Training Materials

The Cultural Detective® Series

Cultural Detective is a dynamic series of tools that develop invaluable competence in individuals and organisations. The project is a collaboration among dozens of acclaimed intercultural experts worldwide. Cultural Detective materials are beautifully designed and ready for immediate individual or enterprise-wide use. The Cultural Detective system enables your organisation and your leaders to meet the high-performance demands of an increasingly global economy.

  • Immediate Impact—Critical Incident/real situation and scenario approach grounds learning for immediate application and results.
  • Builds Competence—Encourages understanding similarities and differences as well as builds the skills and strategies for leveraging diversity and strengthening relationships.
  • Highly Flexible—Values-based approach enhances collaboration and effectiveness in any professional function (global team leader, procurement, sales, finance, ethics, etc.) or any industry (banking, telecom, education, healthcare, manufacturing, etc.).
  • Theoretically Sound—Elegantly simple and practical design incorporates state-of-the-art intercultural thinking, avoids stereotyping and rote memorisation of long lists of dos and don’ts.
  • Versatile—Incorporate Cultural Detective into a team meeting, an existing management course, a coaching process, or use as the basis for longer-term learning.
  • Engaging—Powerful metaphor, practical cases and multiple learning style approach engage participants in critical thinking and problem solving for accelerated learning.
  • Systemic Competence—Develops shared vocabulary and mental models for transforming mindsets and using diversity as an organisational asset.
  • Ongoing Benefits—Promotes real-time learning, ongoing candid dialogue, and continual process improvement. The many uses of the Cultural Detective® Worksheet range from transforming conflict on teams, to planning strategy for new projects, to debriefing business trips or discussions.

By learning and practicing the Cultural Detective Model, — a process for navigating cross cultural situations more effectively, you’ll learn to develop practical strategies for improving collaboration, communication and organisational productivity. Specifically, you’ll boost productivity globally and locally by learning to recognise and manage cultural expectations. You’ll minimise miscommunication, save valuable time and better protect your IP when you understand the intent behind your own and others actions. And you’ll achieve more effective and longer term solutions for your organisation, employees and customers as you leverage cultural differences as assets. Understanding why people do what they do and why you do what you do will lead to more effective collaboration and better decisions for your organisation enterprise wide.

For a comparison of the Cultural Detective approach with other cultural values-based approaches, please see “Let’s Investigate What Makes Cultural Detective Unique.”

Each specific culture Cultural Detective Packages include three .pdf files:

  1. A Series Guide, with complete instructions on how to facilitate a Cultural Detective learning event, including definitions of culture, intercultural communication, and intercultural competence.
  2. The specific culture Participant Materials, which is what you will print for your participants. This usually includes an introduction to the culture, a Values Lens, explanations of the values and their negative perceptions, proverbs or sayings that illustrate the values, a minimum of five critical incidents, a list of best practices for bridging cultures, and a bibliography.
  3. The specific culture Facilitator Manual, which includes a story to introduce the Cultural Detective Method, examples of the values and their negative perceptions in action, sample debriefs of the critical incidents, and a list of music that you might play during a learning event.

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Why Would You Use Cultural Detective Materials?


  • Build productive working relationships with others on a multicultural team.
  • Learn how to lead and motivate a team with members from different cultures.
  • Build a team with members located around the world.
  • Get the best out of people from different backgrounds and experiences.
  • Establish engaging relationships with clients from all over the world.
  • Decrease negative stereotyping and judgments across locations and functions; enhance desire and effort to collaborate.
  • Promote improved intercultural decision-making by practicing multicultural team solving in real world business scenarios.
  • Incorporate into expat relocation coaching: alleviate the typical low resulting from culture shock that many expats feel.
  • Raise intercultural awareness and gain an overall appreciation for different cultural values.
  • Develop a shared mental model for building intercultural competence, and shared tools for cross-cultural collaboration.
  • Learn to listen and observe from an intercultural perspective.
  • Understand the value and high impact of open dialogue and when to ask questions versus knowing a list of do’s and don’ts.
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