Economic recessions have typically been times when organizations scale back their global expansion. Not this time. The economic downturn is spurring companies to become more international.
Executives from every region recognize that the greatest opportunities for growth exist beyond domestic borders.
77% believe they will have an operational presence in more countries than they do today. Yet the same group of respondents agree that misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences are the biggest obstacle to effective expansion across borders.
CQ Drive: the interest, drive, and motivation to adapt cross-culturally
CQ Knowledge: the understanding of cultural similarities and differences
CQ Strategy: the ability to plan and be aware in light of culturally diverse situations
CQ Action: the flexibility to adapt one’s behavior when needed in a cross-cultural situation
But simply taking an inventory of one’s strengths and weaknesses in these areas does little by itself. What’s the significance of scoring “high” in CQ Drive and low in another area?
Research reveals some interesting answers to the “So What” question.
Culturally intelligent teams are more productive and innovative and they build a positive reputation for themselves and their organization. They naturally possess a broader knowledge of current world trends and thus their decisions and day-to-day operations are based upon a stronger grasp of relevant issues.
90% of the senior executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit believe increased cultural intelligence among personnel will improve profits and revenues. Nandita Gurja of Infosys in India says, “We are a global company. We simply cannot progress without the knowledge and experience to deal with other cultures.”
Expanding internationally brings a number of risks, including legal liabilities, unpredictable situations, and an increased complexity to your operations. But when handled by a culturally intelligent team, it offers the brightest opportunity for growth and innovation in this economically volatile climate.
[More information about CQ Assessments available here.]