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: Powerful Women and Leaning in Together

“Women are good for business” is the lead sentence in one of today’s highlighted articles. Of course they are! However, the path for powerful women (i.e., ALL women) to contribute their talents, energies, and intellect can still be rocky. This week, a look at the role of creativity in STEM education, and then a look at how creativity is being applied to open doors for women. To close things out, a post with thoughts on balance once the doors have been opened and the women are fully exerting their power in the workplace. What happens at home?

Much of my work is in technical industries, so I encounter women who utilize STEM skills routinely as part of their work. I agree with The Importance of Adding an “A” for Art + Design to the Famous Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Acronym in Sharp Heels. Young women (and men!) who are receiving a STEM-centric education still need to have their creativity nurtured and encouraged. As the article’s closing line states, “you can’t have science that truly means something to the mass of humanity if it lacks art, or art without some aspect of science.”

I was fascinated to read in Empowering Women Veteran Entrepreneurs from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that the number of veteran women-owned businesses in the U.S. has increased by nearly 300% since 2007! The SBA’s efforts on behalf of women veteran entrepreneurs includes resources such as loan programs, technical assistance, and V-WISE (Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship), a three-phase program which “enables women veterans to find their passion and learn business-savvy skills to turn ideas or businesses into growth ventures.”

Why isn’t there more female participation in the workforce? asks Want Double-Digit Growth? Hire Women from Fortune Magazine. As the piece outlines, a report from Citi’s Global Perspectives and Solutions reveals two reasons: policies and the outcome of these restrictive policies. Take the time to read the report; its insights are thought-provoking.

“This new era of women’s leadership development is no longer about struggle but rather about focus and balance” claims Louise A. Korver for Talent Management in Best Practices for a Different Kind of Women’s Leadership. Of the seventeen suggested best practices, two that stand out to me are “focus on career development” and “get women on boards.” Which of the seventeen do you think would have the most impact? (Tweet me at @melissa_lamson1 to let me know!)

Even once we women put together the intelligence, strategy, and communication skills to contribute our substantial assets to the world, we still have “home.” After all that Leaning In, how do we create an equitable distribution of time and energy to those who matter most? As the people quoted in Mark Zuckerberg Posts Baby Picture to Encourage  Active, Loving Fathers from Mashable, perhaps the Lean In equation needs an addition: TOGETHER. Read the #LeanInTogether quotes from high-powered businesspeople and tell me what you think!

Once women are fully exerting their power at work, how can families #LeanInTogether at home? {TWEET THIS}

Image Credit: Fotolia Sergey Nivens