What is ICI and how does n-Culture use it?

Inter-Cultural Intelligence enables individuals to understand their own cultural worldview and how it impacts their behaviors, expectations and relationships with others. It helps them assess and understand the cultural drivers of the other person and enables them to adapt their behavior and communication to bring about more effective and winsome interactions.

Increasing your ICI means acquiring and building the right heartset, mindset and skillset/competencies to increase and utilize your understanding of cultural differences and how to bridge them effectively.

Heartset – The foundation

Without foundation any and every building will eventually collapse. In ICI the foundation is our heartset towards intercultural engagement. Mastering our (subconscious) fears and stepping out with the willingness to engage with the other person in a positive and constructive way. It’s about attitude and drive. Without the right heartset, lasting win-win situations will not happen.

Mindset – The skeleton

Where heartset speaks about our attitude, mindset speaks about insights and understanding of the process. Insight in how the human brain and nature conditions us to think in certain ways, and how the people around us formed our culture and our outlook on the world.

Skillset – The toolboxes

ICI breaks down a culture into 3 observable worldview drivers and 12 observable cultural dimensions, shows you where you currently stand in each of these, and hands you the tools to quickly assess another person’s culture. This would give you a strong indicator of what things are important in that culture, how to navigate it and how to act appropriately. The “Three Colors of Worldview” and the “Cultural Mapping Inventory” are 2 of the toolboxes used to help people understand, assess and adapt to cultural differences.

The Iceberg model of culture

Many people compare culture to an iceberg. Some of it is obvious and very visible, but most of it is not so obvious and visible to the casual observer. The famous anthropologist and researcher, Edward T. Hall, concluded that “Culture hides more than it reveals and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from it's own participants.

Within the Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI) Framework we divide the iceberg into (top to bottom) as Observable Culture, Attitude, Norms & Values and Beliefs or Worldview.

Our “Worldview” is at the bottom of the iceberg and influences everything that sits on top of it. Many times without us being aware of it! This is why a good understanding of these worldview drivers is essential to being successful in the global arena.

Above the Worldviews layer sits the Norms & Values layer, which we sometimes label as “My rules for success”. With a good understanding of worldviews, applying our understanding of the differences in these norms and values is very helpful in making us successful in the intercultural arena. This is what the Cultural Mapping Inventory is about.

A good understanding of worldview drivers and the dimensions of culture also helps to make sense out of the top layers of attitudes and observable culture.

n-Culture and ICI

All four n-Culture programs, Faith & Culture, Work & culture, Team & Culture and Transformation & Culture incorporate ICI, its heartset, mindset and skillset, and look at things from an intercultural perspective. The Faith & Culture program, however, is specifically designed to give you a solid foundation of ICI. If you want to learn more about Inter-Cultural Intelligence and how it intersects with your faith, work, organization and your vocation, n-Culture’s practitioners are available to help. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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