The Team That Thrives Together...

Updated: Feb 18

High-perfomance teaming in intercultural contexts, Part 1 of 2


Mobility is the modern trend for the global workforce, so intercultural teams are becoming less of a novelty and workforce mobility is becoming the status quo. More organizations than ever before are living out a day-to-day reality of face-to-face intercultural team dynamics.


The question no longer is, "Will your team be multicultural?" The question now is, "How are you preparing and equipping your multicultural team to function together efficiently for your organization?" More and more multinational corporations and institutions are realizing their need to acquire expertise and develop leaders to help them move forward in this increasingly globalized and culturally complex world of ours.

Is your team performing at its optimal levels of interaction and productivity?

The fact is, while there are countless multicultural teams springing up worldwide, extremely few have yet to arrive at a point where they are interacting ideally and accomplishing what they desire to accomplish. Few are able to work through the challenges of collaboration in an intercultural context.


For over 15 years, KnowledgeWorkx has been assisting intercultural teams around the world. Are you interested in maximizing your team's global competencies and competitiveness? We invite your team to join together in a remarkable endeavor as a group: Embark with us on a powerful journey to develop your own high-performing intercultural team.

What do High-Performing Intercultural Teams (HPITs) do?

A high-performing intercultural team has a deep understanding of the intercultural motivators and demotivators that every individual team member brings to the team. They use tools like the Three Colors of Worldview® and the Cultural Mapping Inventory (CMi)® to quantify these motivators and demotivators.

  • A high-performing intercultural team uses the results of their assessments to develop an interculturally-aligned team culture through the four pillars of successful intercultural teams (below).

  • A high-performing intercultural team actively recruits and nurtures new members into the team culture.

  • A high-performing intercultural team creatively and intentionally uses their carefully nurtured team culture to connect successfully with internal and external stakeholders.

How can you identify a HPIT?


Again, there are many multicultural teams popping up all around us, but not all of them are modeling the best practices for operating truly and effectively in intercultural contexts. High-performing intercultural teams can be picked out of a crowd, though! Successful intercultural teams are characterized by four essential components or characteristics, what we have come to call " the four pillars" of HPITs:

  1. Develop Merit-Based Trust Trust starts flowing through the team only as they deliberately pursue an interculturally validated set of behaviors that fortify trust, while avoiding behaviors that break trust down.

  2. Overcome Communication Challenges HPITs tackle communication processes and systems and communication content. Developing clearly-defined, culturally-informed parameters for behavior is essential for a team to be able to master communication.

  3. Align Common Purpose An HPIT quantifies team goals, aligns individual goals, gives clarity on how to celebrate and correct, how change and alignment are handled, etc..

  4. Develop Relational Capital HPITs seek to answer two key questions: “How strong do we want relationships to be on our team?" and "How to we intend to reach our desired level of strength?”

These four focus areas are crucial for an intercultural team's pursuit of optimal performance, and their overall ability to achieve their highest goals together. A high-performing intercultural team will quantify, act upon, and align clearly defined behaviors that eventually will comprise the behavioral code or behavioral charter for the team moving forward. Corporate or team culture is defined by the behaviors of the individuals in your group.


In the next installment on this topic, we will unpack specific steps along the journey to creating a team-wide behavioral charter for high-performance teaming that capitalizes upon all the strengths and advantages of operating interculturally.

This series: Part 1 Part 2

For more information about cultivating high-performing teams in an intercultural context, and for a helpful PDF that summarizes the journey, contact us.

Quickly becoming the global preferred choice for Inter-Cultural Intelligence development, KnowledgeWorkx promotes mutual understanding of other cultures and perspectives in the workplace, and helps teams to develop the intercultural capacity necessary to thrive in a globalized world.

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