How to grow a culturally competent organisation: Case study of nib’s CQ Tick journey

This case study shows how nib used the Superdiversity Institute’s CQTick programme to transform its cultural intelligence and capability (CQ) from the inside out.

nib’s CQ journey shows that:

  • Recognition of diversity in a superdiverse Aotearoa New Zealand is essential,
  • It’s good for customers, good for employees, and good for business,
  • It takes clear, decisive, and committed leadership, and transparency to build CQ,
  • Organisations may be more diverse and culturally capable than we think,
  • Organisations can build on existing diversity and CQ reserves to create change,
  • Where there is a genuine will, organisations can create change almost overnight,
  • nib’s CQTick audit process has given the organisation the intelligence, direction, and structure needed to create transformational change in growing CQ.

The case study covers:

  • About nib
  • The CQ journey begins
  • The CQ journey continues
  • 2021 CQ Audit
  • Where to from here

Some reviews of the How to grow a culturally capable organisation: Case study of nib’s CQTICK journey by Leading New Zealanders:

Vanessa Stoddart, Independent Director for iHealthNZ, NZ Refinery and OneFortyOne Plantations Holdings Pty Limited, a member of the Financial Markets Authority and Deputy Chair of King’s College.

“When I saw the Superdiversity Institute’s CQTick programme released some years back – I thought – here is another tool.  I wonder how many businesses will pick this up and use it and how it will fit with or complement other culture and engagement tools available to assist businesses to address culture and the cultural expectations of workforces to better service customers.  As I read the nib case study of their journey of 5 years, it demonstrates the real value of this programme and its relevance to New Zealand.  So many tools and programmes being used in our workplaces today are out of date and not aligned to New Zealand values or priorities right now.  What the nib case study highlights is the criticality, like any culture programme of leadership and leadership from the top.  But the CQTick programme implemented by nib gave them the “intelligence, direction and structure needed to create transformational change in growing CQ” and  was a sign to employees and customers of their cultural competence and ability to work with people from all backgrounds.  At a time in New Zealand when there are workforce shortages – increased cultural capability not only helps attract, retain and develop diverse employees but also helps a business succeed with its diverse customer base.  CQ must be valued as much as IQ and EQ!  The nib case study highlights that this is a journey, and although tremendous results have been achieved to date as demonstrated in the most recent survey there is still more work to be done.  That said to have 90% of those surveyed “familiar with other cultures”; 89% understanding “Te Reo and Tikanga Maori” and a score of 93% on “individual CQ”  and 97% on “organizational CQ” is outstanding.  I would encourage all directors and senior executives to read this case study on nib’s CQTick journey and reflect on how well your businesses are doing in this space and whether the tools you are using in your businesses are appropriate for the needs of New Zealand businesses – for the inclusive culture we need in New Zealand workforces today and to serve the diverse needs of New Zealanders.  Nib’s case study certainly highlights the value of the comprehensive programme that CQTick provides.”

Mervin Singham, CEO of the Ministry for Ethnic Communities

“The case study is very helpful in outlining how a CQ strategy supported by action plans, with authentic support from leadership, can make a huge difference to both business performance and social justice. Organisations that work at lifting their game in the CQ zone, as was done in this case study, will have a cutting edge compared to those that don’t. As I often say, doing this is a no-brainer. It is both about doing the right thing and the bright thing at the same time. Congratulations on the achievement in the nib case study!”

Meng Foon, Race Relations Commissioner, Human Rights Commission

“In the 21 century and beyond in Aotearoa, if we can’t relate to our diverse communities we will fail. I was ask by a large real-estate firm 18 years ago – ‘How do we sell houses to Asians?, I replied ‘hire them’  It’s a no brainer research time and time again has reported that diversity brings better culture in an organisation and makes more money – what other evidence do you need to change. Congratulations to nib one of New Zealand’s top health insurers as they are accredited and actioned the CQTick.”

Alison Barrass, Non-Executive Director at Spark, GWA Group Limited, Rockit Global Limited and Zespri, Chair of Babich Wine Limited and Chair of Tom & Luke.

“I was fascinated to read the nib case study regarding their CQTick journey.  The report provided a unique perspective on nib’s diversity progress. I was particularly impressed by the clarity that the company gained through its comprehensive data gathering that allowed for a fact-based approach to shift the business to a truer reflection of New Zealand society.  It was clear that change was being driven through proactive and intelligent leadership at both executive and board level. nib is well progressed on an exciting journey and their continued evolution and long-term commitment to building a truly diverse organisation is an inspiration to us all.  This report provides a depth of information and insight that all organisations looking to build a truly diverse culture should avail themselves of.”

Simon Harvey, General Manager People at New Zealand Steel

“Digesting something as broad as CQ has been a constant challenge for NZ and many countries around the world. Often what we don’t understand leads us to ignore or look at other areas of interest. Breaking this down into the logical steps contained in the report opens the door for dialogue which is often the first step. A framework for thinking and action is always a great starting point for a journey. As we have seen with the Rainbow Tick & the Accessibility Tick, a tick in the right direction is the start. These topics often give rise to unrest, but change doesn’t come without discomfort. The CQTick brings the conversation to the table and is one worth having.”

Howard Ross, Partner at Frank & the Knowledge Hunters

“Recently, Frank & The Knowledge Hunters invested in the CQ Tick program. After undergoing the CQ Audit, we were pleased to have received the CQ Tick. What has impressed us has been the depth of insights into our business, what we have done well and areas we need to work on. We look forward to working with the Super Diversity Institute on an ongoing basis with this program. After reviewing the nib case study, it has left me with the view that the CQ Tick program touches all areas in an organisation. Rob and his team have launched programs that have achieved a more inclusive culture along with impacting different customer groups in our society. All these initiatives makes them an organisation people want to work in or to use a common phrase, an ‘employer of choice’.”

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