I recently spent several months in the United Kingdom learning just that. While overseas, I met with two dozen professionals in my areas of expertise. I enhanced my global competence, or my ability to understand how business works in different countries, and returned to the U.S. better armed to serve my clients. I recognized that in this area of globalization, I could no longer afford to be insular. And neither can you.
Fortunately, there are easy ways that you and your employees can boost your global outlook without traveling or launching a complex international operation. You can start by trying out some of the following tips.
Become a Student of Culture
Choose a country that interests you and learn about the daily lives of its citizens. Read the daily paper and popular novels, and watch TV shows online. Check out the social networks and see what people are talking about, leveraging a Web translator if you need to. The minutiae will tell you more about the culture than you would ever learn as a tourist.
Meet Owners in Other Markets
Are there businesses like yours overseas? If so, virtually introduce yourself to their management and talk about similarities and differences. What did their journeys look like compared to yours? What challenges and opportunities do they address on a regular basis, and are there ways you can help one another? You never know—what starts out as information gathering could turn into a valuable partnership.
For more tips, check out the full post at the AMEX Open Forum.