What is CQ?

” Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is the capability to relate and work effectively in culturally diverse situations.”    Individuals with high CQ will be strong in the following capabilities:

Why should the game industry in particular care about CQ? 

Creativity and innovation are key pillars to success in game development as we strive to create exceptional entertainment experiences for audiences. Diversity within teams, in global markets and in our organizational structures are also an industry reality. We’ve heard for years that workplace diversity brings many significant benefits including increased profitability, market growth and equity returns. However, here is the catch:

Diversity ≠ Innovation

Diversity WITH CQ = Innovation

Research indicates diversity by itself will NOT drive innovation and/or increased performance; in fact, the opposite is much more likely to be true, at least without high CQ.

Why? A key reason relates to increased chances for conflict relating to differing expectations within diverse teams, often stemming from cultural preferences. For example, how shall we make a decision? Who makes it and who’s involved in the conversation? How do we define ‘success’? What approach should we apply to evaluating new ideas, dealing with conflicts or scheduling meetings? What are the desired attributes of a ‘good’ boss?

 In my work with global teams and projects, I have seen a pattern of success and failure often apparently tied directly to issues of ‘culture’. It became clear that being effective required a very thoughtful approach to our collaborations, especially with consideration to cultural preferences and individual team dynamics. This was true whether working with internal teams or external development partners, and whether working remotely or in the same location.

The Good News

 CQ takes us beyond a simple conversation of cultural preferences or ‘ cultural awareness’, with the risk of increased stereotyping, and instead clarifies the skills and a framework to support a strategic approach for increased effectiveness in all multicultural interactions.

CQ as a capability is NOT fixed; it can be measured and improved in individuals and at an corporate level. A high CQ leader will become a ‘force multiplier’ for their team and throughout the organization. With a variety of possible development approaches available including workshops, personal/team coaching and e-learning, we can increase our cultural intelligence, resulting in clear benefits:

For organizations

  • Success in culturally diverse markets
  • Speed and efficiency in producing results
  • Multicultural and global team effectiveness
  • Profitability and cost savings

For individuals

  • Less energy to adapt
  • Ability to persevere
  • Increased personal effectiveness
  • Become a more desired employee/teammate

Cultural intelligence provides a competitive advantage for any organization working in global markets, but the business case for the games industry, with it’s highly diverse, often distributed teams and global audiences, makes CQ a clear winner as an organizational development priority.

 If you are interested in running a pilot CQ workshop in your organization, and/or understanding more about this topic, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to me for more information. I have also included several reference links below. Your comments and questions are welcome!

– Tina Merry, Global Leadership Consultant, CQ Certified Advanced Professional

References and useful links:

Original article on linkedin

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