The World Bank has been using the Lewis Model of Culture extensively for training and team building since 2004.

Multi-active

Cultural Classification:  Multi-active

Multi-active people are talkative, impulsive types who attach great importance to feelings, relationships and people-orientation. They like to do many things at the same time and are tend to feel confined by agendas. Conversation is roundabout and animated and they try to speak and listen at the same time. Interruptions are frequent, pauses in conversation are few. Multi-active cultures are uncomfortable with silence and seldom permit or experience it.

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In business, relationships and connections are seen as more important than products. The former pave the way for the sale of the latter. Relationships are best when they are face-to-face; they cannot be maintained over a protracted period simply by correspondence or phone calls. Written communication has less effect with multi-active cultures than oral. They are extremely dialogue-oriented and wish to obtain their information directly from people. They trade in rumour and gossip and show less respect than linear-active people do for official announcements, rules or regulations. They have limited respect for authority, but accept their place in their own social or company hierarchy. They like strong bosses, who are also expected to protect them.

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Multi-active people often are late with delivery dates and when paying for services or goods received. They are less interested in schedules or deadlines than linear-actives and often move only when they are ready. Procrastination is common, unpunctuality frequent. Their concepts of time and discourse are decidedly non-linear and are amused or bewildered by the¬†importance that timetables have for linear-active people. Multi-active people are flexible and frequently change their plans; they often do this to accommodate other changes elsewhere. They do not plan in the same detail as linear-active people, but are good at improvisation and adept at handling chaos. They borrow and lend property freely. They are gregarious and inquisitive, valuing privacy less than company. They tend to be emotional and family-oriented. Often epicurean, they are less prurient than linear-actives and adhere less to strict Protestant values. In business they use charisma, rhetoric, manipulation and negotiated truth. They are diplomatic and tactful and often circumvent laws and officialdom to take “short cuts”. They entertain lavishly and give presents or undercover payments to secure deals and contracts. They set great store by compassion and human warmth.

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Why were the colours blue, red and yellow chosen to represent the LMR categories?

 Blue  is a cool colour denoting calm factual planners, discreet but in control.  Red  signifies warmth, emotion, loquacity, perhaps passion. Yellow  indicates soothing harmony, sought by courteous, accommodating listeners.

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