Cultural Intelligence and Aging Parents

Cultural Intelligence and Aging Parents Most days, when I take the time to read the newspaper, I find an article about another country that provokes me to reflect on what I might learn about their culture. Recently, I saw a small article on new Chinese Legislation in the International Herald Tribute. The header read ‘Law requires children to visit their aging parents, or face lawsuit.’ Although there is no reference as to what defines frequency of visits, parents can sue their children if they do not receive expected support. Reports indicate China is increasingly having difficulty in caring for its aging population. When I mentioned this legislation to colleagues, it was greeted with some laughter. Musing to myself, I wonder: What is it about this legislation that evokes amusement here in Toronto? And why does China feel this law is now necessary? What has changed? To explore these...

Capitalizing on Culture: What’s in a Name?

You may have noticed lately there is a lot of discussion about culture and the use of various terms – cultural competency, cross cultural communication, cultural savvy, cultural diversity to name a few. And there is my chosen term: Cultural Intelligence (CI). So why does choosing a specific label even matter? Just as the Cheshire cat told Alice in Wonderland, “All depends on where you want to get to”.  And as a friend and colleague taught me, ‘‘Words create the world we live in”. If you Google these terms, the results are similar except for cross cultural competence which comes up with fewer results. So what, you ask? Ten years ago, after I had a profound realization about the significance of culture and the impact on organizations and business, I went through this same exercise. At that time, I was CEO of a non profit organization wading into this not-so-young field. I had no...

Olympic Guidelines: but are they Intelligence?

Recently in the media you might have caught the United Kingdom’s Tourism Agency (UKTA) Guidelines advising locals on how to treat visitors to London during the 2012 Olympics. While I commend the UKTA for trying to bring attention to the issues, the campaign seems to be lacking intelligence – specifically cultural intelligence (CI). Typically we see lists of to do and not to do behaviors for Japan, Russia or China for example, but the list doesn’t explain why culturally these are important and different in the UK. How is one ever expected to remember all of these recommendations without having some understanding on what shaped the need to be mindful of these situations? What is missing is an acknowledgement for what Malcolm Knowles defines as andragogy, the science of Adult Education theory based on the assumption that adults need to know the reason for learning something. This...

Welcome to Rhonda’s Culture Blog!

If I make my blog easy to read and relevant, ideally, you will  respond… My goal is to share information, thoughts and insights on what I learn, observe and read as it relates to the ‘chemistry of culture’. Culture is amazingly complex. Paradoxically, we need to make discussing it simple so we can appreciate and acknowledge its wondrous attributes. Did you know that: CI (Cultural Intelligence) is highly researched on country cultures around the world by multiple researchers for decades? Considering that, gaps still exist around the most basic cultural information on Canada’s First People, for example. So it seems only fitting for my first blog to start here. My friend and colleague is a proud Anishinabe, a member of the Chipewas of Nawash First Nation in the Great Lakes Region of Ontario. A few years ago when I asked her for one word to describe her People, she said “kindness”. I...