Never been into the hip fashion trends because it was too difficult? For a businessman, CQ is like the latest trend in business. This is because, if one possesses a high cultural quotient, one can understand foreign markets in different countries and be able to communicate concepts and products more effectively to a foreign audience giving them an edge they need in a globalised world like today’s . However, CQ is not limited to the business context anymore. CQ is constantly evolving and is on its way to become more important in our lives.
2.1 CQ development around the world: two case studies:
Singapore is one of the few countries that want to and have started to integrate the concept of CQ into its society. After much difficulties caused by cultural conflicts, Singapore has seen the importance of being culturally intelligent in a multi racial society. Through its national education lessons and Racial Harmony Day, Singapore has tried to impart cultural intelligence to the young. Also, Singapore has created the NTU (Nanyang Technological University) Cultural Intelligence Centre to educate Singaporeans on cultural intelligence.
As the centerpiece of Asia, China is a large country with a booming population. Even though it may seem that the 1.3 billion Chinese are of the same race, there are still many ethnic minorities that amount to 9.44% of China’s total population. It seems like cultural intelligence will be essential for Chinese domestically. However, the ethnic minorities are less recognized, as the majority group in China, the Han people, is paying less attention to these cultural differences. In China, there is still a lack of cultural awareness domestically and globally. Thus, China still has a long way before its people can be sufficiently culturally intelligent.
2.2 What some of the companies think about cultural intelligence:
As Cultural Quotient stresses on effective communication and customer relationship with people from other cultures, many companies today have certainly thought of it as a way to optimize their business.
Here are a few examples :
Lufthansa: This is the famous German airline which believes that culturally intelligent individuals will play an essential role during any crisis since they can communicate with more people internationally.
Barclays: Culturally intelligent people give Barclays the thrust in ownership and commitment both locally and overseas.
Levi Strauss: If you are talking about jeans, Levis might be your favorite! Levis believes that employees who have cultural intelligence can lead the company to suit the consumers’ tastes. This, they believe, can provide the extra edge in competitions for customer groups from different countries.
IBM: It is one of the biggest computer manufacturing company around. IBM firmly believes the ability of effective cross-cultural interaction provides an edge in competition. Also, they believe that cultural intelligence is essential to leaders and managers in the globalized market of today.
Nike: Nike is one of the best shoe manufacturers in the world. They believe that hiring culturally intelligent people will give them the edge. Also, they have included cultural diversity as an integral part of their Human Resource (HR) agenda.
Lloyds TSB: Lloyds TSB, now Lloyds Banking Group, is a leading British-based bank. They believe that they need culturally intelligent people who can serve customers of different backgrounds effectively. Lloyds TSB takes a lot of pains to improve customer relationships and even has a diversity strategy for that purpose.
These well-known multi-national corporations are becoming more successful by recognizing the importance of culture diversity in sales. They gain a competitive edge by hiring culturally intelligent individuals and keeping culture as an important agenda in their work.