Guessing without Cultural Intelligence is like GAMBLING…just worse

If you want to influence people you need to understand what influences them which might be something completely different to what motivates you. Unless you understand this, you won’t have the IMPACT you want.

Ken Blanchard’s best-selling book, The one minute manager, is a master-piece and he teaches us…from his perspective.


He explains that the essence of knowledge is to use it. He also defines effective managers as individuals who can manage themselves and the people they work with so everybody benefits from their presence. He understands that RESULTS and PEOPLE go hand in hand

So far this is great in principles, however his book is based on North-American and Western European experience and this is where things can go wrong...and usually they do despite the best intention, or more often, despite the “best practice”.

What are the solutions and methods you might be using right now?


  • Leadership and management models which were developed within a specific environment based on their best practices over a long period of time.
  • Behavioural models are very popular, however they ignore how your cultural background influences your behaviour.
  • Cross-cultural models are country-specific and they do a good job at describing different dimensions, but how big is a culture? Where do you draw the line? Is that the country? The region? The city? The company? You can see specific number to specific dimensions but what do they mean exactly? What about people who were raised by an international couple in 3 different countries?

All of these models were created 30-40 years ago, globalisation has created new challenges which require new solutions.

Evolution can be ignored, but not denied. 

Globalisation  mixed up everything! People started travelling much more, they are extremely well-connected, some borders are disappearing and now not everything is that obvious as it used to be. As we said that could be the greatest asset, it has an amazing potential, but only if you understand all of this and you can get the combination right…then you hit the jack pot. This is what most companies want and  their approach is not much more different to gambling. There is a tempting prize, they have seen that in the news, so they keep trying to get the combination right. 

If we assume that a slot machine has 5 symbols only and you need to match 5 in a row to win, the probability that you get it right is 0.16%. In our case there are much more combinations.


  • Every spin costs money.
  • Every spin makes them more frustrated.


  • When you insert a coin, you start a new spin. When you think an employee is not the right fit because you do not know how to manage them, you fire them and hire a new one. You are playing with lives.
  • When you play again, it does not affect the next or previous round, the other slot machines or their reputation. When your customers and employees feel frustrated, mistreated or confused, they will leave you and take your reputation with them. 

Luckily there is a solid structure behind this unlike gambling so this is something a 21st century manager can learn.

Csaba Toth
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Csaba Toth

Founder at ICQ Global
Author of Uncommon Sense in Unusual Times, developer of the multi award-winning Global DISC model
Csaba Toth
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