Global Competence Model™

Global Competence Model™


Global competence implies the ability to interact positively and effectively with anyone in the world. The Global Competence Model™ visually represents the specific combination of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for global competence. It is based on the definition of Global Competence developed in 2004 as follows:

"Having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, and leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments."

The Global Competence Model™, is a culmination of the comprehensive international research findings that identified the unique compilation of knowledge, attitudes, and people skills that jointly comprise global competence. No single dimension can represent a "global competency" nor is one aptitude more important than another. Therefore, it is the synergy of all eight dimensions that collectively comprise global competence.

Details of the research that resulted in the model can be found in the seminal paper published in the Journal of Studies in International Education, September 2006, entitled: "What Does It Mean to be Globally Competent?" (PDF Download)

Internal Readiness

The green sections of the model, which relate to the personal trait and attitudinal drivers of Global Competence, denote the Internal Readiness Aptitudes. Beginning at the light green core is knowing oneself and how a person fits into his or her own culture (Self-Awareness).

The darker green layer reflects how one approaches other people and situations. Having a curiosity to learn about things holistically before arriving at conclusions (Open-Mindedness); possessing a sensitivity to and a respect for differences (Attentiveness to Diversity); and maintaining a willingness to extend beyond one’s cultural framework by trying new experiences (Risk Taking) are the essential and progressive attitudes identified by the research.

External Readiness

The blue sections, which highlight one's acquired knowledge through education or life experience, represent the External Readiness Aptitudes. The lighter blue ring represents the additional skills typically acquired through formal and continuous education in areas such as history, geography, and world cultures.

The darker blue ring reflects the interpersonal skills one develops with life experience, and one’s ability to apply global knowledge to personal interactions; thus if there is a global knowledge deficiency, the lack of cultural understanding would prevent a person from knowing how to appropriately modify his or her approach. This culmination of skills is shown as one modifies outward behavior (Intercultural Capability) and interacts collaboratively and effectively in cross-cultural situations (Collaboration Across Cultures).


The Global Competence Model™ illustrates how one gains these capabilities over time, often adding new layers of ability. As one moves visually outward from the core to the outer rim of the model, the level of sophistication in one’s abilities increases. For one to be globally competent, it is necessary to have strength in both the Internal Readiness and External Readiness aptitudes. Developing global competence is a life's journey and it takes time to hone each of the above skills.

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