logoAs global organisations expand their businesses further into non-routine geographies, the concepts of national and organisational cultures are subjects of great interest and intrigue. Such expansions provide differentiating opportunity whilst at the same time are the source of enormous latent risk.


Culture in the workforce can be the greatest asset for an organization or project, or it can very easily become its greatest nemesis. This all depends on the promoter’s ability to understand it and work with it, as opposed to, against it.


Culture can be the greatest roadblock to implementing change in any organisation, project or team; assimilated to gravity, where it is not truly experienced until you jump six feet into the air, only to find you are brought back to ground before you know what’s happened. It is one of the most taken for granted concepts within organisations and projects, and respecting it, learning and knowing it, can differentiate teams to achieve sustainable performance greater than that without intervention.

Reflecting on the concept of culture – defined using a combination of references that range from the collective programming of people and teams, to the software of the mind that drives everything – it has captured the imagination of researchers in the field of social psychology in the business environment for generations.

“The collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group of people from another…. national cultural differences reside mostly in values, while at the organisational level, cultural differences reside mostly in practices.”

G. Hofstede

“National cultures are formed from tradition, historical events in time, past and present economic conditions, coupled with demographic reference.”

J. Cartwright

“The greatest roadblock to implementing change in organisations today is culture”

J.P. Kotter

Ingenium Training and Consulting specialize in the field of Cross Cultural Research

Understanding values, norms, behaviours and expectations, engaging in role-plays and team building in order to build sustainable, multi-cultural competence in sponsorship, leadership and supervision in the development of global resource and other projects for our clients. We also work with our clients primary contractors and service providers, from the initial investigation and study phase of the project, right through to successful implementation and operations.

Mixing and merging different cultures from different parts of the world to work in connective hierarchy brings with it a number of variables beyond the realm of the ‘day-to-day’ organization change or human resource training interventions. Ingenium promotes several programs to assess and measure cultures, coupled with programs for understanding and leading in the cross-cultural arena.

Specifically in the field of worker safety, using Hofstede’s constructs of cultural dimensions, Ingenium has developed an approach to generate a ‘Theoretical Risk Tolerance’ measurement for over 70 different counties worldwide. Ingenium utilizes the most significant dimensions of Power Distance and Individualism, representing the core DNA markers for safety performance:

  • Power Distance measuring the respect for hierarchy within a group.
  • Individualism measuring how individualistic versus collectivist a certain group is.

Ingenium utilize a wealth of cultural dimension data, rich in simplicity and understanding, in determining benchmarks for reference and comparison. Each of these points of reference help define behaviours and attitudes, engaging our program participants in an open and interactive way. We ensure a foundation and a framework on which to build our leadership and other training programs. We believe people walk away after participating in Ingenium programs, not remembering what they saw on the slides, but how they felt during and after the sessions.


Particularly for safe behaviour programs, Ingenium host our risk-based decision-making training and development through our in-house, client-tailored program, Safe Choice. This program presents clients with the opportunity to capture the imagination of both employer representatives and employees in a different way to before, getting everyone invested in understanding the structure and process of decision-making, ultimately influencing their decision-making in matters of safety, in a positive and constructive way. The program can be used to influence an integrated group of client and contractor personnel throughout the project at four distinct levels: senior executive sponsorship, project and site management groups, field supervision, and the workforce, acting as an umbrella program to augment existing programs and initiatives.

Capturing the imagination of people engaged in mega resource projects today, be they sponsors, project executives, supervisory management or the on-the-ground workforce, constantly needs refreshing material that challenges the norm, forging people into action. What better way to engage with people than getting them to look straight ahead, into the mirror? Some may recognize their own reflections; some may not; some may decide to ignore what they see, others may be surprised by what appears in front of them. Regardless of the initial reaction, everyone that looks will be shifted from their comfort zone, and moved in a direction of action.

Cognitive Dissonance

Emerging as the most significant bias affecting decision-making is the subject of Cognitive Dissonance, originally developed by Leon Festinger (1957). The subject provides a very interesting perspective on self-reflection, hypothesizing that individuals often say something that they know is not necessarily true, and once they’ve said it they know it’s not true, but in order to make themselves feel better, protect face, save ego, or all of the above, they continue to relentlessly argue the truth of their statement. Ingenium utilise case studies and anecdotes in Cognitive Dissonance from across the globe to engage people into self-refection and change.

The subject of Cognitive Dissonance, a state of mental uneasiness caused by the untruth, has been around for almost sixty years, and is used as a tool to make people more assertive, more professional about the choices and decisions they make. In decision-making that affects safety, we don’t need Cognitive Dissonance masking decision-making, where people say something: “She’ll be alright!” when they know it’s something they say that just sounds good, makes them feel good, and not being necessarily true, has the potential to cause harm.

Our Tools, Programs and Software

Ingenium Training and Consulting runs a number of proprietary tools, programs and software to deliver our cultural consultancy programs.