Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Martin Kralik’s approach to cross-cultural training rests on a foundation of rigorous academic learning and research in areas studies covering China, Southeast Asia (primarily the Malay world), and Arab/Islamic societies, as well as his native central and eastern Europe. It draws on 20 years’ experience gained in professional roles with top-tier global business schools, consultancies and market research agencies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Martin’s training style is enriched with tools and techniques honed during interaction with private and public-sector clients in executive education, change consulting, adult learning, and leadership coaching. In discussing and learning to communicate with non-Western cultures, Martin has been a firm believer in first taking a step back from mainstream frameworks and matrices: it is crucial to examine – however briefly – the underpinning cultural fundamentals, which are typically hidden from view yet tend to dominate individual and collective beliefs, values, self-perceptions and national aspirations.
Martin’s interest in languages and civilizations led him, shortly after secondary school, to enrol in the then Beijing Language Institute. Later on, during his postgraduate studies at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, he was privileged to work with several world-leading scholars of the Chinese/ Confucian tradition and true visionaries of the cross-cultural field. Their deep insight into not only the evolving paradigms of East-West civilizational dialogue but also into the sources and underpinnings of systematic thinking – dramatically different in the Greek/European vs. Asian/Islamic tradition – gave Martin a strong footing to tackle cross-cultural and comparative issues. Over the past 15 years, he has successfully applied this knowledge to business interactions with corporate as well as government clients in a number of developing countries in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Martin is a fluent English, Mandarin Chinese, Czech, Slovak, Polish and Russian speaker with an advanced command of German and Malay/Indonesian.