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Where’s the cultural intelligence

With remote working on the rise in multinational companies, a new report has revealed that senior leaders are lacking the knowledge and skills to create cultural cohesion across their teams.                                                                                                                                        Published by School for CEOs, a leading executive development organisation, the report scored the Cultural Intelligence of 200 top-tier executives from the UK and international organisations.

With remote working on the rise in multinational companies, a new report has revealed that senior leaders are lacking the knowledge and skills to create cultural cohesion across their teams.

The research reveals that 76% of senior business leaders lack Cultural Intelligence. The report scored the Cultural Intelligence of 200 top-tier executives from the UK and international organisations. The extensive study focused specifically on the impact of geography and its influence in shaping a person’s culture and their perception of others.

Amongst the 200 participants:

  • 33% were CEOs
  • 58% were Male
  • 48% were aged 51+

Tafadzwa Maisva, School for CEOs’ Programme Manager and Researcher, said:  ‘’Cultural intelligence has increasingly become a topic of interest in management. With this in mind, I was curious to understand how leaders utilise their cultural intelligence when interacting with colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds and what strategies they use to create a greater sense of belonging and inclusion within their teams’’

Reasons for Low Cultural Intelligence
Participants scored highly for their curiosity and confidence in multicultural interactions, but less so when it came to their knowledge about the similarities and differences between cultures. This might include knowledge of other languages, legal systems, economies and religious beliefs.

Lower-scoring contributors also felt that a lack of knowledge, a limited upbringing and personal biases account for their scores.  One contributor said:

“I think it’s a question of upbringing. All my friends and peers growing up were people like me, and then when I went to university, I found all my friends and peers were very, very different”

Links between high Cultural Intelligence, success and multiculturalism
From the three categories surveyed (CEO, Executive and Functional Leader), CEOs had the highest Cultural Intelligence score.

Further analysis showed that by looking at the top 10% of high-scoring leaders, 84% of these leaders stated that they had a multicultural team.

Leaders in teams where 50% or more of its members were of different nationalities were more culturally intelligent than leaders with less diverse teams.

Managing Partner of the School for CEOs and former Scottish International Rugby Captain, David Sole OBE concluded:

”Our report gives invaluable insights into the behaviours of senior leaders with high cultural intelligence, and we hope that readers will adopt these attributes themselves in their organisations. But our research also revealed significant gaps in knowledge and behaviour. Our advice to leaders is to continue to be curious, to develop their self-awareness, and particularly, to remain open to feedback in order to become more inclusive in their style and approach.”

*Report Published by School for CEOs

https://www.schoolforceos.com/culturalintelligence

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