Why Cultural Intelligence Matters in the World of Business

Cultural Intelligence or CQ is an important skill that completes IQ and EQ for one to become a holistic and successful individual. Apart from the individual growth it brings, CQ is also becoming very important for businesses to succeed.

What is CQ and why does it matter in the world of business?

What is CQ

Cultural intelligence is the total package of embracing different cultures and showing such acceptance through your words and actions.

CQ is having the knowledge and understanding of different cultures, including customs, religion, traditions, and language. It is also about acknowledging that different cultures exist. CQ is the ability to fight biases and set aside stereotypes. Finally, cultural intelligence is about being flexible and being able to respond well to the cultural differences presented in front of you through your words, gestures, and actions.

Why CQ matters in the world of business

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The business world is constantly changing. More companies are going global in order to expand and grow. The ease of transportation, the Internet, and other advancements in technology have given businesses greater opportunities for more far-reaching ways to operate. Countries are also becoming more culturally-diverse prompting businesses to also adjust. These trends make it very crucial for businesses to develop cultural intelligence in order to cope with the changes.

If businesses want to succeed, they must foster cultural intelligence to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • To develop a better understanding of different markets that will help companies respond better to their needs through their products, services, and customer service.
  • To understand regional and global trends that will help businesses make better strategic decisions;
  • To help businesses avoid misunderstanding and conflict in dealing with diverse clients; and
  • To foster harmonious relations within the workplace that promote productivity, efficiency, and innovation.

How businesses can develop cultural intelligence


There are many ways in which companies can develop cultural intelligence. One way to do it is through cultural intelligence training. Companies can conduct seminars and talks or enroll key employees in cultural intelligence courses.

Another way is for businesses to encourage members to consciously make an effort in embracing diversity so they can apply it to their respective roles in the company. For example, encourage members to travel, visit museums and churches, witness different festivals, try diverse dishes, and bond with people from different cultures.

Developing cultural intelligence also takes willingness on the part of every employee. An effort to make every member understand the importance of cultural intelligence is a very crucial step to begin with.

Finally, businesses can also promote cultural intelligence in their workplaces by developing a culture of diversity and inclusion that is free from biases and discrimination. Management and employees need to be encouraged to be more accepting and respectful of different cultures, whether workmates or clients.

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