Business management is tough enough as it is. While statistics can vary, the facts are clear: most businesses do not last more than 5 years and many fail within 2 years of start-up. What happens if on top of this statistic you place that business in a global setting? Irrespective if you manage a business that you own, serve as a sales, marketing or operations manager for a global commercial or non-profit organization, or find yourself an expatriate manager somewhere around the globe which isn’t home for you, global means things are tougher, more complicated, riskier and, without a doubt more challenging. Why is this exactly? Reasons are many, let’s look at the major ones:
Language barrier: an obvious one, no? It’s more complicated than “we can get by with English”, for example, since we are not just talking about “getting by” but the need to communicate, motivate, inspire and hold accountable. Language is important but so are the many dialects and accents that confound the scene.
Culture: a “biggie”, no doubt, and probably the number one under-rated factor for messing-up globally, never really getting the most and best out of your staff, distributors, partners ,agreements and so on. Most organizations try and sell this myth that you can download an article, buy a book or give a workshop here and there on “cross-cultural communication” and then you can go off and make money….no way!
Cultural differences permeate nearly everything you are going to do globally, a far cry from someone telling you not to give a gift with the color black in Asia because it is associated with funerals or not to use your left hand while eating in India or not to write on a Japanese business card…cross-cultural skill, mindset and knowledge will continuously impact communication, management effectiveness, entrepreneurial success or failure, and the list does not stop here. It needs to be integrated with business insight, experience and knowledge.
Psychology-Management style: How do you motivate those of another country, culture or ethnic group, if they may think much differently than you and the same between one another? Management, sales, teaming and collaboration are all about building relationships that work and produce- those who did not learn how to do this- and in every place you will find it to be different- likely never reached their full potential or just plain “died on the way”.
We are talking about particularity and difference in decision-making processes, relationship to hierarchy, to innovation and change, to “inner group” vs. “outer group”, to the perception of time(short term vs. long term thinking), to personal and career values, and much more. If you, as I, understand that developing a “global mindset” is “mandatory” and not just “nice to have”, you are talking my language, I invite you to read on, make contact and engage in dialogue with me as it is your global success we are talking about, nothing short of that!
Technology: you may ask- what does technology have to do with all this? And my answer is- “lots!” There is this myth that “if you build it they will come”, everybody loves new gadgets, upgrades and instant everything….it just isn’t so, my friends, because depending on who, where, what, when and how you go in the global world you are likely to find as much fear against these things as you might enthusiasm for them. It is your goal to know how to steer the right message in the right way to the right people…a challenge, something to be addressed, mastered and executed.
Time Zone differences: I have been there, seen it and this one is a “sleeper” and watch out, it can kill your long-range global success. Living and succeeding within 24 hours a day, 7 days a week business models can wear you out, dull your senses and patience, wreak havoc on your family and private life, if not handled wisely and with a global mindset. It requires knowing how to manage time, expectations, yourself and others.
In the end , the bottom line of all that is behind and within my global success programs is to provide the tools, framework and “engine” to enable you to perform better, to build and better leverage more productive relationships, create and reach more effective goals, decisions and actions, all in the global marketplace.
It many cases it is about going from “adequate” and “good” to “great and growing”. It is about not missing opportunities, about not leaving money on the table in negotiations, about ensuring your time to market goals, about finding the best and fastest ways to instill change that will work, about getting others on your side, motivating and retaining them. It is about practical Results, how to get them and keep them coming. It is about building, maintaining and extending you and your success in a non-stop changing global world.