Five Friday Highlights: Tips for Going Global

Global Travel Recommendations

Have you traveled outside your native country? If so, were you surprised at the realities of a totally different place? No matter how many global travel recommendations you collect as you prepare to visit someplace where the language and customs differ from what you are accustomed to, there’s always a surprise or two.

There will always be a learning curve when you arrive in a new country and begin integrating yourself into society. Business Insider can help with the most important etiquette rules to know when traveling for business to 10 countries around the world. Having spent years in Germany, I can attest that a failure to be punctual can lead to even bigger failures in your business relationships; people from Germany value timeliness!

In 30 Intriguing Superstitions From Around the World from Mashable, beliefs are explained that you can only know by learning from a local (or reading an article like this). I can’t say any group in Spain has ever watched my entrance to the room to see which foot I entered with, but now that I know that entering a room with your left foot is considered bad luck, I’ll be sure to start things off on the right foot in the future!

Once you’ve gotten a handle on the etiquette and even figured out some of the superstitions, your work is still cut out for you! International Business Strategy: How to Succeed says it like it is: “It is a common misconception that conducting business internationally is the same as business as usual but expanded across multiple foreign countries or areas.” Global expansion is much more than geography.

Global expansion is much more than geography. {TWEET THIS}

If you were to make yourself a digital nomad, you may end up visiting each country mentioned in the “etiquette” and “superstitions” articles above. How do you feel about your office being your laptop and working from wherever you land for the day? In How Digital Nomads Make the World Their Oyster from DaPulseBLOG, a close look at the challenges and sacrifices of intentionally choosing not to have a fixed address and engaging in what the article calls “the ultimate downsizing exercise.”

Whether you never get your passport stamped or you’ve racked up so many frequent flyer miles you can’t keep up, remember that conversations are always global as explained by Gini Dietrich for Zignal Labs. “Even if you’re a company operating only in one country … events that are happening on the other side of the world could unexpectedly trickle down to the conversations you’re having with your customers.”

Have you read something this week that could prepare a traveler to hit the ground running in a new country? If so, tell me about it by clicking here!

Image Credit: 123rf Frank Blomberg

Five Friday Highlights: Olympics, Flags, and More

Global Highlights

This week’s compilation includes many themes and extends to widespread countries. Spanning the grandeur and scale of the Olympics in Brazil, to the difficult lives of those with mental health issues in Indonesia. As is the case with our world, both the grand and the destitute co-exist. I hope you leave your experience of these five pieces having learned something new about our world.

In a nod to tradition, New Zealanders voted, in a recent referendum, to keep their current flag design. The details are spelled out in New Zealand Votes to Keep Flag in Referendum in the BBC News. The proposed replacement would have eliminated the Union Jack, a reminder of the time when New Zealand was a British colony.

Is “born global” the new “born digital”? In The Best Entrepreneurs Think Globally, Not Just Digitally, Michael Schrage in the Harvard Business Review explains how global approaches are increasingly incorporated into businesses from the very beginning. He says innovators and their investors are afraid they will be starting off behind if they “don’t go global from the beginning.” Their concerns are justified; you can’t tack on a global approach as an afterthought.

Mental health considerations and accommodations vary drastically around the world. This candid and difficult look at mental health in Indonesia from CNN explained how pasung, “the practice of confining or restraining relatives with mental health problems — was banned in Indonesia in 1977 but remains startlingly common.” Although our mental health system here in the United States is hardly perfect, the contrast is startling.

As someone who works with organizations to help them manage expansions involving global teams, I see so much opportunity to get it right in situations like Hotset’s. In its press release, Hotset shared the success of bilateral teamwork among its German headquarters and its subsidiaries in America, China, Singapore, Malta and India.

Are you excited about the Summer Olympics in Brazil? In Road to Rio: Brazil Olympics Sees Low Ticket Sales Amid Economic Downturn And Political Scandals, Lydia Tomkiw of the International Business Times covers several fascinating angles of the upcoming games. For the purpose of this compilation, it bears pointing out the intercultural assumptions made by speakers like International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who reacted to slower-than-expected domestic ticket sales by saying, “Brazilians, they do not buy tickets at such an early stage, as the British or the Germans. There is no concern at all,” at a press conference in early March (as reported by the Associated Press).

Have you read a post or seen a video this week that has helped you have a deeper understanding of a different country or culture? Please e-mail me to let me know; I’d love to see it!