Inter-Cultural Intelligence

What is Inter-Cultural Intelligence

No matter if you have stayed at home or have relocated to another country; in more ways then ever before we are interfacing across borders.

Over 300 million people live outside the country of their birth and almost 1/3 of the global work force engages across borders on a regular basis (virtually or face-to-face).

Our world is interconnected and will require collaborative investment to manage the dilemmas our world is facing!

Therefore we need a new way of equipping ourselves for relational success in a diverse world.

Engaging people effectively requires us to look beyond the external clues that we have used for so long to put people in cultural boxes. These boxes are at best superficial and in most cases dangerously inaccurate.

We believe people have unique cultural preferences in the same way they have a unique personality driven behavioral style. This is why KnowledgeWorkx created the Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI) analysis framework and methodologies.

Although Nationality, Ethnicity and Race are important ways to create identity and ways to discuss broader topics of diversity, they are not always the best starting point to connect! If we start with the premise that every human being has their own unique cultural preferences, it results in a powerful shift in our interaction.

What do people say who practice Inter-Cultural Intelligence?

  • It makes me less bias and more curious
  • We are more likely to connect based on our common humanity
  • It establishes trust and respect
  • We connect deeper faster

Developing ICI will not only illuminate the relationships between your culture, your colleagues' culture, company culture, and national culture; you will learn what to do with that information, as well as develop the competencies to think and act appropriately. ICI Practioners are bridge builders and are uniquely equipped to build culture (we call it the “Third Cultural Space”).

ICI consists of a powerful set of methods and tools and has many ways to have a transformational impact: develop high-performing intercultural teams (including distributed teams), equip global leaders, manage intercultural stakeholders, bridge cultural communication gaps, develop global HR practices, globalize the DNA of your organization, engage clients across borders and successfully navigate the corporate and intercultural landscape of mergers and acquisitions.

Culture is a deeply integrated part of who we are; it influences every daily interaction. In the past, it was difficult to pin down the wide-ranging influences culture has on our day to day interactions.

The Inter-Cultural Intelligence framework empowers you to you have a systematic non-geographic approach to develop higher levels of relational success in a global and diverse world.

The Inter-Cultural Intelligence Development Framework

The ICI Framework has 4 levels

Level 1 is focused on inviting people on a journey of becoming an intercultural learner. Much of what we do in level 1 is focused on ‘perception management’; enhancing/changing the way I (culturally) see myself and the world around me… A core element of level 1 is “The Three Colors of Worldview Discovery Tool”.

In Level 2 we equip people to add a more in-depth intercultural analysis of their environment through the 12 Dimensions of Culture of the “Cultural Mapping Inventory” This will equip them to analyze people, groups and systems & environments in a new way.

After people had the opportunity to utilize the analysis tools, framework and language of Level 1 and Level 2 effectively they can start utilizing that in the application areas mentioned in Level 3.

In Level 3 ICI practitioners start to apply ICI into more specialized application areas within their job. This can be in the form of integration in their daily work practices, consulting and advisory work, facilitating, learning & development and coaching. ICI Practioners develop stronger application capabilities over time and learn how to add constructive value to decision-making processes that involve Level 3 oriented disciplines and topics.

The application areas listed for level 3 in the diagram below are not meant to be conclusive. Depending on the nature of the organization there are many additional areas where ICI could add value (e.g. academic institutions, NGO’s, government services or civil society).

Level 4 is where ICI starts to influence the policies, procedures, systems and practices that shape the organization on an ongoing basis. This can be through in-house practitioners or through external service providers who have been certified to strategically deploy the Inter-Cultural Intelligence framework and approaches.


The Three Colors of Worldview©

The Three Colors of Worldview© Discovery tool was developed to assist people with a deeper understanding of their own and other people’s cultural drivers, motivators and demotivators.

The Three Colors of Worldview© are discovered through an online questionnaire and a blended learning approach that could include the following components: eLearning, self-discovery, coaching and group facilitation. Self and other-discovery, reflection and application will allow participants to:

  1. Apply the framework to their own cultural journey and can explain their own cultural drivers, motivators and demotivators using the language of the Three Colors of Worldview
  2. Know how to use the Three Colors of Worldview© Framework to more accurately assess individuals, groups and systems/processes
  3. Develop adaptation strategies in one-to-one and group interactions leading to more successful relationships and work and beyond
  1. Apply the Three Colors of Worldview© framework to become more effective in key organizational focus areas like: collaboration, communication, client engagement & sales, leadership and teaming.

The Three Colors of Worldview© tool was developed in conjunction with the Cultural Mapping Inventory© (CMi) assessment.

The two tools together form the foundational framework for the KnowledgeWorkx Cultural Mapping & Navigation© suite of products.

The Three Colors of Worldview© Discovery report is a rich 15-page individual report, which includes a clear guide for action with practical adaptation strategies to engage more effectively in an intercultural world.


Three Colors of Worldview group reports create a powerful conversation to assist a team to develop their own behavioral charter. We have two types of Group Reports:

  • Four pillars of Intercultural Teams
  • To support the rollout of a Five Dysfunctions of a Team initiative

The Cultural Mapping inventory©

The 12 dimensions of the Cultural Mapping inventory (CMi)© allows you to formally (through assessment) or informally (in the moment of conversation) identify the unique cultural preferences of individuals and groups. The insights provide by the 12 Dimensions of Culture equip you to adapt your approach to create a more effective and meaningful way of engaging.

The 12 dimensions of the CMi were put together to answer one key question: “What do I need to know about the cultural person in front of me to engage more effectively?” Combining the 12 dimensions of culture with the Three Colors of Worldview© gives you a powerful analysis framework and a rich neutral language to engage interculturally.

Although the framework is rich and comprehensive it is at the same time practical enough to create culture together in the moment. Culture creation happens in the moment no matter if it is between two people having a conversation or when you are developing the culture of an organization. We call it “creating the Third Cultural Space”.

An Integrated Approach

The CMi was design to be part of an integrated coaching or (blended) learning journey and is interpreted by ICI certified practitioners.


The CMi is typically used in conjunction with the Three Colors of Worldview© to create deep understanding and lasting relational success.

Cultural Mapping Inventory Application

The CMi is available as a personal report as well as a group dynamics report and as such can be applied to personal and group learning journeys.


Core Principles

  • All 12 Dimensions of Culture© are present in every person or group of people.
  • All 12 Dimensions of Culture© are equal. Each dimension preference has the inherent capability to manifest itself in a way that is enabling or disabling within a certain context.
  • 12 Dimensions of Culture© preferences and ratios can shift over time. They are a reflection of the shifting personal, organizational, and societal cultural.
  • Each person has the ability to adjust their behavior on any of the 12 Dimensions of Culture© in order to engage more effectively with the world around them.