Global Leadership Blog

Global Aptitude

Measure Your Global Mindset, Win Over Your Global Team

Recently, I was working with Joe, a client who was in search of advice for managing a product line that shifted overseas after a change in the manufacturing supply base. What had been a low margin, high volume product line with its manufacturing location in the US, had shifted to a vendor in China. He had to deliver the transition in a little over 4 months and manage a sustainable relationship for the next 18.

In a Corporate environment, where customer demand and profitability reign supreme, it’s not unusual to walk into the office one day and find the vision for your product line has completely shifted. Corporations are shifting manufacturing to align with customer demand. In fact, the annual CFO Evolution Benchmark Survey, reported that more than half (53%) of the CFOs interviewed in 2014 said that their companies plan to expand their businesses internationally. The study said, “…thirty-three percent of these CFOs are planning to open offices in Asia; 26 percent are eyeing Europe; 16 percent expect to expand to South America; 14 percent are looking to Canada; and nine percent will extend their reach to the Middle East…”

So how do you develop a skillset around globalization? An MBA may ensure solid business acumen, but not necessarily prepare you with the global mindset necessary to take on the softer and harder side of the building successful global partnerships. How do you bridge the cultures and align both parties? The success or failure of the transition project hinges on the management of the cross-border relationship.

Developing a global mindset starts by assessing your global aptitude. The Global Mindset Inventory™, found on my website, is designed to measure Intellectual, Psychological and Social Capital to reveal both strengths and areas for development. GMI also coaches individual assessment-takers to interpret their results and create a plan of action.

Click now to watch a quick video summary about The Global Mindset Inventory.

After reviewing the results of the Inventory assessment, I discussed with Joe what having a global mindset means and why it is important.

To mobilize Joe’s team, he would need to understand what motivates his colleagues. They too were given the Global Mindset Inventory assessment to help identify where both teams needed to focus. Without the benefit of the Global Mindset tool, both teams would have missed valuable insight that may have put the transition project at risk.

The following business practices were put in place as the result of the Global Mindset Inventory assessment. Both teams communicated that they were equally concerned about conflict resolution, and relationship building.

1) Mediate to Bridge Cultural Differences

A neutral Senior point person was assigned to the project as a sounding board when both teams required mediation to continue to progress. This person doesn’t sit in on the day to day implementation team, but had enough organizational leverage to deliver quick resolutions to contradictory requirements.

A process was agreed upon in which both parties would elevate a conflict together, to enhance trust, and reduce blaming. The process plays an important role because what constitutes conflict in one culture, may not in another.

2) Master Working with People Different From You

Both teams acknowledged that despite a common business goal, each approached the solution differently. After coaching the team about cultural awareness, both parties wanted to feel heard, understood and appreciated.

Use encouraging language during your team calls to praise, and reward. Be respectful when pointing out a mistake or misunderstanding, especially when language differences might require patient explanation. Consider restating the issues and needs expressed by the team, and minimize the use of acronyms and slang to ensure clarity.

Rotate meeting times out of respect for everyone on the team, your international counterparts have sporting events, kids, hobbies and an overall life balance just as you do, and it deserves to be acknowledged.

Productive collaboration is key, especially when stepping into a cross functional, and cross cultural management environment. To further your understanding of the Global Mindset, visit my website for insightful videos, downloads, and testimonials.

Productive collaboration is key, especially when stepping into a cross cultural management environment. {TWEET THIS}

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Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson