.. us who are working Americans work with someone from a different culture. Not only can you work with them, you can learn from them. If you are in a employment situation where you do work with someone from a different culture, do you work well together? If they don’t speak English can you still communicate with them? These are things that we need to think about in all working situation. If you get a job and realize that many of your co-workers are from different cultures it is important that you act in a culturally synergistic fashion. Or at least make an attempt to interact with them on a daily basis by using part of their culture.
If you are the first one to take this step often times they will follow you and a culturally synergistic level can be reached. If they make the first step then it is up to you as a well-rounded person with a global mindset to follow in their footsteps. It is important for us now to take a look why it is important to have a global mindset in today’s business world, then examine some managerial tactics to define this mindset. The number one thing is that you don’t want to be left behind, while other more “globalized” individuals take the jobs and money that you could have. Michael Hick is a speaker on globalization and the importance of a global mindset.
We are going to take a brief look at some of the ideas he poses and these can be found on his website at www.michaelhick.com. He first states the importance of a business global mindset, “Having Global Mindset is the crucial competence of your business future. Any level of Manager who does not act with a Global strategy will be left in the slipstream as business hurtles across national frontiers in the decades ahead.” This statement is nothing closer to the truth. It is very obvious to see how without the global mindset your business will not function in today’s market. Michael Hick also has this to say about how he feels about the global economy, “Your people need to have awareness of Global issues to understand the events which will affect them and their families in the future.
The Global Age is here. We are all linked now. Business is going global at break-neck speed and suddenly our lives, attitudes, belief systems and jobs depend on our having ‘Global Mindset’.” We definitely agree with Michael Hick on this topic and see the world market growing at an exponential rate. Expanding your global mindset will at the same time give you effective cross cultural communication skills. Not all cultures have the same meanings for all the words that are in the English language.
Moreover, the United States is a low-context culture and communication tactics can vary tremendously from a high-context culture such as Japan (Deresky). The difference between high-context and low-context cultures is that in a low-context culture words are used to explain, however in a high-context culture the explanation of many things are left up to body language and what the sender thinks the receiver will think. This concept goes hand in hand with uncertainty avoidance. In the United States w/ have a high uncertainty-avoidance (Deresky). This means that we like to know all there is to know about certain things such as a business contract.
Germany is like this also, however, many Middle Eastern countries have a low uncertainty-avoidance (Adler 56). This means that they don’t need everything written on paper and many agreements may be verbal. Just having a minor grasp on these concepts, such as you would pick up from this class, gives you a much bigger global mindset. “Employee communication is becoming increasingly important to global corporations in their quest for efficiency and effectiveness. But it is proving ever more difficult as they grow and change shape.
Companies face a number of deeper issues in deciding how best to communicate with staff across borders and at different levels (Kessler 1). The fact that you may possess some of this global knowledge can make you a more marketable person. After all that should be one of your main goals; to make yourself as marketable as possible. By this we mean as stated above, if you were going to a business negotiation in Saudi Arabia and you showed up with ten pages of your policy, you may look foolish. That could be the worst possible thing to have happen.
However, if you know that in Middle Eastern culture, many policies are unwritten, you could show up to the negotiation with all of the information in your head and greatly impress your soon to be business partners. You need this global mindset to keep yourself”one up” on everyone else. Although it may be true that the United States dominates, the global business society, it is a very poor practice to have the attitude, “that I’m an American and they’ll do business my way and in my language.” To think like this is using a closed minded, ethnocentric approach to business. Although your partners might very well be prepared to work under American terms, the globally minded person would say to himself, “I know that they will probably be prepared to do business American style, however, I am going to present myself with the best combination of both styles, in a culturally synergistic fashion, and that might impress them.” There are very little standardized methods of using the global mindset, because it is a relatively new field. Moreover, it is growing tremendously and tactics change ever so quickly. It is good though that some people are coming up with new ideas. According to a student at DePaul University who studies international business, a global mindset has levers: · Boards must be a mix of nationalities · Members must have two or more language skills · There must be cross-boarder business teams · Reward international experience · Optimize local and foreign performance · Develop global marketing managers (www.ibs.depaul.edu) The items stated here are very precise, however, items like these are almost never expected from entry-level business employees.
It is good to take a look at because it can show what a corporate international management team might have on its skills list. Company like, IBM, Microsoft, and Xerox have international management and marketing teams with skills like these listed above or even more advanced. We have discussed in detail the reasons why it is important to have a global mindset, but there are those out there who fear the globalization of the United States. Also there are those that think many will get hurt in this globalization process. In the book Global Village or Global Pillage, it is discussed in depth that the globalization of the world will leave those who are poor and suffering right now, even poorer and more suffering as the globalization grows (Bretcher and Costello, 142). This goes along with the Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest.
It seems easy to talk about this when you are discussing animals, but it is a lot tougher to rational when human lives come in to play. In another book, American Patriotism in a Global Society, we see examples of how many Americans want just America to be on the top pillar of the global network. This book argues that the transformation of our world into a global society is causing a resurgence of tribalism at the same time that it is inspiring the ideology of political holism – the under-minding of human society as an evolving global system of interdependent individuals, cultures, and nations (Craige 5). To simplify this books main idea is to say that there is an underlying battle going on between not necessarily the nations to be the best, but inside the individuals, most of whom have tribalistic instincts. It is hard to do things and participate in things that you don’t feel accustomed to which drives us into the conclusion of this paper.
Those who want to succeed in today’s global society, yes, have to have a global mindset, but it is much bigger than that. One must excel in what he or she does and give one hundred and ten percent effort all of the time. Of course, some people get lucky and get jobs handed to them, but for the vast majority of us it is a race. One race to the end of the path that we decide to take. Not everyone wins that race, and maybe that is not important.
In today’s globalizing society it is hard to feel like you are even part of the race. You may feel like you are doing well and then someone runs right past you and you don’t even know what happened. We can’t control the rate at which the global society is growing at and we wish we could say that everything and everyone will turn out a winner or at least happy. Yet this is untrue.