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CI Model in Action

2 October, 2015 - 15:12
  • Acquire: There are multiple levels of culture at work in this case study, particularly how individual cultural differences are expressed and interpreted. Kolab has an approach to work that differs from her employees; most of the approach is based on her personal experiences and history as a refugee. As a leader practicing cultural intelligence, Kolab will need to take a look at her self- concept and how it differs or corresponds with her staff. She can do this in two ways: first, by exploring her own personal history and second, by getting to know her staff as individuals. The knowledge she gains about herself and others will bridge her understanding of individual cultural differences and how they are expressed in an organization.
  • Build: Kolab was hired because she is a “go-getter,” which typically means that she is achievement focused and oriented. Her staff interprets this as “impersonable.” To build an understanding of cultural differences, Kolab can build into her personal development plan ways to observe and listen to her staff. As an observer, she can pick up on verbal and nonverbal cues in her environment, thus helping her pay attention to her surroundings. By actively listening to her staff, she will learn how to adapt her behavior appropriately for the situation she is in.
  • Contemplate: Kolab has a high ability to be resilient, which she developed as part of her personality and individual culture because of her experience as a refugee. This will be helpful to her in staying positive about the situation. However, one of the things she could improve on is her ability to gauge the emotions of her staff during their interactions. She is not accurately perceiving the thoughts and emotions, thus she is unable to handle the relationships in a way that is appropriate.
  • Do: Kolab is trying to change the culture of the organization. As a leader, she needs to recognize that cultural shifts can be difficult, and it is her responsibility as a leader to help her employees make the changes successfully. She can help change cultural behavior through the use of stories. She can strategize this in different ways. She can set time for people to share the stories of the “old culture” and what they would like to see in the new culture. She can, using the power of words and language, share stories of herself, her vision, and where she would like the organization to be. She can combine her stories with the stories of her employees to create a unified story.