Cultural Intelligence: Measured by the Intercultural Development Inventory®

Why Cultural Intelligence?

You know that awkward moment? We’ve all lived it. That moment when you or someone you know feels tongue-tied talking to person of a different race or culture? Imagine the scale of impact on institutional growth and innovation. Our knee-jerk reaction, to minimize or not even acknowledge differences, may seem like go-along-to-get-along, but it actually undermines individuals as well as corporate productivity.

Think you don’t face these issues because your work culture is homogeneous? Differences not only include race but nationality, gender, generation, orientation, previous work experience, and even the divisions between departmental mindsets like operations versus marketing. Get ready to experience Cultural Intelligence!

The Impact of Developing Cultural Intelligence

When the people in a corporation have Cultural Intelligence—the ability to shift their cultural perspective and appropriately adapt their behavior to cultural differences and commonalities—a company experiences:

  1. Improved employee engagement;
  2. Ability to hire, retain and promote culturally diverse people;
  3. A culture of belonging and safety resulting in increased productivity;
  4. Broader market share and client diversity;
  5. International business adaptation and job performance;
  6. International transfer of technology and information;
  7. Revenue growth because employees and customers experience safety and trust.

What is Cultural Intelligence?

Cultural Intelligence (or intercultural competence) is the ability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt our behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. As employees develop cultural self-awareness, as well as cultural other-awareness, they experience greater safety and belonging.

At the same time, the company is able to attract, retain and promote top diverse talent, and realizes greater productivity and profit.

Intercultural Competence is the ability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. As employees develop cultural self-awareness, as well as cultural other-awareness, they experience greater safety and belonging. At the same time, the company attracts and retains top diverse talent, and realizes greater productivity and profit.

Cultural Intelligence is How We Ensure People Feel Engaged and Valued

Where there is a mix (diversity) of differences in how people interact and experience the world around them (culture), it requires the capacity to recognize, navigate, and bridge the complexities of individuals and groups (cultural intelligence) when the goal is to ensure people feel valued and engaged (inclusion).

International and domestic cross-cultural outcomes are achieved through the development of cultural intelligence – the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities (Hammer, 2009)

How to Assess Cultural Intelligence

Assessing cultural intelligence at the individual, team or organizational levels is accomplished through the administration of the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI)®. The IDI® is a 50-item on-line assessment tool that can be completed in 20-25 minutes. To learn more, contact Amy, a Qualified Administrator of the IDI®.

The Intercultural Development Inventory has been psychometrically tested and found to possess strong validity and reliability across diverse cultural groups. This validity includes predictive validity within both the corporate and educational sectors. The IDI has been rigorously tested and has cross-cultural generalizability, both internationally and with domestic diversity across nationality, gender and race.

The Intercultural Development Inventory measures an individual and organization’s ability to effectively navigate cross-cultural conversations. When they take the IDI, each individual and organization discovers their developmental stage of cultural intelligence. The five stages of development fall on a continuum.

The Intercultural Development Continuum

The Intercultural Development Continuum® (IDC TM®) describes a set of knowledge, attitude and skills toward cultural difference and commonality that are arrayed along a continuum from the monocultural mindsets of Denial and Polarization through the transitional orientation of Minimization to the global mindsets of Acceptance and Adaptation.

The capability of deeply shifting cultural perspective and bridging behavior across cultural differences is most fully achieved when one maintains stage of Adaptation.