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How Many Years of Multicultural Experience Does Your Team Have?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

KnowledgeWorkx always asks this question at the beginning of every Inter-Cultural Intelligence program. No doubt it is a lot, given today's global and interconnected world. But are you any the wiser for it?

In January 2015, KnowledgeWorkx asked participants beginning their ICI Certification process about their personal multicultural experience. The answer for one particular group was a record for KnowledgeWorkx: collectively 512 years! This group, 23 lecturers of the Higher Colleges of Technology in UAE, has an average of more than 20 years multicultural experience per person. This is great, because just claiming multicultural experience signals that many teams and managers are at least savvy enough to realize that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to the inter-cultural issues they face every day.

The Higher Colleges of Technology in UAE use an international curriculum for their UAE national students that live in a country where over 80% of the population is expatriate – including a high percentage of their faculty and staff. Only about 5% of students end up in private sector jobs; this is too low as UAE nationals are expected to be involved in all spheres of society.

KnowledgeWorkx has a long-term relationship with the Ministry of Higher Education in UAE, because KnowledgeWorkx created an ICI course for higher education students that gained ministry approval. Several thousand students are enrolled in the course for academic year 2014-2015. The lecturers themselves must be approved by KnowledgeWorkx to deliver the course to their students. Part of the approval process is gaining ICI Certification through KnowledgeWorkx.

Personal experience doesn't always equip a person with the right tools to envision, manage or achieve corporate change.

These 23 lecturers constantly deal with the complexities involved in effectively teaching multicultural groups of students; and they certainly want their students to be cultural learners rather than cultural critics. Yet, despite their 512 years of experience, the group is excited about the new insights and tools they received at the workshops. "The training was extremely timely and change-provoking; we really needed this at this time", said one participant.

HCT lecturers are taught ICI because many are expatriates and now live in the most multicultural country in the world. They will teach UAE nationals exclusively, many of whom the Ministry of Higher Education hopes will successfully enter private sector jobs as a result of this initiative. The ministry has identified ICI as a key ingredient for the government to achieve their 2030 strategic educational goals.

How can we turn personal experience into real strategies that drive sustainable change in our teams and organizations, in order to achieve the goals we set?

KnowledgeWorkx does just that. This group is excited to develop competencies that will help their students thrive and succeed in a global world. The power of the ICI framework is really evident when the multicultural experience of the participants meets the methodology, together in one room. ICI not only provides you with categories and a common vocabulary to understand where your team mates, colleagues, or clients are coming from; ICI enables you to create your own unique, "third-cultural" space for your team or organization, so that you may thrive together. The ICI tools are keys to help you unlock even more potential in your team members, clients, staff or students.

Begin your journey with ICI Certification workshops and an introduction to two of our ICI tools, the Three Colors of Worldview and the 12 Dimensions of Culture.


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