Enhancing Cultural Intelligence Skills For Team Managers In Coca Cola Amatil Limited

Cultural Intelligence

1.Introduction

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Cultural Intelligence or Cultural Quotient is widely used in the fields of business, government, academic research and education .The concept of Cultural Intelligence  can be described as analysis of the capability of the personnel to correlate and work effectively across different  cultures. It was coined by Soon Ang and Linn Van Dyne as a measure which is based on research for forecasting the intercultural performance of the employees.

So, in this report, the selected company is Coca Cola Amatil Limited and as a consultant of the company, a professional development workshop for enhancing the cultural intelligence skills for the team managers shall be conducted. Teams of 50 team managers shall be trained to tackle inter cultural issues. Afterwards the evaluation of the success of the workshop shall be done and it would be assessed that up to which extent the objectives of the workshop have been accomplished.

According to Thomas et al., (2015) Cultural Intelligence is gauged on a scale and it is similarly measured to that of the intelligence quotient. The team managers with higher CQs are considered to be successfully merged with any environment and they can use more efficient business practices than those with lower CQ.

There are four aspects of Cultural Intelligence namely motivational, behavioral, metacognitive and cognitive. Motivational Cultural Intelligence states the capability of the employees to be motivated and interested   in learning new skills about another cultures and are willing to work in culturally different situations .It can be explained as a mental   capability to supervise and focus the power towards the performance of the employees within a particular intercultural environment pertaining to a real life problem solving situation.

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Behavioral CI is accountable for depicting the appropriate behavior with the reference of a particular culture and is a derivative of the other aspects of Cultural Intelligence viz. metacognitive, cognitive and motivational CI. It operates on adjusting the behaviors to fit amongst the various cultural contexts. It is a method of applying all the three aspects of CI into a real life situation with the help of suitable behavioral methods.

As per Nunes, Felix, and Prates (2017) metacognitive CI is capable to  retrieve and comprehend the cultural knowledge  and is focused  towards the  high level of cognitive processes. It is capable of   formulating plans, supervising and reviewing mental models of cultural norms for nations or group of personnel. It is associated with the mental capability to attain and analyze the cultural knowledge. The major aspects of metacognitive CI are awareness and supervision of cognitive processes.

Designing the activities for the professional development workshop

According to Truong, Paradies and Priest (2014) Cognitive CI forms the basis of knowledge of norms, beliefs and practices of various cultures which is derived from educational and personal experience. It gathers the general data about the various cultures and cultural aspects .The components of cultural environment bring an apprehension about how the mechanisms arrange the  pattern of behavior and communications within a particular culture.

Thus, metacognitive, cognitive and motivational CI are referred to as mental capabilities and are the consequence of mental functioning whereas behavioral  CI forms the basis of behavioral capability to imbibe more skills and depict a range of verbal and non-verbal activities.

The entire training program can be assessed and evaluated using analyzing the key outcomes and effects of the program. It helps in improving the cross cultural performance and flexibility of the team and assists in improving the job performance. It helps in enhancing the profitability of the whole organization.

2.Designing the activities for the professional development workshop 

As a consultant, the professional development workshop for enhancing the intercultural skills amongst the tea managers shall be conducted. The workshop shall be conducted for 5 days and it would be customized according to the needs of the team managers and it will help them in comprehending the various aspects of cultural intelligence. It shall include the following activities to involve and nurture safe cultural atmosphere in the organization:

  1. Case studies to comprehend the application on the real world.
  2. Feedback reports to assess the Cultural intelligence of the groups.
  3. Formulation of personal development plan for providing a blue print of steps for improving CI.
  4. Conducting experimental exercises for enhancing awareness and focus on the various cultural issues.

Apart from this, various CI programs would be developed such as CI can be evaluated in the midst of hiring process and can be used as a metric for evaluating the performances along with conducting diversity inclusion and leadership diversity programs as a part of coaching, mentoring of the team managers. Global relocation programs   for training, supporting and coaching the managers who are being allotted the international projects.  Assessing the programs for evaluating their effectiveness and for improving the intercultural capabilities (Cultural Co, LLC, 2017).

The case studies are referred to improve the negotiating skills of the employees .Those with higher cultural quotient are capable of accomplishing the best results in the cross cultural agreements. The negotiators are able to help in a better way when they are faced with the situation where they have to adjust to the surroundings. Hence, difference in culture between the business executives can create restrictions which obstruct the negotiation processes.

The case studies regarding judgment and decision making can be correlated with metacognitive and cognitive CQ . They can be used for estimating the performance   of employees in the intercultural scenario. A leader with the capability to understand various stakeholders and consider the influence of strategic decisions on set of individuals is required in this regard (Damary, Markova and Pryadilina, 2017).

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the training program

According to Cultural Intelligence Center (2018) the CQ assessment measures the capability of the employees to work and coordinate across various cultures. The participants fill the assessment reports online and receive a feedback report which contrasts their CQ with the international norms and assist them to comprehend the feedback. It also guides them for formulating a personal CQ developmental plan .The organizations receive reports which summarize the scores for the group of participants, contrast them with the international norms and suggest the team managers for utilizing the feedback (Roux and Suzuki, 2017)

Regarding the formulation of the personal development plans, the tea managers are required to first understand their own culture, beliefs and value systems. It will assist them in understanding others. Then they should be allowed to experience the other cultures by coordinating with the individuals belonging to other cultures. In Coca Cola Amatil Limited, the teams should comprise of various individuals belonging to different cultures, so that they can interact and understand each other’s habits, beliefs, values and cultures. One of the important components in cross cultural interaction is the degree of variation the team managers achieve from their own culture and background. So the key element is to enter into a dialogue with the individuals of other cultures which takes place in their cultural context (Matsumoto and Hwang, 2013).

Thirdly, the team managers should develop their cultural intelligence   by interaction with others in their own language. Since languages are not only modes of communicating with others but they are mechanisms by which reality is created in which the companies operate. The capability to interact in other languages creates an impact how the team managers can enhance their cultural intelligence (Cornerstone University, 2018).

Conducting experimental exercises for enhancing the cultural intelligence can be done with the help of cultural strategic techniques. The basis for evaluating and practicing this is to associate the new information with the old one, to select the appropriate strategy and plan, supervise and evaluate the implemented strategies

So, under this topic, the team members should be asked to write their experiences regarding the cultural situation. They should write their emotions, thoughts, doubts and inconsistencies and challenges confronted while working across cross cultures (London School of International Communication, 2018).

With regards to gaining of cultural knowledge, the team members should be trained to check the facts and knowledge about the various cultures. They  should review the situation thoroughly  and research about the unfamiliar terms  and the gestures used .They should be taught to discuss their problems with the coach or mentors who will help  them in resolving their  cultural issues .They should be a keen observer in learning  the cultural skills  and they must never fail to  perceive  and observe the tangible  and intangible.

As per Kunasegram et al., (2016) apart from this, the leadership development programs should be conducted in the organization so that the team managers can take the responsibility to create a diverse and inclusive work environment. They should be diverse in their thoughts and creativity. They should assimilate the market and workforce diversity into the strategies of the organization. They should create incentive systems which recognize and reward the diversity efforts of their team. The team managers should create awareness amongst the members of the team and develop the skills in them so that they can deal with diversity issues. They should appoint, retain and develop diverse workforce in their team.

An effective training assessment program should include the questionnaires to measure the overall cultural quotient of the team. The career development plans should be assessed to evaluate the implementation of the strategies in an appropriate manner. It has been observed that individuals, who are extrovert, emotionally stable, have a low need of control and possess high cultural capital respond instantly to training and improve higher levels of cultural intelligence (Future INC, 2015).

Lastly, it should be observed that the personnel engaged in the training were able to reflect and use their newly acquired skills in their routine life.  It will help the team managers to grow emotionally, mentally and behaviorally which will assist them in aligning them more closely with the realities and complexities o the intercultural exchanges (SHRM Foundation, 2015).

3. Evaluating the success of the professional development workshop

The success of the intercultural workshop was analyzed by arranging   face to face meeting with the team managers after some time of the completion of training. They were asked to note about their learning and its implementation on the routine life situations. Their reviews should also be shared with other stakeholders so that they can give their views on the same. A performance scorecard was also filled by the department heads to gauge the performance of the team managers (Reiche,    Lee and Quintanilla, 2016).

Furthermore, the team managers should also be able to deal with certain situation relating to intercultural issues. They should be analyzed on the basis of dummy case studies and questionnaires prepared for evaluating their reactions in this behalf. It should be ensured that the in the trainees should be able to correlate the training sessions with the problems confronted by them. It is crucial   that the participants see the wider picture and the part they play in accomplishing the objectives (Barker and Mak , 2013).

The training was judged with the help of a self-reflecting exercise in which the team mangers had reflected upon about what they have covered by making brief notes on what they have learnt and how it can be applied to the real life. It will help them to focus on their leaning outcomes and assist them to self-evaluate (NG, Dyne and ANG, 2012) .  

Furthermore, a counseling cell is also established in this regard which will assist the mangers in resolving their inter cultural issues. So, it can be said that the training program was a huge success and it had fully accomplished its objectives with full participation of all the team managers involved in the training.