Tag Archives: Culture

The Cultural Barriers

An interesting study recently released ‘Australia’s International Business Survey 2015’ had some key findings supporting the case for increased cultural intelligence (CQ). The findings provide insight into the nature, needs, concerns and future plans of the overall Australian international business community from an organisational perspective. Over 1200 Australian companies were included in the survey, from […]

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Cultural Chameleons

We all know people who are what I term ‘cultural chameleons’, they adjust to pretty much any new cultural environment quickly and with ease. Whether they’re traveling in a work or leisure capacity, or even if they’re in their home environment mixing with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, they know how to communicate at a […]

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Culture and Ethics

Bribery, cover-ups and corporate corruption are regularly exposed within multinational corporations the world over.   Recent accusations against Leighton International, one of Australia’s biggest companies that operates in more than 20 countries, is yet another reminder that unethical business behaviours occur across borders and industries. As Leighton International finds itself mired in the biggest scandal in […]

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Consciousness and Cultural Intelligence


A friend recommended an interesting TrueTube clip that I thought I would share.  It is an excerpt from an address to a graduating class by David Foster Wallace titled ‘This is Water‘.

The message of ‘This is Water’ is that the most obvious realities are the hardest to see and talk about. There are parts of our lives that we do everyday that are routine and tedious.  We don’t see or talk about these realities, such as grocery shopping and travelling to and from work; they are a part of our unconscious default setting.

The point is that we choose what we pay attention to.  Our natural default setting is to pay attention to our own needs and desires, often only paying attention to the barriers and frustrations that may get in our way when we are conducting our tedious tasks.

‘This is Water’ highlights that we do have the power to view our situations in different ways, that we can think outside of ourselves and consider the perspectives of others.  It takes will and effort, it isn’t easy and sometimes you don’t want to do it or simply can’t do it.

An important component of cultural Intelligence is the ability to pay attention to our behaviours, beliefs and attitudes and consider alternative perspectives.  It is about recognizing when we do revert back to our default setting and making changes to our attitudes and behaviours.

Learning how to think and what requires our attention is within our power.  We can change our ways of thinking.  We have the freedom to decide what is meaningful and what isn’t and we have the freedom to change our attitudes and behaviours in different cultural settings and interactions.