Five Global Highlights: Connections Are Alive and Well

Global Highlights

What exactly does the word “connected” mean? We often feel connected by our devices, which can display events a world away in real time. At the same time, it easy to feel isolated as we struggle to keep up with a world which is rapidly evolving.

These five pieces touch on various concepts about connection. I hope they help you feel more “in touch” with the world around you!

These Ten Countries are the Most Globally Connected from Bloomberg Business states that “reports of the death of globalization are premature.” From my perspective, traveling around the globe and hearing the experiences of people in many different countries, “dead” is hardly how I would define global efforts!

“Dead” is hardly how I would define global efforts! {TWEET THIS}

Here’s an interesting connection development! In China and Britain face rare opportunity of economic and trade cooperation, minister says from New China, a look at the possibilities brought about from recent China-UK trade gatherings. Ten accords of cooperation involving fields such as finance, food, auto parts and medicine were signed. Talk about the possibilities of global relationships!

Let’s go all the way Down Under to Australia for a story! I caught this recent Australian news story about Garry Ridge, an Australian who is CEO of WD-40, an extremely common lubricant spray used in homes and garages all over the world! When I dug deeper, I became quite intrigued with Mr. Ridge’s philosophies around maintaining a globally engaged workforce. In this case study, he discusses strategies such as “an assurance to his employees that he will address each of their grievances within 24 hours.”

In Too Many Hairdressers and Not Enough Bricklayers? from the Edinburgh Business School, a look at the mismatch between the supply of and demand for houses which has caused some serious problems in the UK. I am always interested in a country’s housing supply trends; they can be a barometer for so many quality of life issues.

Creativity abounds in Africa, in so many business arenas. This story from CNN about Africa’s first Spotify-like digital music service caught my eye. As the article mentions, “Africa’s music scene has recently started attracting attention from global giants.” What better way to keep profits local while making music global than taking control of the business end? The service, MusikBi, “lists about 600 songs from a diverse group of artists, including internationally renowned musicians like Coumba Gawlo Seck and Duggy Tee, one of Africa’s most famous hip hop stars.”

Is there a global connection I can help you learn more about? Please email me at melissa (at) to discuss!

5 Tips to Make Global Travel a Breeze

Global Travel

It’s no secret that I’m a globe trotter. And, while jet-setting around the world I’ve learned a few secrets of how to get around like a local yet keep myself feeling well — no matter the time zone.

It didn’t come easily, mind you. I’ve gotten turned around more times than I can count, lost things in translation, and couldn’t resist the anti-jetlag power nap that ultimately turned into a 5-hour deep slumber, leaving me groggy. It’s all been worth it though because I love my work, and I love learning about new cultures and exploring new countries.

But, my hope is that you don’t make some of the mistakes I have. So, here are five tricks of the travel trade.

1. Beat jetlag. After 25 years of travel, I think I have the secret formula to beat jet lag. First, pack a sleep kit to help you rest on the plane. That can include ear plugs, pillow, light blanket, and an eye mask. Next, resist over-indulgence on food and alcohol. Better yet, skip the alcohol. Get fresh air and exercise when you land. And, finally, don’t fall into the “power nap” trap. Try, try, try to get onto the local schedule. For more tips, visit here.
2. Snap photos. Sure, for the memories. But also to remember where you came from and where you are going. Take photos with your phone of the metro stops so you know where to exit and get back on. Take a photo of your hotel, or grab a business card, so you know the address.
3. Maximize Google. Speaking of that business card—it can be key in making sure the non-English speaking cab driver knows where to take you. So can Google Translator. Be sure to bring a device that has WiFi (almost everywhere has it now) so you can tap into Google Translator to help give directions or express your wishes of where to go and what to see. (Recently, on a trip to Argentina, I did this along with showing the driver my GPS so that we arrived at the correct location.)
4. Befriend concierges. And not just your hotel’s. On that same trip in Argentina, when we couldn’t find a restaurant, we ducked into a hotel and asked the concierge. They almost always speak English (for good or for bad, it’s still the primary global business language) and are happy to help. We got great guidance and had no trouble finding our destination.
5. Keep it clean. It’s pretty terrible to be sick—not to mention being sick in an international destination. Bring wipes with you and sanitize your environment. I have no shame in wiping down airplane seats, hotel room door handles, remote controls, and any surface that I am unsure of. Take vitamins and supplements. I rely on COLD-FX and Traumeel. For more on tips to stay healthy while (at home or) abroad, click here.

Traveling doesn’t have to be a grind. With the right tools at your disposal, you can bring home the reassurance of a job well done or an adventurous story rather than your plane seat neighbor’s cold. Bon voyage!

Traveling doesn’t have to be a grind. Pack the right tools, and you’ll return home w/ the reassurance of a job well done! {TWEET THIS}

Image Credit: Fotolia (Maxim_Kazmin)

Five Friday Highlights: Mindfulness and Happiness

Gender Parity

I just returned from a great trip to Buenos Aires, working with women at SAP on advancement strategies. The group was energetic, positive, and receptive to learning. We enjoyed each other’s company and I feel positive these women will apply what they learned!

This week, I’m stepping back from the cultural observation to focus on selections that are more universal in nature. We are always wise to be continuous learners, about work and life in general.

Who doesn’t want to be happy and successful? In Want to Be Happy and Successful? Brene Brown Says Do This, I loved the seven recommendations shared by Dr. Brown. I was especially struck by “It is so important to feel who we are without needing material goods or hobbies to validate ourselves.” So true!

Sometimes, when I read articles like the one referenced above, I am grateful to have had enough life experience to know why advice like “it is important to feel who we are” is so applicable. Although I don’t think it makes sense to assume millennials “don’t get it” regarding many pieces of life advice, I do agree there are some lessons you can only  learn by living them. Maybe 8 Habits That Make Millennials Stressed, Anxious and Unproductive can at least help a millennial or two bypass the worst of it. One of the best pieces of advice is to avoid “hanging out with anxious people.” It has certainly been true for  me. We absorb the vibes we surround ourselves with.

We absorb the vibes we surround ourselves with. {TWEET THIS}

When I read Workplace Stress:  Do You Know Where it Comes From?, I was intrigued by a few of the suggestions. I especially keep turning this proposed strategy for managing workplace stress over in my mind: “Look for opportunities to learn skills or take on more responsibility.” While it seems counterintuitive to take on MORE when you’re already feeling stressed, perhaps for some people, additional responsibility that is more aligned with their skill set may actually reduce stress.

Speaking of taking on responsibility, none of the entrepreneurs featured in 20 Successful Entrepreneurs Share the Most Important Lesson They Learned in Their 20s avoided taking on massive amounts of it. Each of them learned valuable lessons along the way. This one is still kicking around in my mind: “You can never fire anyone too soon.” While the reference is to being decisive, I suspect part of that lesson is “you have to hire the right people in the first place.”

No matter what your generation or geography, I am a strong believer in the power of mindfulness. In Musts for Being Mindfully Present, Scott Mautz reminds readers that mindfulness “reduces aggression because the ego doesn’t come into play as you’re focusing on what’s in front of you, not what it says.” We could all do with less aggression in the world, right?

On a closing note, I am thrilled to announce that I have been accepted by Inc. as a regular contributor! I will be writing on topics related to cultural awareness and global business. It’s all extremely exciting and I’ll be looking forward to sharing my articles with you!

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