Robert Bean


Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Specialist

Benefit from 40 years' experience in Consulting, Training, Research and Development

  • Intercultural Communication and Management Training
  • Culture-specific Training
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Training Resource Development
  • Research
  • Document Analysis and Editing

20 474 274 878

PO Box 57, Delamere,
South Australia 5204
Australia  08 8598 3088
International  61 8 8598 3088
Mobile  0428 645 142

Formerly trading as Cultural Diversity Services Pty Ltd

and Robert Bean Consulting

"People don't get along because they fear each other. People fear each other because they don't know each other. They don't know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other."

Martin Luther King, 1967

"Keep your eyes on the things that cannot be seen."

Confucious (Kongzi) 551-479 BCE


Training Programs

  • Developing Cultural Intelligence and Intercultural Communication Skills
  • Managing Cultural Diversity
  • Developing Organisational Cultural Competence
  • Engaging With Culturally Diverse Clients and Communities
  • Cultural Aspects of International Business
  • Country-Specific Workshops: The Cultural Detective Series
  • Australian Workplace Orientation for Overseas Qualified Professionals

Consulting Services

  • Consulting, mentoring and coaching in all key areas
  • Train-the-trainer programs for building in-house capability
  • Professional development for new and experienced intercultural trainers
  • Cultural and linguistic analysis of documents
  • Public speaking
  • Training resource development
  • Training program management
  • Research project management

Key Service Definitions and Frameworks

My training and consulting are based on simple working definitions and accessible operational frameworks that enable practical, structured consideration of the extraordinarily complex realities of intercultural communication.

Cultural Competence

Cultural competence refers to the ability of an organisation and its employees to provide services and products in ways that recognise and are inclusive of the cultural differences of clients, customers and colleagues.

Cultural competence comprises the awareness, knowledge, skills, practices and processes needed by organisations and teams to function effectively in all situations characterised by cultural diversity. Cultural Intelligence is a critical enabler of cultural competence.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

Cultural Intelligence refers to the degree to which individuals are capable of operating successfully in culturally diverse situations. It comprises a range of dimensions including drive, knowledge, strategy and action.

Having a high EQ is no guarantee of high CQ, as most perceptions of, and emotional responses to situations are culturally contingent. CQ is learned through personal experience, travel, language learning, study and training. Achieving high CQ is a lifelong learning process.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Framework

A simple and effective framework for developing CQ and applying it to all organizational and team strategies and practices comprises four main interrelated elements:
  • Cultural Self Awareness
  • Cultural Adaptability
  • Cultural Literacy
  • Cultural Bridging

Cultural Diversity Management Framework

Establishing a practical strategy for managing workforce and customer cultural diversity involves a process of analyzing the risks and benefits of cultural diversity, formulating a strong business case and organizational development plan and applying the principles and techniques of cultural diversity management to core business functions in three categories;
  • Compliance Factors
  • Organisational Development Factors
  • Market Factors

Intercultural Communication and Management Training

My training programs begin with senior management discussions to establish training focus, objectives and leadership support. All workshops and courses are tailored to specific contexts and structured according to the key concepts and frameworks described.

Client Testimonials

"Robert has delivered excellent cross cultural communication and cultural competence programs for us for many years. Our clients love his engaging delivery, depth of knowledge and ability to make often challenging subject matter accessible and relevant. If you are looking for a cross cultural communication expert with a genuinely practical approach and who knows his stuff - look no further."
Jo Carrick, Manager, Professional and Continuing Education, University of Adelaide

“Robert Bean has delivered our cultural competence workshops for several years. Robert’s style is engaging. His natural ‘story telling’ style encourages staff to listen, undertake exercises and actively contribute to class discussion. His extensive knowledge and experience enables him to respond honestly, openly and effectively to any questions, issues or queries raised by participants. He is able to encourage participants in a sensitive and respectful manner to consider different life experiences, alternative points of view and the benefits of trying to bridge cultural gaps. The feedback from each workshop is invariably positive. I have no hesitation in recommending Robert Bean as a facilitator for Cultural Competence training.”
Amanda Thomson, Senior Workforce Planning & Development Consultant, Department for Correctional Services, Government of South Australia

"Robert Bean is a profoundly competent professional with specialist skills in the area of intercultural effectiveness. Robert uses most effective methods to engage with the participants and presents the contents clearly and effectively through his enthusiastic and interactive approach."
Irfan Walayat, Assistant Director, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

"Your cultural awareness training program was well received and very useful, presented in an engaging and understandable way and focused on the practical challenges of cross-cultural communication. My Department will happily provide testimonial on your excellent services."
Roger Wilkins AO, Secretary, Attorney-General's Department, Australian Government

"A very effective course. I believe it will create greater empathy between public servants and members of the public who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.”
Bill Denny, Director, Veterans SA, Government of South Australia

"All participants thoroughly enjoyed the training. You were able to outline cultural competence models with absolute clarity and a wide range of real life scenarios and wonderful examples that impressed everyone. Few presenters have been able to combine theory and practice as smoothly as you did. Thank you for a fabulous day of training."
Constanze Voelkel-Hutchison, Manager, Learning and Development, Department of Immigration and Border Protection

"I can recommend that the 'Cultural Competence' sessions facilitated by Robert Bean are most worthwhile. Staff found Robert's delivery to be highly effective and informative, assisting them to enhance their own understanding of the issues that underpin a multicultural society and its positive interpersonal relationships.”
Wayne Jupe, Principal, Walkerville Primary School, SA

“The staff thoroughly enjoyed being part of the workshop and found the pace, content and information stimulating and appropriate to their teaching and learning needs and practices. You connected very well with teachers and involved them throughout the workshop. Thanks once again.”
Kay Gilmore, Assistant Principal, Walkerville Primary School, SA

“Robert Bean is a very, very good facilitator. Open and responsive with an excellent knowledge base that was relevant. Most relevant workshop I've undertaken.”
Kerry Hay, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

“Robert Bean is the real deal. Someone get this guy into broader audiences! The best training I've ever had in DIAC. This was great.”
Eowyn Forrest, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

"I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to develop a better understanding of cultural differences."
Peter Wade, Export Manager, Carter Holt Harvey

"International Business Communication was a great course that has improved my dealing with my international customers."
Lisa Davis, Orlando Wyndham

“I have travelled through five continents. I thought I knew a lot about cultures but I found I have lots to learn.”
Ronald Slebos, College of International Business, Brisbane

"Your cross cultural communication workshop was one of the most beneficial and informative sessions I have attended."
Kerin Cross, Senior Project Officer, SA Office for Recreation and Sport

“This cross-cultural workshop has turned out to be one of the best things we have done for our students - both local and international. The response has far surpassed my expectations. Their level of enthusiasm for promoting good communication is just tremendous.”
Peter Balan, Head, School of Marketing, University of South Australia

“Participants have commented on the good atmosphere and high level of participation that you created to make the workshop useful, stimulating and interesting.”
Chris Jefferys, Chairperson, South Australian Dispute Resolution Association

“From the positive comments received regarding the professional and stimulating way the workshop objectives were achieved, I have no hesitation in recommending this training to other police services.”
Inspector Terry Tyler, Director, Cultural Advisory Unit, Queensland Police Service

“Your delivery of diversity topics proved to be an informative, enjoyable and sometimes challenging session providing a detailed insight into the personal and organisational contexts of diversity as they relate to the public sector. The 90 participants were treated to an engaging, thought -provoking session. The feedback speaks for itself.”
Kathryn Jones, Manager, Education Services, SA Department of Education

“Robert Bean’s Cross-Cultural Communication program was highly praised by the course participants, mainly as a result of his practical and outcomes-oriented approach. Robert Bean is highly recommended as a provider of quality cross-cultural training.”
Jiri Martinek, Manager, Queensland Centre for Cross-Cultural Development, Department of Premier and Cabinet

"The clarity of your input and carefully selected exercises has energized our desire to become a more culturally competent agency. You were able to present the issues in a way that left no one feeling guilty for past attitudes and practices, nor despairing of the difficulty of the task ahead. This has put us in an excellent position to move forward. Given the large number, and diverse roles, of the staff present your presentation has had and will continue to have an important impact on Centacare's culture."
Bernie Victory, Assistant Director, Centacare Catholic Family Services

"Robert has consistently achieved excellent ratings on all aspects of the Cultural Awareness in Customer Service workshops. I have appreciated Robert's experience and expertise and his commitment and professionalism in designing and delivering workshops. Equity and diversity workshops often strike at the heart of values and attitudes and can be very challenging for facilitators. Robert's facilitation skills include the ability to present on difficult topics, combining respect and empathy for participants with challenges to strongly held beliefs and opinions. This is one of the most difficult types of training and I have no hesitation in recommending Robert to anyone developing and delivering equity and diversity initiatives in their organisation."
Julie Stace, Manager HRD, Medicare Australia SA/NT

"This was the best cross-cultural communication workshop I have ever attended. It has somehow put in order a lot of the knowledge that I already had on the topic"
Ita Szymanska, Training Coordinator, Queensland Centre for Cross-Cultural Development, Department of Premier and Cabinet

"I was impressed with the extent of your preparation, your sensitivity to participants and the variety of activities you used during the day. Participants felt it was very worthwhile."
Jill Dempster, Assistant Director Education, Australian Electoral Commission

"International Business Communication was a great course that has improved my dealing with my international customers."
Lisa Davis, Orlando Wyndham

"Overall, I was very blind to cultural differences. This course has helped me immensely. 10/10. Robert is a breath of fresh air."
Sandy Wright, Cellarmaster Wines Pty Ltd

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching is provided for individual managers and key staff or for small project teams. The focus is on intercultural situation analysis, personal professional development, action planning and on going support. Mentoring is provided for individuals and teams responsible for managing or delivering intercultural training and consulting services. Train-the-trainer coaching and mentoring can help enterprises to develop and provide in-house intercultural training and development services as needed.

Client Testimonials

"Your intercultural coaching of one of our best overseas-born research scientists has not only resolved his initial workplace communication and relationship concerns but has also increased his confidence and effectiveness as a scientist and as a team member."
Sarah Hocking, Manager, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide

“Thank you so much for your incredible dedication and enthusiasm for helping us to establish our cultural intelligence consulting service. CQ Cultural Consulting would not be a reality without your expertise, guidance and support.”
Gemma Tovey, Manager Social Enterprises, Melbourne City Mission

“I wanted to sincerely thank you for your expert advice. We were very inspired and the changes we made as a result of your advice proved to be very successful. It improved the quality of the training and the clarity of the message enormously. We cannot thank you enough.”
Rosie Antenucci, Manager, English as an Additional Language or Dialect Program, South Australian Department of Education and Child Development

Training Resources Development

In addition to designing training resources for many organisational training programs, I have designed and contributed to the development of several large scale training and development resources. (See Publications page for list.)

Client Testimonials

“Thanks so much for your assistance in developing the SBS Cultural Competence Program. As you know we based the initial curriculum framework on work you had done for the Australian Multicultural Foundation. Your work in providing expert commentary on the initial slides and films, and in assisting to edit the Cultural Atlas has helped to create a product much better suited to meeting the demands of the market. It was great to be able to benefit from your extensive experience in this area.”
Leon Coningham, Head of Distribution, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

“On behalf of Cricket Australia I would like to thank you for your invaluable help in developing the resource guide and pilot workshops for the A Sport For All Inclusion and Diversity program. Your experience and expertise have contributed greatly to the success of the program across the Australian cricket community. I am happy to recommend your services in promoting diversity and inclusion.”
Nick Hatzoglou, Cricket Australia, Manager Club Cricket.

"Robert Bean’s expertise, professionalism and experience ensured the creation of a superb training package for the volunteering sector that met all of our project requirements."
Judith Robertson, Diversity Officer, City of Charles Sturt

“In every case, without exception, the response and feedback we have had regarding the design and delivery of your intercultural communication courses has been excellent. Your work is relevant, culturally sensitive and internationally focussed. ”
Michael Chant, Executive Director, Australian Institute of Export (SA)


Since 1980 I have conducted or assisted in numerous research studies, ranging from training needs analyses and training program evaluations for business and government enterprises to large scale national studies. These include the following. (See the Publications page for details).

National Adult Literacy Research Project, Department for Employment Education and Training, 1995

Small Business Training Needs Analysis Surveys, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula Regional Development Boards, 1998-99

Management Training Needs of Multicultural Arts Organisations, Australia Council, 2002

Competencies for Local Government Chief Executives and Senior Managers, Local Government Association of South Australia 2004

Cultural Competence in Health, National Health and Medical Research Council, 2005

The Effectiveness of Cross-Cultural Training in the Australian Context, 2006

Cross-Cultural Training and Workplace Performance, 2008

Document Analysis and Editing Services

When the audience for your documents – print or on-line – includes readers from diverse cultures and for whom English is not their first language, a cultural and linguistic analysis of your final drafts is essential to ensure clarity, accuracy and readability. This service reviews documents to identify any cultural, linguistic or editorial factors which might negatively influence or impede readers’ comprehension and interpretation of the content.

Client Testimonials

"Your cultural and linguistic analysis of our clinical interview scenarios has been invaluable in helping us to ensure their clarity and ease of comprehension by our candidates from culturally diverse backgrounds”
Eveline Beaumont, General Manager Program Delivery, RWAV Health Professional

“Thank you for your expert assistance in reviewing our Australian General Practice Training program materials over the last five years to identify cultural or language factors that may impede comprehension by applicants from non-English speaking backgrounds. Your work has not only enhanced the quality of our documents but has also increased our own awareness of these factors when drafting documents for culturally diverse audiences.”
Emma Phelan, Director, GP Training Program and Systems, Health Training Branch, Health Workforce Division, Department of Health