Back in the 1960′s and ’70′s a researcher for IBM named Greet Hofstede did some amazing research about culture, and found 7 cultural dimensions that map onto all human cultures, and knowing those dimensions tell a lot about how the culture behaves. Those dimensions are:

  • power distance (PDI)
  • individualism (IDV)
  • uncertainty avoidance (UAI)
  • masculinity (MAS)
  • long term orientation (LTO)

I’ve also gotten into a habit of thinking about how colleges fit into that scale, so I can better understand what they want or expect from a working (or personal) relationship. It’s an interesting and useful lens to use when figuring out how to work with people in an organization that you don’t automatically click with.