What is CQ?
Cultural quotient or cultural intelligence (CQ®) as defined by the Cultural Intelligence Center is the ability to function and relate effectively in culturally diverse situations. Measuring CQ is a globally recognised way of assessing and improving effectiveness in culturally diverse situations, rooted in rigorous, academic research conducted across more than 100 countries and is used by leading companies, organisations, universities, and governments around the world.
CQ assesses far beyond simple cultural sensitivity and awareness including, but not limited to, nationality, ethnicity, culture, location, gender and age. CQ helps us understand the decisions people and organisations make and how they are influenced by their beliefs, attitudes, and values.
Is CQ more important than IQ?
“Cultural quotient or cultural intelligence (CQ) is increasingly being seen as of far more value than IQ(intelligence quotient), and of equal importance in business to its counterpart emotional intelligence (EQ), because of its proven exponential positive impact on improved teamwork, performance, cooperation and communication.”
- Thom Dennis, CEO of Serenity in Leadership
What Are The Key Benefits Of CQ
Research on cultural intelligence demonstrates many promising benefits for both individuals and organisations:-
An organisation with culturally intelligent individuals can more effectively accomplish their objectives in a globalised and multicultural world, tend to be more profitable, find it easier to recruit talent and have higher customer satisfaction scores. Culturally intelligent organisations establish better trust, tolerance and understanding, both internally and externally. They are more capable of working well across cultures because they understand the impact of cultural background in terms of both an individual’s and group’s behaviour which is essential for good business. These businesses enjoy better productivity, diversity, negotiation skills, recruitment and performance. They also have reduced talent loss and bias, cultural and ethnic miscommunications and conflicts in the workplace.
At an individual level if you have strong cultural intelligence, you are likely to engage and blend successfully in any environment or social setting, communicate well, quickly develop rapport and connect with others, lead diverse teams effectively, appreciate diverse points of view and adapt easily. Cultural nuances are better understood because these individuals have the skills, knowledge, agility and experience to deal with, and respect any differences that to someone else might be perceived or acted upon as if it were a barrier.
CQ By Numbers - From the International Labor Union and the Economist Intelligence Unit:
70% The number of international ventures that fail due to cultural differences.
1 Billion The number expected to join the middle class in the next decade.
60% The amount of growth GE calculates will come from their developing world revenues in the next decade.
$700,000 The first year expense of moving an ex-pat overseas, many of whom fail.
82% The percentage of multinational firms losing money in China.
49% The percentage of US children who are aged 5 and under and who are children of colour.
2 Billion The number of air passengers globally, most of whom cross international boundaries.
1 Million The number of university students who participate in study abroad programmes.
90% The number of leading executives from 68 countries who have named multicultural leadership as their top management challenge.
How Applicable Is CQ To Your Business?
Cultural intelligence training and assessments are now being consistently used in numerous contexts including business, education, government, health care, faith-based settings, and non-profit organizations including for:-
Leadership Development for the C-suite, senior and mid-level management programmes, and most often, in ‘high potential’ or emerging leadership programmes.
Recruitment so that culturally intelligent talent and cultural intelligence can also be assessed as part of the selection process.
Performance Reviews whereby the focus is on personal development during the annual review process,
Team Development to help multicultural teams work together more effectively both virtually and in person.
Diversity and Inclusion Programmes to allow organisations to quantify and measure progress as a result of D&I initiatives.
Change Management Processes such as mergers and acquisitions, expansion into a new market, etc. to help manage different cultures coming together.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Programmes including study abroad programmes, university departments, primary schools, and various organisational training programmes to audit their offerings and/ or accreditation purposes.
What can CQ predict?
CQ is increasingly important as businesses harness the benefits of global work through technological and communication advances. Homogeneous teams outperform diverse teams when CQ is low. But when CQ is high, diverse teams outperform homogeneous teams. In culturally diverse situations, CQ predicts:-
• Personal Adjustment and Adaptability
• Judgment and Decision-Making
• Negotiation Effectiveness
• Trust, Idea-Sharing, and Innovation
• Leadership Effectiveness
• Profitability and Cost-Savings
Ang and Van Dyne developed the four main capabilities that describe CQ:
CQ Drive or Motivation measures your interest and confidence in multicultural interactions.
CQ Knowledge or Cognition looks at your understanding of the similarities and differences between cultures, rather than for example personality differences.
CQ Strategy or Metacognition is how you plan and deal with multicultural interactions to build better relationships.
CQ Action or Behaviour is your agility to reflect and adapt when working in a multicultural environment.
CQ can be worked on and developed on both an individual and organisational level and can be measured based on key and mappable cultural values including Low vs. High Uncertainty Avoidance, Cooperative vs. Competitive, Linear vs. Non-Linear, Being vs. Doing, Individualism vs Collectivism and others.
How Serenity in Leadership Can Help Your Business
We want to partner with you to create innovative, research-based solutions for assessing and improving intercultural effectiveness. When an organisation decides to improve their CQ, issues can then be addressed through intentional, innovative recruitment and learning strategies, and engaging, research-based profiling, workshops, courses, coaching and digital tools.
The Cultural Intelligence Assessment measures an individual’s current intercultural capabilities and their personal feedback report provides them with the opportunity to develop and improve those skills through workshops, assessments, e-learning and group outcomes.
What Are The Learning Outcomes and resources for the business and the individual?
Self-awareness of how culture influences your interactions with others.
Understanding how to develop and apply CQ in yourself and others, establish common ground.
A better ability to enter situations without preconceptions, refrain from being judgemental and be aware of our bias.
Effectiveness in working with multicultural colleagues and customers. Showing curiosity and acceptance for other cultures
CQ Pro Assessment and personal feedback report
What’s Your CQ? Participant Guide
Case Study for practical application
Expand Your Borders book.
Development & Action Plan
Personal Cultural Value Preferences
We've partnered with InChorus to help you measure and resolve incidents of bias so that you can grow an inclusive organisation.download the pdf