualism, work ethic, and the belief that humans have the right to create heaven on earth were also fundamental elements of national identity.These key elements and the economic opportunities presented by this culture, Huntington states, attracted millions of immigrants to the USA. 3.The primary force of the Anglo-Protestant culture has been the distinguishing element of the USA national identity, and has been common ground for most American citizens. However, in the late twentieth century, the salience and substance of this culture was challenged by the mass immigration from Latin America and Asia.Huntington states that a politically correct political and academic environment, coupled with an influx, of specifically Hispanic immigrants, could cause the American identity to evolve in a variety of directions.First of these is that of a “creedal America, lacking its historical Core, and united only by a common commitment to the principles of the American creed” (Huntington, 2004, p. xvi). The next would be a split country with two cultures, and two languages, Spanish and English. Third, an Anglo, exclusivist America could return to its racist and discriminatory past. The fourth direction is that of a revitalized American identity, “affirming its historic Anglo-Protestant culture, religious commitments, and values and bolstered by confrontations with an unfriendly world” (Huntington, 2004, p. xvi).The final possibility, Huntington presents is some combination of any or all of the above.I find no amenable option among the possibilities Huntington proposes.The propositions Huntington discusses appear to present his ideal outcome of a return to the way things used to be, or a disastrous outcome that will virtually destroy any sense of American identity.However, I contend that other possibilities must exist.The American people, with proper leadership, can be foreword thinking and proactive in purposefully evolving into a new paradigm of American identity.Instead of relying upon fear, the American people can strive for understanding and appreciation of those who are culturally different than themselves. A transformed American identity can respect and value differences and the contributions a variety of cultures can make.The ITSM is designed to proactively initiate relationships that would promote understanding and appreciation in the organizational and business setting.While this does not have the scope to influence the whole of American society, grass-root movements have historically had, and therefore potentially have great influence in our culture. Friedman (2005) closes his book with the following profound statement: I cannot tell any other society or culture what to say to its own children, but I tell you what I say to my own:The world is being flattened.I didn’t start it and you can’t stop it, except at a great cost to human development and your own future.But we can manage it, for better or for worse.If it is going to be for better, not for worse, then you and your generation must not live in fear of either the terrorists or of tomorrow, of either al-Qaeda or of Infosys.You can flourish in a flat world, but it does take the right imagination and the right motivation.While your lives have been powerfully shaped by 9/11, the world needs you to be forever the generation of 11/9 [the fall of the Berlin Wall] - the generation of strategic optimists, the generation with more dreams than memories, the generation that wakes up each morning and not only imagines that things can be better but also acts on that imagination everyday. (p. 469) Huntington proposes a reactive, protectionist approach, proposing the USA should return to its historical cultural roots. However, Friedman encourages a proactive, creative approach to dealing with the cultural evolution. The ITSM is an attempt to bring a proactive and co-creative approach to the field of multicultural management. The world is changing, and multicultural management needs to continually evolve to meet the needs of the global economy.The present research developed from an observed inadequacy of the primarily positivistic multicultural management instruments and methods. These methods identify generalizations, degrees of cultural differences, sensitivity, or acculturation, but there is a general absence of practical methods for developing relationships between individuals from different cultures. 2.2The Traditional Approach to Multicultural Management Adding to the problem of the growing global economy is the insufficiency of traditional multicultural management literature.Typical research in the Social Sciences is approached from a quantitative, positivist approach. Grounded in the physical sciences, these methodologies assume an objective world which can be studied and measured with scientific, quantitative methods.They seek to predict and explain causal relationships between variables.As the name implies, quantitative research focuses on quantity and is primarily deductive, utilizing statistical methods.It is empirical and emphasizes scientific experimental methods. (Merriam, 1988)While this type of research yields valuable information, I contend it is not sufficient.The addition of a qualitative, hermeneutic approach will address some of the practical elements of building multicultural relationships, adding to the holistic nature of the multicultural management field. Brian Fay (1996) emphasizes a multicultural approach to the philosophy of social science.His theory centres on approaching the “philosophy of social science in a new way, one centred on the experience of sharing a world in which people differ significantly from one another” (Fay, 1996, p. 1).The popular positivistic method, favoured especially in the West, is one paradigm for gaining knowledge, but Fay asserts it is not solely sufficient.Fay proposes a new frame of reference for conceptualizing social science research called “interactionism” (Fay, 1996, p. 8). Fay addresses a number of questions throughout his book which are dualistic, that is “either/ or” on the Topsoil.He finds that, often, the presumed either/ or can be answered with “and”.He does not blindly disregard positivistic research, but acknowledges the usefulness of qualitative and quantitative approaches. “In a dialectical approach, differences are not conceived as absolute, and consequently the relationship between them is not one of utter antagonism. Indeed, on a dialectical view, alternatives, while genuinely competing, only appear to be completely “other” to each other.They are in fact deeply interconnected, and the confrontation between them reveals how these differences can be comprehended and transcended” (Fay, 1996, p. 224). The Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method utilizes hermeneutics, a qualitative methodology and is consistent with Fay’s dialectical approach. Fay states that multiculturalism poses an “epistemic problem:if others live within their own framework and we live within ours, how can we understand them?” (Fay, 1996, p.4).In such a paradigm, we are forced to misunderstand each other.Hermeneutics teaches the researcher to know himself or herself and to interpret the “other” in light of that understanding as well as within the context of the “other”.This is, in essence, a dialectical paradigm.While empirical research encourages the researcher to block his or her own prejudices, hermeneutics emphasizes acknowledgement of those prejudices and the interpretation of the other in a cyclical fashion. Whereas existing quantitative multicultural literature increases an understanding of generalizations, the purpose of this project is to move toward an applicable method for enhancing the synergy of multicultural teams. Informed by hermeneutics and using narrative storytelling, The Interpretive Transcultural Storytelling Method is intended to enhance the working relationships of the members of multicultural teams.The ITSM consists of the following phases: 1.In-Spection: Building self knowledge 2.Expression:Telling a brief story of an event instrumental in personal development 3.Interpretation:The listeners attributing meaning to the story of another, in light of personal context and that of the teller 4.Clarification: Hermeneutic spiral of interpretation, questions, clarification 5.Understanding:Reaching mutual understanding of the story and context 6.Emergence:The identification of new knowledge and its application The results will positively impact the individuals involved, the teams to which they belong, and ultimately the society at large.