Whether it’s encouraging baristas to engage in conversations about race, using coffee cups to send a provocative message, or building awareness about coffee farmers around the world, Starbucks has never shied away from difficult conversations regarding diversity and inclusion. Internally, Starbucks has spent the last couple years strategically building awareness about unconscious bias. Now, Starbucks has decided that cultural intelligence offers them the ideal follow-up to moving beyond awareness to building the skills needed to relate and work effectively with partners and customers from different cultural backgrounds.
Starbuck’s senior leadership has been talking with the Cultural Intelligence Center for the last year about how to best leverage their work on diversity and inclusion. The research-basis of cultural intelligence combined with its application to domestic and global diversity made CQ the next step in the company’s long term commitment to diversity and inclusion. In January, a group of Starbucks leaders from around the world will be certified to use the CQ assessments and tools both because it fits strategically with Starbuck’s purpose and because it makes good business sense!