This easy-to-use tool will help you navigate any cross-cultural setting.

At C3, we train managers and employees to navigate a cross-cultural working environment.

When we began doing intercultural training, we quickly realized that we needed a tool. A tool that participants in our training could use to systemize their new knowledge and put it towards concrete actions that would help create the results they wanted in their global projects.

The tool needed to be easy to remember and easy to use, even in the middle of a busy workday. And it needed to be dynamic and flexible, so it could be used in all different types of cross-cultural working situations.

We couldn’t find the tool we needed, so we decided to develop one ourselves.

The result was the 4R Model.

The 4R Model focuses on the four cultural elements which, according to our experience, most often create challenges in cross-cultural collaboration:

  • Rank
  • Responsibility
  • Risk
  • Relationship

In the video below, you can learn more about each of the four R’s, and about how you can use the 4R Model to navigate across cultures (click here, if you prefer to watch the video directly on Vimeo).

We hope that the video gave you a good sense of what the 4R Model's four R’s - Rank, Responsibility, Risk and Relationship include.

So why not try out the model in practice next time you’re facing a cross-cultural assignment or challenge?

Just to sum up, you can use the 4R Model to:

  • Get useful knowledge about your own culture and other cultures you come in contact with, and get an overview of the most important differences between those cultures
  • Analyze what is at play in specific cross-cultural working situations
  • Navigate and adapt your own working style so you can create the best results

When you use the model, keep in mind that the 4 R’s overlap and affect each other.

For example, you can often bring down the risk (Risk) for your global colleagues by building up good personal relationships (Relationship), so it’s easier for them to offer suggestions and input.

Or as a Danish manager, you can adapt your leadership style (Rank), so that your global employees have a better idea of who is responsible for what (Responsibility).

You can use the 4R Model in all types of working situations where cultural differences are in play. Not only national cultural differences, but also differences in terms of industry culture and corporate culture.

If you try out the 4R Model – or already know it and have used the model – I would love to hear about it! Share your experiences and input on LinkedIn – or email me at

I look forward to reading your input!

Annette Dahl, CEO and Chief Trainer at C3 Consulting

PS. In our book 'Global Perspectives', a full chapter is devoted to the 4R Model, including:

  • Guide questions that you can use to make a 4R cultural analysis for your own and other cultures
  • A detailed 4R analysis of Danish culture
  • Case stories of how people have used the 4R Model in their global work  
  • And much more!

If you sign up for our newsletter, you'll get the chapter delivered straight to your inbox. You can read more about the newsletter and sign up here.

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