Global Interface Rebrands as ‘Cultural Acumen’

1 December 2014

Cultural Acumen’s Managing Director Karen Huchendorf described the decision to rebrand the company as an attempt to get at the “why” of its continuous operation since 1991.  “The reason people hire us is that our paradigm is ‘cultural acumen’. The purpose of our training and coaching is to develop comfort, confidence and intercultural competence. What differentiates us is that we are particularly adept at training and coaching for increased acumen: for deeper perception, keener discernment, and finer discrimination in practical matters relating to cultural differences and similarities.”


Discovering Cultural Acumen’s Social Impact

8 August 2014 

The School for Social Entrepreneurs Coffs Coast Social Change 101 Program 2014 enabled Cultural Acumen Managing Director Karen Huchendorf to develop a project plan for  “Changing the way Australia tackles racism, one community at a time”.  The four-month program is based on the belief that “everybody has the capacity to be remarkable”.  Along with 15 other participants, Karen graduated on 8 August as an Associate Fellow, School for Social Entrepreneurs.  For details of the program, see


Just published in Geographical Research, August 2014

Cultural Acumen Managing Director Karen Huchendorf has contributed to the publication of an article entitled “Organisational Capacity for Engaging with Aboriginal Australians.”  As a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) her role in the research conducted with the Australian Red Cross in 2010 involved administration of the IDI and debriefing interviews with senior leaders, along with commentary on group results.

Following is the abstract of the paper:


Community capacity building is a common goal for programmes and policies involving Indigenous peoples, but it relies heavily on organisational capacity to work effectively in intercultural settings. This paper reviews the organisational capacity of the senior leaders of Australian Red Cross and institutional efforts to build a culturally appropriate and respectful organisation. It reports results from a survey of the organisation’s leadership team and follow-up interviews undertaken in 2010, reviews the challenges facing the organisation in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and considers institutional progress in building internal capacity to lead change in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The paper concludes with discussion of wider implications of this research.

Full citation:
Howitt, R., C. Colyer, et al. (2014). “Organisational Capacity for Engaging with Indigenous Australians.” Geographical Research 52(3): 250-262.


Cultural Acumen Pty Ltd and Social Enterprise:  Developing Our “Local Interface”

5 March 2014 

Cultural Acumen Managing Director Karen Huchendorf has been selected as a participant in the School for Social Entrepreneurs Coffs Coast Social Change 101.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs was founded in 1997 by Michael Young. Its mission is to address inequalities and social exclusion by supporting social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to transform their talent into real social outcomes, in the form of sustainable solutions to poverty and disadvantage in communities. It does this through the use of action-learning based programmes of personal and organisational development.

SSE supports individuals to realise their potential and to establish, scale and sustain, social enterprises and social businesses across the UK, Australia and Canada.


For information about this program, see


Cultural Acumen Pty Ltd Managing Director is Signatory to “The Living Code of Ethical Behaviour”

SIETAR-USA has just launched The Living Code of Ethical Behaviour, which was offered for the first time at the national conference in Arlington, VA, in November of 2013 to all SIETAR-USA members.  As an aid to our work in the intercultural field, it takes into account the interests of the public and of those we serve as clients.  Members of SIETAR-USA who are signatories to The Code carry the designation “Ethical Interculturalist”.


This development heralds an important milestone in the professionalisation of the intercultural field. The LIVING CODE includes not only many of the aspects of ethical codes of related fields; it also has elements unique to our field, elements that we believe reflect the unique nature of our profession as interculturalist. We also believe this ethical code improves the standing of our field in the eyes of our clients, prospective employers, and other professionals.

For details, including a link to The Code, see:

Cultural Detective OnLine is Live!!!!

Cultural Detective is proud to announce the new product launch of Cultural Detective Online! This tool is like having a virtual coach in your back pocket, successfully guiding you through the all-too-common missteps of cross-cultural negotiations and communications.

Over the past eight years this tool has become a significant contribution to the intercultural field. Because of our clients and team, Cultural Detective has become globally recognized as one of the premier developmental tools of our time. This new product launch furthers our mission of encouraging communities globally to prosper through intercultural understanding and collaboration.

For a preview of CD OnLine, see:


Cultural Detective Australia has just been revised by co-authors, Dr Fran Brew and Cultural Acumen Managing Director Karen Huchendorf to include a 6th core value, which they have described in terms of “Stand by your Mates” – Team/Community Spirit –  the strong sense of group identification and/or membership that defines one’s “mates” and one’s loyalties.

Cultural Detective Australia will be complemented soon by a Values Lens for Aboriginal Australia, on which work is underway by co-authors Janette Blainey, several Gumbayngirr “aunties”, and Karen Huchendorf.

Also…watch this space for exciting news of the launch of the Cultural Detective OnLine subscription service….

The CD Online will enable trainers, coaches and learners to access the entire range of CD packages and hundreds of critical incidents.

For learners, the CD Online will function like a virtual coach.  When logging on, the learner is prompted to enter his or her goals for learning.  After learning about a new value in a Values Lens, s/he is prompted to apply that learning to everyday life situations.  Once the learner finishes debriefing a critical incident, the system asks what s/he has learned.

Coaches and trainers can assign their clients a certain section of the CD Online and have them submit their completed Worksheet or notes to them.  The CD Online also can be incorporated into university classes or a training program by furnishing students or participants a personal subscription.

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