Do you want to execute your international strategy successfully? Identify and realise new market opportunities? Lead your multinational team effectively and better understand your international colleagues? The Culture Key is a practical guide for improving business interactions across cultures.

Dr. Zsuzsanna Tungli, Founder and Managing Partner of Developing Global Leaders Asia, is author of the book: The Culture Key between Asia and the West, where she addresses key behavioural adjustments required to be successful in a global environment.

For over 25 years Zsuzsanna Tungli Ph.D. has been an advocate for cultural awareness and sensitivity. Zsuzsanna’s work has spanned Europe, Asia and the US. She has also taught at universities in Switzerland, Hungary and Romania as well as at INSEAD, IMD and SMU in the APAC region.






Purchasers based in Singapore may also buy the book directly on our website:

“Westerners are rude and arrogant, and Asians lack self-confidence and leadership competence”.

The Culture Key sets out to challenge and change these negative preconceptions, usually arrived at because of a lack of cultural awareness. This book is a practical guide with easy-to-use models, tools, case studies and tips, focusing on 3 areas crucial for effective Asian/Western communication:

  1. Communication styles: Indirect or direct communication
  2. Approach to authority and power: Hierarchy and equality
  3. Silence: comfort level with silence

Bridging these cultural gaps will help you identify new market opportunities, lead your team effectively and understand your international colleagues, whether they are in your office or abroad, more clearly and accurately.

Case Studies

The book is littered with case studies forged from real life experiences. A sample case study is below.

Soon after his arrival in Malaysia, Anders, the newly appointed Norwegian manager, declared; “I have an open door policy. You can come to me whenever you have a question or something you want to share with me. You are empowered!” Anders believed he had done what he had to do; he let his people know about his preferred leadership style. Unfortunately nobody came to see him and nobody spoke up.

If you cannot understand what Anders did wrong, why none of his employees welcomed his empowerment, or perhaps you are facing this situation yourself and are unsure of how best to deal with it, then this book is for you.


Zsuzsanna has used her extensive experience to write a clear, concise and common sense guide, full of engaging examples, to practically address the many challenges around understanding and successfully engaging with different cultures. After 25 years as a Westerner living in several Asian countries, I can identify with many of the situations described, and only wish that I had had a book as good as this to help me to be more understanding, and more effective, in my business and social interactions in Asian cultures.

Alex von Behr former Global Chief Customer Officer, Unilever

Anyone doing business outside their home culture needs to read this book. Cultural concepts and behaviors are introduced and discovered through a series of well thought out case studies and mini exercises which leads readers to a cultural awareness that will arm them with the competence to better understand their colleagues, customers and suppliers. If you want to perform well in an overseas assignment or business activity then this is an essential guide for companies entering a global business arena.

Christina Lu Maxwell Senior Vice President, Human Resource & Communications, GTA & JVs, Volvo Group

I’ve found in my many years of working in multinational companies that one of the chief causes of misunderstanding and miscommunication is a lack of cultural awareness. The Culture Key is a highly insightful workbook for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate differences across cultures, and how to bridge cultural differences in the workplace. I highly recommend it.

Jocelyn Ng Former Chief Operating Officer, UNIQLO Malaysia

The Culture Key is an essential read for business and personal life., in a world that is increasingly interconnected. Using real-life examples, the reader is mentally and emotionally engaged in self-reflection and exercises to recognize own preferences and biases, whilst learning practical alternatives that can be applied immediately to enhance individual, team and organizational performance.

Mario Ferraro Global Mobility Thought Leader; Regional Practice Leader, Global Mobility – Asia, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Mercer

Zsuzsanna practices what she preaches. A short, very practical guide to bridge the differences in communication styles between East and West. Loads of examples about where the bridge starts and ends and examples for the structure that connects. A must read for those who want to improve their effectiveness in international business.

Fons Trompenaars Author of best selling Riding the Waves of Culture

The Culture Key is the most insightful treatment of cross-cultural management I have read in years. Informed by research and years of experience, and full of essential knowledge and practical tools, it is a must-read for anyone who wants to cross the classic Asian – Western divide successfully.

Dr. Maury Peiperl George Mason University School of Business; Formerly Director, Cranfield School of Management (UK) and Professor of Leadership and Change, IMD (Switzerland)

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Isaac Asimov

This quote from the book sets the tone for a wonderful exploration into the culture differences between East and West. This is the most thorough, easy to understand book I’ve seen on the subject. A must read for anyone doing business between East and West.

Scott Friedman Past President of the National Speakers Association and Author of “Celebrate! Lessons Learned from the World’s most Admired Organizations.”

Bulk purchase and corporate branding

For purchasing in bulk or branding the book for your company, contact us

Culture 101 Train the Trainer

The program provides basic cultural awareness and competence for participants. The curriculum is based on The Culture Key  – Cultural Awareness for Business Success. For details on Train The Trainer programs for corporate facilitators, please contact us.  

The Culture Key Online solutions

We also offer bitesize sessions and interactive webinars for Culture 101. For details please contact us

Other available publications

The Culture Key: Global Email Communication

The most often used communication channel today is email. Yet emails are potential minefields for misunderstandings.

The Roadmap to Gender Equality in Organisations

A simple, practical booklet providing actionable steps for organisations that have started their gender diversity and inclusion journey as well as organisations that are considering to create their diversity strategy.


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