Chapter 8

The Future of Cultural Intelligence

One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying flat on its back on the ground; its feet in the air.

“What are you doing,” asked the elephant.

The hummingbird replied, “I heard that the sky might fall today. If that happens, I am ready to do my part to hold it up.”

The elephant laughed and mocked the bird. “You think those feet can hold up the sky?”

“Not alone,” said the bird. “But we must each do what we can, and this is what I can do.”

—Adapted from R. MacDonald, Three minute tales

How can we ensure that our leadership matters at a very deep level? What can we do to cultivate awareness for cultural intelligence in all individuals within our organizations? As this Chinese fable tells, we have a responsibility ...

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