What is Cultural Intelligence?

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE, or CQ, is the ability to relate and work effectively with people from different nationalities, ethnicities, age groups, and more.
"In a world where crossing boundaries is routine, CQ becomes a vitally important aptitude and skill."
Harvard Business Review

CQ: An Essential Skill

Cultural intelligence (CQ) is a critical part of setting yourself apart in today’s world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and globalization. It’s the ability to relate and work effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds and it goes beyond existing notions of cultural sensitivity and awareness. With cultural intelligence, you’ll have an essential skill necessary to succeed.​

Those with high levels of CQ include:​

  • Global Citizens: CQ is the missing link between thinking globally and acting locally.​
  • Communities of Faith: CQ enables religious groups to respectfully engage with people from other cultural and religious backgrounds.​
  • Employers: CQ is the strategic link between a diverse workforce and diverse customers.​
  • Job Seekers: 90% of executives are looking for people who have cultural intelligence. CQ provides a competitive edge for landing your dream job​

Benefits of CQ

With higher levels of CQ, you’ll be better equipped to​

  • Adjust and adapt in diverse situations ​
  • Make better decisions in culturally diverse settings​
  • Effectively negotiate with people from different cultural backgrounds​
  • Foster trust, idea sharing, and innovation​
  • Lead a diverse team more effectively ​
  • And more.

Get started with our CQ Masterclass Credential.

Why is CQ important?

CQ gives you a model for diagnosing and responding to complex intercultural situations on the fly. Rather than memorizing facts about different cultures and applying stereotypes, you can use CQ to succeed in any intercultural setting.

Learn More About Cultural Intelligence

David Livermore, PhD, and President of the Cultural Intelligence Center walks us through a scenario about the importance of CQ. He also explains why CQ is so important and the role CQ plays in our every day lives.


DID YOU KNOW: Dave has written nine books on cultural intelligence and global leadership and has worked with companies, governments, and non-profits in more than 100 countries. He speaks at several international conferences annually.  You can learn more about Dave Livermore by visiting his website located at DavidLivermore.com

The Cultural Intelligence Advantage

“CQ is a critical capability for navigating today’s increasingly global and diverse business environment…the good news is it’s entirely learned. It’s so important that we made it one of our core behaviors at Pwc”
—  Robert Moritz, 
Chairman PwC
“David Livermore’s work on cultural intelligence is an essential tool for working, living and leading in a world without borders.”
— Dick DeVos, 
Former Chairman and CEO of Amway
“Based on solid academic research and years of personal experience, this is a whole new way of thinking holistically about the challenges and presents a repertoire of skills and behaviors that we can put to use in cross-cultural interactions.”
— Jim Kouzes, 
The Leadership Challenge

Bigger Goals?

Global CQ can best be described as working and relating effectively across international cultures. This may occur during international travel, when interacting with a global, virtual team, or when talking with people from other countries. Learn how we can create a tailored program to enhance the CQ of your organization.

Begin Your Journey

Free Learning Portal Resources

Not sure where to start your Cultural Intelligence journey? Sign-up for our free
learning portal and enjoy the benefits such as: