Case Studies

Springer Nature

Using online social learning to nurture inclusivity

In February 2019, Springer Nature and Common Purpose collaborated on a project to create more inclusive leaders with Cultural Intelligence (CQ). We ran an online programme, CQ Accelerator, targeted at up to 200 staff of Springer Nature globally. Emerging and senior leaders from Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas accessed the online platform.

As a result of the social learning experience on the CQ Accelerator, Springer Nature leaders had the opportunity to explore and develop their Cultural Intelligence. The Accelerator helped them to develop their selfawareness and better understand how to effectively work with difference. Using our Core and Flex framework as its key learning methodology, the CQ Accelerator encouraged the group to connect using a common language.


“Our experience with Common Purpose has been very good from beginning to end. I appreciate the thought that was put into the content of the CQ Accelerator and its applicability to leadership in a global organization. The training generated many discussions about how to lead more inclusively, and participants found the Core and Flex Framework particularly informative.”


Furthermore, the CQ Accelerator gave participants an opportunity to unpick their leadership styles, redefining and broadening their understanding and interpretation. Participants shared their personal experiences and perspectives with each other, resulting in a rich source of learning for the cohort – the number of comments captured on the platform was well above the industry standard. They came from a range of diverse countries, backgrounds, beliefs, generations and business units.

Having a common language encouraged the participants to have courageous conversations with each other and discuss similar challenges they faced.


“I realized that, in truth, we are the result of probably thousands of small tweaks that may make each of us unique. I find this really interesting because it gives me a new layer to my thinking of each person as I move forward.”


The training generated many discussions about how to lead more inclusively


Programme assessment results:

90% are better able to adjust their behaviours in culturally diverse situations
80% are better able to spot common ground and make connections between people
78% are better able to recognize their biases and minimize their effects
85% are able to lead or operate within a diverse team
83% are better able to lead or operate within a diverse team
85% said they would be more actively seeking to promote the progressions of diverse members of their teams
88% said they would be more actively playing their part in creating the conditions for an inclusive work environment


 “I have found the Core and Flex model very useful and I have now internalized it as part of my belief system. I've always prided myself on being a strong, principled, reflective person, but Core and Flex has afforded me options to be less forthright and more flexible/accommodating without losing something of myself in the process.”


“I completely agree that innovation will not come from working with people who think like we do, or who operate in the same way, or in the same space. It comes from diverse groups, and to work with diverse groups a high level of CQ is going to be very important.”


“Having more CQ in the organization would help us understand not only our internal stakeholders but the external market itself. This would open our minds to who we hire to deal with various stakeholders.”