Globalization has made the world smaller and
flatter. Crossing cultures do create formidable challenges for
individuals and organizations. According to the International Labour
Organization (ILO, 2004), 70% of cross-boundaries business ventures fail
due to cultural differences because individuals and organizations
situated in different cultural environments have different norms, values
and ways of doing things.
To survive in today'
business environment, organizations need individuals who are able to
navigate the complexities of the global market. We have all met
expatriates who spent their entire life living abroad but are not able
to speak any foreign language, live in close expatriate communities and
have limited social contacts with local population. This model is
obsolete. Today we must develop a new breed of global leaders. Expatriates are defined by location, as managers who are working in a different country from their own. In contrast, global
leaders are defined by their state of mind (Evans, Pucik and
Barsoux, 2002). I will call these global leaders cosmopolitans.
Cosmopolitans are individuals who not only have lived and worked in
several countries but also at the same time possess the capabilities
that enable them to be effective in dealing with diverse cultures.
the last few years, I focused my managerial and academic work on
cosmopolitans and on two important questions. First, what is the
relation between their capability to operate across cultural boundaries -
what we call Cultural Intelligence or CQ - and job performance ?
Second, can such capability be developed, and how can organizations do so ?
aim of this site is sharing with you some of the research and project
work which my team and I did in this area. Initiatives such as the
Engagement and Development" (I-LEAD) program are particularly worth to
share as they show that developing CQ in organizations can be done
effectively and with limited financial investment.