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What causes problems
is not our leaders. It’s our Culture.

Geert Hofstede & Fons Trompenaars are pioneers of Cultural research. Their research (together with that of many others) has resulted in the following general definition of culture:

“A pattern of norms and values shared by a group”

Still, there are two interesting questions to answer:

  1. How do Cultures persist over time?

  2. What caused Culture to evolve so differently, according to Hofstede’s Insights?

To answer these questions, we developed the CQ method to question culture. An approach to culture including various disciplines; history, behaviour (social psychology), the ‘Art of Making Questions’ and storyboards.

We used the Socratic method, named after the Greek philosopher Socrates, connecting the disciplines required to understand a culture in depth.

The Socratic method is defined by the Law School of the  University of Chicago as:

The Socratic Method is a tool used to engage a large group of students in a discussion, while using probing questions to get to the heart of the subject or the matter”.

Use this method to discover another perspective of the world we live in. By activating your common sense and applying this method, you will be able to understand how Culture influences the quality of your life.

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Background

Scholars have defined culture in various ways, confirming the observation that culture and how people perceive it is very different.  Research and publications done by our predecessors has led to the following general definition of culture: “A pattern of norms and values shared by a group”.

We created the CQ method based on their findings, our cultural experiences and the Socratic method. Based on our findings we propose to extend the definition:

A pattern of norms and values shared by a group

conveyed to the next generation as being right

 

Explanation of the extension (answer to Question 1)

"Conveyed to the next generation" refers to how culture continues over time. Parents are raising their children by telling what to do and not to do. Grandparents convey  stories including messages from their lives and, of course our social contexts. These contexts include; school, neighbourhood, sports club, extended families, authorities, etc.

 

"As being right" refers to how culture is conveyed. People do not realise they impose “a pattern of norms and values” in order for their children to be accepted by the group. In that “manual”, we also included the wisdom necessary for them to survive. This knowledge was hardly questioned, but not on purpose.

 

Whenever the basic needs to survive are covered, it gives us the opportunity to be more curious regarding our culture and how to live our lives. Those starting to discover the cultural aspects of life, will gradually become a more conscious person.

 

Answer to Question no. 2

How cultures have evolved so differently across the globe is answered by applying the CQ method.