Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership

A free, massive open online course (MOOC) which will give you the modern leadership skills needed for working with people who are not like you.

Find out what Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is, and why good leaders and managers need it, in this free online course.


Modern leadership skills for working with people who are not like you.

Cultural Intelligence

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is the natural evolution from the now well-established notions of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Good leaders need all three if they are to lead effectively in today's diverse world.

Lead Educator

Julia Middleton, Chief Executive Common Purpose Charitable Trust, will lead this course. Julia is the author of CQ: the Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders. During the four weeks of the course, you will find out what Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is and why good leaders and managers need it. 

Who is it for?

This free, online course is designed for anyone who holds - or aspires to hold - a leadership or management role anywhere in the world.

Rakesh Khurana, Dean, Harvard College

"In our ever more complex and interconnected world which has no obvious historical parallel, Common Purpose has developed a breakthrough idea about the importance of cultural intelligence (CQ) in order to navigate both this new world and its contradictions. It has important implications and raises questions about our current systems for those of us involved in educating and developing our future global citizens."

Course content

How will you learn?

On a social learning platform, you will learn through insights from a wide range of guest speakers as well as through your discussions with other learners taking part in the online course. You will have access to:

  • Videos of a broad selection of global leaders sharing their own CQ journeys & leadership styles
  • Articles to dig deeper into Cultural Intelligence
  • Discussions to stimulate thinking and reflection
  • Exercises to support your personal development
  • Shared learning with a diverse mix of fellow learners on this leadership journey
Why take part?

On this course you will:

  • Build the skills to lead across divides and thrive in multiple cultures
  • Go on a journey to uncover the cultural influences that make you think and act the way you do
  • See how understanding yourself can help you work with other people
  • Learn skills to recognise what makes others tick and behave the way they do
  • Embrace diversity and recognise its role in innovative problem solving

Important dates

Enrol now to learn more about Cultural Intelligence

You can find key insights from some of the 27,000 learners who have taken part in the course so far by searching #FLdevelopCQ on Twitter.

The next course is now open for enrolment.

5th September 2016: The course begins and will run for four weeks.


“You like to think you have CQ when you’ve been in business for so long but this was about putting it into practice and really using it in decision making. The diverse mix was really helpful. You need to listen to people in business. I’d like to think I have a reasonable amount of flex but now, every time I have a conversation, I will think hard about where the other person is coming from, why are they saying what they are saying and try to put my preconceptions to one side.”

Find out more

For further information please contact:

David O'Connor
Quality Director, Common Purpose

Common Purpose has partnered with FutureLearn to create a FREE Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership, which is available to everyone. 

Learner highlights

We are enormously pleased with how participants have responded to the course run so far.

Lesley Hodgson

"I'm not going to rely on single stories. I'm going to lengthen my anchor chain. I'm going to ensure I'm not too flexible and be strong in my core, and show that strength to others. I'm going to unravel my knots and continue to experience the experiences rather than be one of the flying dead."

Your most viewed video: 'A need for Cultural Intelligence'
Alketa Kambo

“This course has made me think that perhaps I should consider more people who are not like me.”

Steven Roberts

"Start engaging at a deeper level. Asking more open questions, showing more genuine interest in others. Stop and think more before speaking out loud. 
Continue to work towards being a better me."

Clive Holt

"I have discovered that Cultural Intelligence is like a window. Its tools give me an opportunity to observe, listen, and understand what exists outside of who and what I am."

Ann Divine

"This course has been a tremendous eye opener. As Julia said, it does not stop; it is ongoing. I will be using Cultural Intelligence in my practice daily."

Organizations frequently appoint leaders for their IQ. Then, years later, sack them for their lack of EQ (Emotional Intelligence).

Is CQ (Cultural Intelligence) about to become the way to differentiate them?