Culture has a lot of influence in our everyday lives

We may realize it or not but culture often impacts our values, views, desires the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively by individuals as well as a community.  This said, it makes sense that culture should play into many business and as such it is getting recognition in numerous corporations. It is important to keep in mind that culture does drive the value of an organization from start to finish. When recruiting new personnel into your company it is crucial they blend in with each other to ensure they improve morale, productivity and even the bottom line. It is said ‘Culture and the bottom line are not, and should not, be at odds.’  In today’s job market, many job seekers enroll on many sites that enable them to find if they would be a suitable fit to your company culture. We can thank globalization and technology because now more than ever to be knowledgeable of the many cultures your business will interact with.

Cultural Quotient (CQ)

A lot of brands ranging from BMW, Google and United Nations are now incorporating cultural intelligence in their work. Cultural intelligence or Cultural Quotient (CQ) is a term used in education, business, government and academic research to define a measure of a person’s capacity to function effectively in a multicultural environment. Employers and organizations apply CQ as a way to foster tolerance and enhance cross-cultural interactions.

Cultural Intelligence can be increased by assessing four major capabilities which include; CQ Drive, CQ Knowledge, CQ Strategy and CQ Action. Before we assess we need to understand what they are.

CQ Drive: The interest in experiencing other cultures and the extent to which one has capability to effectively interact with people with different cultural backgrounds. It has three sub-dimensions.

  • Intrinsic Interest – deriving enjoyment from culturally diverse experiences
  • Extrinsic Interest – gaining benefits from culturally diverse experiences
  • Self-efficacy – having the confidence to be effective in culturally diverse situations

CQ Knowledge: The understanding of a culture, its language pattern, its predominant religious beliefs, role expectations and basic knowledge of global economic and political systems. It has four sub-dimensions.

  • Business– knowledge about economic and legal systems
  • Values & Norms – knowledge about values, social interaction norms, and religious beliefs
  • Sociolinguistic – knowledge about rules of languages and rules for expressing non-verbal behaviors
  • Leadership – knowledge about managing people and relationships across cultures.

CQ Strategy: The awareness and ability to plan for multicultural interactions. It includes thinking and strategizing before an encounter and during one to check assumptions as well as adjusting mental calculations when experiences differ from expectation. Its sub-dimensions are already mentioned but will be clarified below.

  • Planning – strategize before a culturally diverse encounter
  • Awareness – knowing about one’s existing cultural knowledge
  • Checking – checking assumptions and adjusting mental maps when actual experiences differ from expectations

CQ Action: The ability to adapt when relating and working inter-culturally. Its sub-dimensions are;

  • Speech Acts – modifying the manner and content of communication (e.g. direct/indirect) to fit multicultural contexts
  • Verbal – adapting verbal behaviors (e.g., accent, tone)
  • Nonverbal – adapting nonverbal behaviors (e.g., gestures, facial expressions)

Once those concepts are understood it is easy to measure and improve CQ basically by assessing the level of interest and understanding to which staffs interact with each other. Six in 10 (64 percent) HR managers admitted they have misjudged a candidate’s fit with their company’s work environment. Two-thirds (66 percent) also said their organizations have lost an employee because he or she was not suited to the work environment. A lot of the time there is too much emphasis based on experience. An employee with a strong attitude and desire to share in a company’s success although lacking in experience is better suited than an experienced employee that doesn’t want to assimilate into an office culture that is positive. For a highly productive business with good CQ the improvement would include;

  1. Significant opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the culture, operations, and future of the organization.
  2. Close-knit culture of colleagues committed to collaboration and furthering our shared goals.
  3. Charge to perform like a mini-CEO from every seat in the organization.
  4. Direct access and open invitation to engage with CEO & leadership–during all points in the professional relationship.
  5. Co-authoring of professional development goals and targets and resources to help achieve those goals.
  6. Typically flexible work-hours: childcare schedule accommodations, ability to leave for mid-day workout, ease of scheduling appointments that operate on 9-5 schedule.
  7. Perks tailored to the group, decided on democratically–not one size fits all and evolving as the group does.

Companies that don’t make it a priority to keep their workers motivated and engaged risk losing them to other opportunities. For a start-up company, the CEO and HR have a big part to play in the growth of the organization. The HR, because they will be evaluating and picking the people building the organization as for the CEO, she or he is the leader of the company. A leader who lacks discipline, provides no focus and omits consistency will find the same attitude reflected in the team members who either don’t care about the quality of their work, don’t take pride in their work or simply take actions into their own hands without consultation. A company has to have certain values and qualities. Qualities that should be reflected in both the CEO and the employees they seek.

When the passion for work, the heart to see projects to fruition and the desire to become a pivotal piece of a company’s continued growth and success is apparent, you will have established an office culture of productivity and success.


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