You all are aware about IQ and EQ. Right? What’s about CQ? I am not sure, because we do not bother much about the CQ or cultural intelligence. Off course, companies use this term frequently and use as catchy phrase in trainings and development programmes. Not so much old, it is a new approach to work in globalised world. Cultural intelligence is defined as the capability of an individual to work effectively across different national, ethnic and organizational cultures.
If you are working in multinational dynamic work culture, you need to develop the CQ. In past this factor was not much considered, perhaps due to the limited interactions with diverse people. However now a days organizations function in matrix environment and have multiple reporting structures. If you are in a leadership role, then you do not have the option without being culturally intelligent.
And if you are culturally intelligent, you may not get the opportunity to get the leading roles in such companies and this is applicable in Indian MNCs also. You may have training programmes on this. You may read books or column in some theoretical magazine. These all may give you the perspective on customs like food, greetings, gifts and sometimes language and behaviour. The main question behind cultural intelligence is, why do some people easily and effectively adapt their views and behaviors cross-culturally and others don’t? Your honest engagement with that question can determine whether or not you work successfully in our rapidly globalizing world.
What is right in Indian context may not necessarily right in other cultures. As even, in India, we have different cultures at different states and we struggle to meet the expectations of these people due to their cultural differences. You can consider challenges to be culturally intelligence.
To go ahead, you need to assess where you are right now. You can check your CQ level and decide the strategy to be culturally intelligent. Second question is how you are keen to understand the CQ perspective. Do you believe and acknowledge the different cultures and diversity? If you believe in so, you need to show the interest in different cultures. There are different issues involved in diversity. CQ knowledge is your knowledge about the culture and its role in doing the business, performing your role.
You have to find out your ways to understand the culture, your strategy to adapt and act on the diverse issues in culture.