How Well Do You Know the World Today?
Here’s an odd question. Imagine that our scientists discover another inhabitable planet in our solar system – and you get the incredible opportunity to explore it. It’s a planet of beautiful and diverse cultures and landscapes. Once you arrive, do you visit just one region and return home? Or do you want to visit them all?
Probably you’d like to see everything you can on this new planet. Funny, then, how when it comes to our own planet, we often ignore so much of it. So many of us turn a blind eye to other cultures, distant events and new ideas simply because we prefer to stick with what we know. Yet those of us who intend to be active players in global business must understand our potential markets – and that means we must acquire a cosmopolitan outlook of the world.
Approaching business through a global lens can yield an immense advantage when it comes to working across cultures and geographic regions. But that doesn’t mean it always comes naturally. Consider the following questions, for instance. Do you normally seek out news sources within your own country? When you walk onto an airplane, do you grab the same newspapers or magazines? When you boot up your computer in the morning, do you return again and again to the same local news websites.
If you answered “yes” to those questions, chances are you could stand to broaden your knowledge of the world. International business is fascinating, but it demands a nuanced awareness that can’t be acquired from just the evening news. To truly cultivate a global mindset, some self-education is in order. But don’t worry – I can promise that it will be the most interesting educational journey you ever take.
One way to start is by seeking other news sources, preferably foreign ones, to learn about global events and open your mind to perspectives different than your own. Think of yourself as a business anthropologist, studying culture, history, lifestyle and politics all over the earth. Your primary focus will be on learning what matters to people in every region – particularly when it comes to the behaviors, paradigms and expectations that influence your business objectives.
To whet your appetite about hot topics currently impacting the global society and economy, here’s a little quiz about a few world events making the headlines. Check back next week for the answers to see how you did – as well as some exciting news sources to help you build a more cosmopolitan outlook.
1. Sochi, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics, is located near which body of water?
a. Caspian Sea
b. Black Sea
c. Baltic Sea
d. North Sea
2. Which Eastern European country angered its citizens by passing a controversial anti-protest law (which has since been annulled)?
c. Czech Republic
3. Which country surpassed the United States as Apple’s largest market for iPhones last year?
b. United Kingdon
4. What percentage of Norway’s electricity production comes from hydroelectric power?
5. Which of these popular US social networking company is the only one allowed in China?