February 2021

Safe Spaces in Culture Intelligence

I have been working recently with an international organisation that is seeing incredible growth in the APAC region. As the organisation is from a western country there has been significant learning for their employees to learn more about different aspects of cultural values and norms in Asia.

An employee of this organisation was describing her understanding of Chinese New Year to me. She mentioned that she was aware of it being a time of celebration in Asian communities however she had no idea it went beyond a single day and was in fact over a week of celebrations in many countries. This was highlighted when she was scheduling some team meetings just after the Chinese New Year and although the majority accepted, a couple in the team push backed. She explored this further and thus discovered the length of the celebrations.

When knowledge and application are in play, a safe space where conversation and push back can be pursued is enabled. This safe space allows for people to try new things, perhaps make some mistakes and in doing so, make progress and gain insight into the best ways and methods to apply their learning.

How are you creating safe spaces to apply your knowledge of cultural intelligence?


Film Recommendation:



This month I thought I would share a review of a film I saw recently that explores cross-culture. The movie is an Australian production called High Ground that follows the intertwining lives of two men, one white and one black in post WW1 Australia.

Set against the spectacular natural beauty of the Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land, High Ground chronicles the life of young Aboriginal man Gutjuk (Jacob Junior Nayinggul). In a bid to save the last of his family, Gutjuk teams up with ex-soldier Travis (Simon Baker) who he is indebted to for rescuing him from a vicious attack by a group of white men, when he was a child. Together they track down Baywara (Sean Mununggurr) - the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, who is also his uncle. Through the journey Gutjuk seeks to find his place in between the worlds of black and white.

High Ground is an engrossing film that elevates the stories and voices of Indigenous Australians. It highlights the uncomfortable truths of Australia’s colonial past and the scars left behind which as a country we are still coming to terms with.

Click here to view High Ground trailer