Tag Archives: Cultural

Sardinia – Italy’s Unspoilt, Multi Cultural Gem

An ideal climate, gracious people and fine cuisine make Italy a perfect destination for the independent traveller whether their preferences are seeking an active, cultural, historical or indulgent trip.

While we all know about the wonders of Rome, the romantic appeal of Florence and Venice and the culinary delights of Naples, less of us have sampled the beauty, tranquillity and diverse nature of Sardinia. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean with Sicily being the largest and as a result of its isolation from the rest of Italy it is less dependent on insularity and has conserved its own economy and traditions far more than other regions.

Relentless invasion of Sardinia over the last two millennia has created an interesting array of influences seen in Sardinian food, wine, culture, architecture and archaeology. The invasions have left Sardinia with Roman ruins, Byzantine and Pisan Churches and a hearty and rustic cuisine.

To discover the true character of Sardinia you must explore its atmospheric towns and beautiful coastline. Cagliari is Sardinia’s largest town and its capital. It is the perfect starting point for an independent traveller’s trip around the island. Situated on the south of the island Cagliari was built on seven hills with the historic Castello district sitting atop one of them, overlooking the port. The working port makes Cagliari a lively and buzzing town. The old city has narrow lanes to explore, and the city walls are flanked by two Pisan towers.

Once you have become acquainted with the capital town you must make a point of visiting one or some of Sardinia’s “Nuraghi”. These fascinating prehistoric cone shaped buildings are scattered around the island. Of the 700, Nuraghe Su Nuraxi is one of the largest and most inspiring. If you navigation skills are good the Nurague could lead you to “Barbagia”, this is Sardinia’s mountain region which was used by the Sards as shelter from invaders. It is a charming region with picturesque villages, stunning meadows and forested landscapes.

The archaeological site of Nora is another fascinating place to visit. Baths, theatre and mosaics have been uncovered in this Roman and Carthaginian site. The Sardinian tourist information site offers a useful introduction to the history and culture of the island of Sardinia.

Sardinia’s coastal roads follow its beautiful coastline which boasts splendours that are unmatched elsewhere. The white sands and sheer cliffs plunging into crystal clear ocean will captivate all visitors. If you are of an explorative nature you may have the delight of discovering some of Sardinia’s beautiful hidden caves and secluded coves. The coastal roads are easily navigable making exploring the coastline by car the easiest option. Sardinia car hire is available in Cagliari’s town and at the airport with most large car hire companies having a presence.

Sardinia’s glory has been largely unspoilt compared to Italy’s main tourist attractions and there is so much on offer on this fascinating island that any holiday in Sardinia can be truly memorable.

The Business Case for Cultural Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) and Managerial Intelligence (MQ) have been well established as crucial for senior leaders. EQ and MQ are insufficient if your organisation is operating across borders, distance and multiple time zones. Cultural Intelligence CQ is a ‘must have’ skill in today’s’ global environment.

CQ is a person’s capacity to function effectively in culturally diverse settings. Although Cultural Intelligence levels vary a great deal between individuals and within teams and organisations, the good news is that with appropriate training and responsiveness it can be developed.

Cultural Intelligence will increase productivity, reduce operating costs and improve talent development and retention.

In terms of your international markets are you asking?

• How can we gain a better understanding of our local markets?
• How can we ensure that critical IP, knowledge and expertise are not lost when we outsource and partner with external parties?
• Why are project timelines and budgets regularly ‘blown out’?
• Are our international relationships purely transactional?
• Why does innovation seem stifled and problematic?
• Are we a Culturally Intelligent organisation?
• Is CQ part of our organisational DNA?

If you are reading these questions with a nod, then you will intuitively understand that CQ is a business imperative! Cultural Intelligence allows leaders and their organisations a greater sense of connectivity with their local and overseas counterparts, facilitates the ability to tap into ‘what is happening on the ground’ and incorporates the knowledge and expertise to help make informed decisions, quickly and accurately.

The business case for CQ is:

• Open up new markets and provide for a deeper understanding of these markets
• Improve engagement with local staff
• Leverage local knowledge and expertise
• Improve innovation and creativity
• Reduce costs and improve timelines on projects
• Lead to greater collaboration between teams
• Develop greater understanding of what your local customers and clients need
• Establish/improve relationships and trust at a much faster rate

Cultural Intelligence assists your organisation to achieve the above by:

• Improving listening and communication skills =
Greater extraction of local knowledge + deeper relationships

• Understanding behaviours and habits in local markets =
Improved teamwork + improved relationships

• Improving leadership skills =
Increased staff productivity + talent development

• Improving trust =
Increased collaboration, + increased innovation

• Supporting Change and Foster Resilience =
Improved alignment + collaboration in teams

Developing CQ is not easy – it requires motivation, reflection, insight, knowledge and skills. I have seen enormous benefits in my clients from the application of CQ demonstrated through their skills and capabilities.

Cultural intelligence gives individuals and organisations different ways of thinking and behaviours that support more effective business processes and outcomes. In this ever competitive, globalised world, CQ is what will make the difference between a mediocre and a successful transnational organisation.