The CultuRecode Research

ibsemodelThe Research – Collective Group Mindset people (Indigenous, Asian, African etc) compared to Individual (Anglo Saxon/Germanic) Group Mindset people

Introduction / Issues OR Introduction and Aims:

As a direct result of the Indigenous led research and workplace modelling we have undertaken over the last six years, it is clear that different Instinctive Belief Systems in workplaces are causing people to quit, hate their job, become depressed and give up on their career dreams.

Our research was focused on those Aboriginal Language groups like my families, where the land was taken away and the unique language banned from speaking for a couple of generations. 

This was a pivotal breakthrough because if the difference in how we communicated with Anglo Saxon Australians was so poles apart, this then must mean the inner belief system that was engineered thousands of years ago by our Indigenous ancestors was still in us.  This added a research dilemma, as we (initially anyway) had no answer to how that could be correct.

Our research identifies how Belief System difference inhibits clear effective communication between Collective Group Mindsets and Individual Group Mindsets. The Collective Group Mindsets are those that are based on the similar Belief Systems as Ancient Indigenous Australians (around 70 countries) and the Individual Group Mindsets are those from Anglo Saxon/Germanic heritage (around 30 countries).


Method / Approach OR Design and Methods:

Our approach was to use a comparative scenario study to try and find a shared and balanced solution for both Indigenous and Anglo-Saxon heritage Australians to be able to communicate effectively across their vastly different Instinctive Belief Systems.

We have identified that there is constant discourse in over 200 workplaces we attended and involved in our study regarding Instinctive Belief System difference. Our team have modeled to organisations the differences found in controlled scenarios. On each occasion of modelling Belief System difference in workplaces we have found people identify with one Belief System or the other and verbalised consistent issues they face daily in their workplaces.

A sample of some of these issues include;indivandgroupmindsetscircle

Feeling invisible

Made to feel culturally inadequate (both Indigenous & Anglo Saxon Australians)

Questioned about their motivation

Feeling stupid

Not ambitious enough

Too success orientated

Steps over personal space boundaries

Too indirect


Key Findings OR Results:

We have identified a selection of Belief System instincts that occurs between Collective Group Mindset people and Individual Group Mindset people when an action, proposal or decision is required. By isolating these instincts, we found at the very core of difference lies;

1) Collective Group Instinctive Belief System members think entire group first and then themselves as part of their relationship and responsibilities within their In-group. (Are my group happy, so I can be happy?) (Are my group being looked after, so I can feel confident to have fulfilled my responsibility to my In-group?)

2) Individual Group based Belief System members think Individual first and then their relationship and responsibilities to their group. (Am I happy, so I can make my group happy?) (Am I being looked after, so I can feel confident to have fulfilled my responsibility to my In-group?)


Discussions and Conclusions:

This program is not just another Aboriginal Cultural Awareness program.  It is for all cultures to come together in partnership.  The CultuRecode Project would not exist without the generous and critical input from both Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Non-Indigenous team members.  The Culture Intuitive Tool kit is for everyone to feel valued and respected and share in each other’s Instinctive Belief System.

Cultural Intuitive W.A.N.T.S is our Instinctive communication model that has evolved and allows participants to work within an engagement framework.

 To be a Culturally Intuitive workplace includes actions which recognise and respect the cultural identities of others, and safely meets their needs, expectations and rights.

This workshop follows the five stages to becoming Culturally intuitive; The WANTS stages.

Why – why am I my ancestors where you discover your IBS Profile and the instinctive way of communicating you have inherited

Awareness – Believe that people from another culture do the same thing differently – Real life comparison scenarios we filmed, observed or took part in with people representing both Individual Group Mindset and Collective Group Mindset

Naming – Using the right words to ensure people know their Instinctive Belief System (IBS) is included – naming and recognising the instincts that are in play

Trust – Learn to build trust the right way through understanding instinctual ways of working –you need to learn both IBS’s to work across cultures

Signs – Knowing how to identify the visual/oral cues that enable you to know when a different IBS is in play


Implications for Practice or Policy (optional): 

The aim of the Cultural Intuitive Toolkit (CIT) is to give workers the means, insight and knowledge to overcome collaborative differences at all levels that is the root cause of much anguish and frustration. The most common response from both Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians and Australians was “I never felt like I could get it right”. Cultural Intuitive Training allows people to communicate using critical key words, localised visual tools, communication strategies and presentation needs that are necessary to engage and work together effectively with cultural groups outside of your own and how these Instinctive Belief Systems have evolved from ancient ancestors. CIT will finally give you the tangible identifiers to know when people from another culture are doing the same thing differently.


Implications for Research (optional):

The greatest effect it has had on myself as an Aboriginal woman and other Indigenous team members, is that we have never felt more Aboriginal in our entire life. For the Anglo-Saxon people in the project, (who were at first quite resistant to learning their ancestral heritage beyond Australian shores) say they are so much more comfortable and prouder of their own identity and by learning where it comes completes the puzzle of their entire why I am me.  What this has done is make us all feel bullet proof when it comes to communication or collaborating with anyone. We can learn to adapt our presentation of information to how the other person needs it.  It doesn’t affect our cultural integrity or lessen any of my Aboriginality.  It is not about changing the information it is all about the way information is presented. Knowing my own IBS.  It has released us all from being constantly frustrated and even angry. I no longer have the uncertainty about what I should be doing, and it has given me the gift of amazing insight into how others are feeling and the way they need me to communicate.