Many businesses today operate in a hybrid setting or completely remotely. Distributed team members and clients can be located all over the world. This brings forward the topic of cultural intelligence and why it’s important for smooth collaboration and customer satisfaction.

This is especially true for the economic landscape in the Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both countries boast a rich tapestry of ethnic groups, religions, traditions, and business practices that need to be taken into account.

To better adapt and develop in CZBH, companies must stay culturally intelligent. But what does this mean exactly, and how can they achieve it?

Let’s dive deep.

What Is Cultural Intelligence?

Cultural intelligence, or CQ, is the ability of an individual or organization to effectively and respectfully interact with people from different cultural backgrounds. Cultural intelligence is based on factors like awareness of cultural biases and assumptions and embracing behavior and communication styles in sync with norms and practices across various cultures.

How Companies Can Cultivate Cultural Intelligence

As mentioned earlier, cultural diversity is abundant in CZBH. So, cultural intelligence tops the list of must-have characteristics of a successful business. Companies should be able to foster a work culture of inclusion to thrive.

If you are going to run a business in CZBH, here are eight practical tips to follow:

  1. Encourage curiosity and open-mindedness: Learning is a dynamic process that never ends. Let this be the driving force behind your team. Tolerate the conception of diverse ideas by fostering honest and open internal communication. This way, you can create space for meaningful cross-cultural dialogue and joint work.
  2. Invest in cultural training: Make sure you and your employees are well acquainted with Czech and Bosnian cultural nuances. However, comprehensive cultural training goes beyond basic etiquette. Research local communication styles, customs, and traditions, and even study their languages. Provide your team with access to various seminars and resources that give an in-depth view of the historical, social, and business dynamics in both countries.
  3. Seek local partnerships: Establishing strong relationships with local business partners, suppliers, and community organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, is crucial for success in CZBH. The best way to learn about local culture is to ask the locals. Actively listen and observe their behavior to gain valuable, authentic insights. Showing genuine interest in people’s cultures is the foundation of building mutual trust and respect—both crucial conditions for seamless and productive collaboration.
  4. Embrace cultural differences: Once you gain a succinct knowledge of the pillars of the local CZBH culture, the next logical step is to act upon them. You should comply with the predominant communication styles, dining etiquette, appropriate dress codes, etc. in every situation that requires it. There’s a fine line between business and personal interactions, so be cautious not to overstep it. Pay attention to your verbal and non-verbal cues and tone. For example, Czechs are known for being more formal in business meetings, while Bosnians prefer informal and friendly interactions.
  5. Build cross-cultural teams: It’s always a smart move to group different individuals. This won’t only help them get to know each other better. Such a decision would likely bring innovation to the table. The more diverse ways of thinking are present in a team, the higher the chance of introducing unique solutions to complex business challenges.
  6. Keep track of different time zones: When it comes to remote communication, be it with clients or employees, you should always consider the differences between your time zones. This is a small detail that showcases sensitivity, mindfulness, and respect on your side.
  7. Celebrate traditional holidays: This will leave a good impression on your hires and clients from CZBH and will make them feel valued and appreciated. In the Czech Republic, October 28 is the day of the country’s founding. Bosniaks celebrate their Independence Day on March 1. Set up notifications for these dates on your calendar, along with other memorable holidays for both nations. This way, you won’t miss a chance to greet your customers and subordinates.
  8. Stay abreast of cultural trends: Your initial effort to familiarize yourself with the cultural landscape in CZBH is not your endpoint. Additionally, you should always update your knowledge and consider any cultural shifts, social trends, and business practices to improve your strategies in a timely manner. 

Conclusion

Cultural intelligence might come across as a relatively new term in business settings, but in fact, it’s a well-known concept of showing respect and acceptance of differences among people. In this line of thought, cultural intelligence will never go out of fashion. As with every other skill, this one needs proper attention and constant honing. After all, having a diverse team, clients, and business partners is like a treasure trove, providing a wide range of possibilities in the CZBH market.