Can you navigate across nations and cultures for your business?

By Rod Hewlett, D.A., dean of the College of Business at Bellevue University


The United States remains the largest economy in the world for a single country, but the landscape is dramatically changing. Financial crises have struck across the globe, and new leaders are emerging to stake a claim in the international marketplace. China is now the world’s second largest economy and the largest exporter of goods, with 9.6 percent of the global share. Advances in technology have helped enhance communication between global business partners, and those looking to succeed in this environment must gain the mindset to work with other cultures.


Consider these seven strategies to compete in the global job market:


  1. Develop your relationship skills. Employees must master these soft skills to be excellent team players, communicators and problem solvers.


  1. Learn the language. Language Proficiency can play a role in refining relationship skills. Look for opportunities to learn the language through specialized training programs or coursework at a local college or university.


  1. Understand the culture and the market. From a cultural perspective learn what is held sacred and what is viewed negatively. Blending into the market as opposed to creating friction or embarrassment is necessary to help forge global partnerships. If you are traveling to other countries, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate may be able to provide information on their website.


  1. Know the simple differences. Learn the basics of the market you are working with. From time zones to measuring systems these basics can prepare you for a smoother transition. Much of this research can be done on the internet through reliable sites before your call, trip or email to show your knowledge of their practices.


  1. Be prepared for the marketplace. Understanding the essential elements of transacting in an international market place is fundamental knowledge those in the global arena should seek. Having high level knowledge of international trade and monetary systems is part of the comprehensive knowledge to stay competitive.


  1. Find a mentor or trusted partner. Utilizing the knowledge of someone with experience in your chosen market can be instrumental in helping you adjust and succeed.


  1. Have patience. The global market can offer unique obstacles you may not have been expecting, but the opportunity to shine on a larger scale should be valued. Take the time to work through challenges to appreciate the role you are in.


The United States faces dual challenges to remain a global leader economically and educationally. Today’s workers must embrace a comprehensive set of both relationship skills and technical knowledge through education to compete in any setting from economic superpowers to emerging markets.


For more information visit Make It Happen Now, the online destination for working adults who are determining their life plans and wrestling with whether or not they should go back to school.


About the Author: Roderic “Rod” Hewlett, D.A. is a sought after expert on leadership and business. With a focus on infusing businesses with the skills required to succeed in today’s global market, Rod brings tremendous leadership skills, effective communication and dynamic management concepts that have been widely accepted, across the globe. His innovative, breakthrough leadership strategies are helping transform the next generation of executives into highly effective leaders. He also authored the popular book, “The Cognitive Leader: Building Winning Organizations through Knowledge Leadership.” Rod’s wide breadth of experience includes executive level and global management roles, and he currently serves as Dean of the College of Business at Bellevue University.



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