To maintain global competitiveness, changing circumstances are demanding global strategic visions and new organizational structures that are conceptualized, articulated and implemented by managers.
What is a “global perspective”?
It is the ability to recognize and address issues that are outside of our national perspective. Issues are viewed without any pre-set biases or limitations. It requires being objective, and utilizing a broad framework in making judgments in domestic and international activities. It is an ability to see the “big picture”.
A person demonstrating this competency:
- Has global experience: considers problems and opportunities from a global perspective
- Understands group strategy, the role of the local business: “walks the talk”
- Is culturally aware and demonstrates ability to conduct business in local terms
- Understands and takes into account global and local impacts on day-to-day activities
- Aligns global strategy and tactics with local considerations
- Keeps abreast of global influences on the local business
- Role models for staff on global initiatives
- Aligns and manages local interests with global considerations
- Is proactive – prepares locally to support global activities
- Is empathetic and sensitive to global issues, but may lack international experience
General Considerations in Developing this Competency
In order to develop this competency, one must first set aside any and all negative, preconceived notions, biases, and ideas. This will allow the individual to fully understand and appreciate the inherent differences that exist within all cultures. Once this is done, the individual should begin to acquire information and knowledge about other cultures, in an effort to conceptualize the mores, norms, values and business practices of those given cultures.
Practicing this Competency
Acquire as much knowledge as possible through various media sources, such as the internet, periodicals, and television. Immerse yourself in different cultures by traveling, or joining groups and/or organizations with a variety of cultures. When given the chance, listen to other people’s experiences and viewpoints as they pertain to a specific cultural group, then experience this same group and see in your experience what was similar or dissimilar.
Ask persons from different cultures how knowledgeable you seem in regards to different geo-social, geo-economic, and geo-political issues. This will be your best gauge to assess your progress.
Learning from Experts
Identify people within your organization who are from other cultures. Discuss both business and social topics with them. See things from their perspective. Look for differences in the way they would handle and interpret different situations. Ask experts in international business to help you understand the interaction between world events, global business and your business. Spend time with natives of foreign countries, discussing the differences and similarities of your respective backgrounds.
Coaching Suggestions for Managers
If you are coaching someone who is trying to develop this competency, you can:
- Assign the person to work on projects with others from diverse backgrounds, countries and cultures. Build in international travel, where possible. Provide pre and post project briefings and debriefings regarding cultural opportunities and pitfalls.
- Help the person develop a proactive plan for developing a global perspective.
- Give the person feedback on his/her behaviors and performances where there was an opportunity for the demonstration of a global perspective.
Sample Development Goals
By July 1, I will attend a meeting of the local World Trade Organization or international chamber of commerce – to learn and network.
By end of the third quarter, I will complete a Spanish (or other foreign language) class.
By the end of this month, I will subscribe to and read The Economist on a regular basis.
Each week, I will read about and/or learn about a different culture. This may include going to lunch with someone from a country/culture different from mine.
Resources for Developing this Competency
Resources for developing this competency, including books, workshops, courses, and e-learning programs, are listed in Workitect’s COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT GUIDE, which includes similar information for the additional thirty-four competencies that are contained in Workitect’s COMPETENCY DICTIONARY.
Questions for conducting a structured behavioral event interview in order to assess and select for this competency are included in a set of thirty-five COMPETENCY INTERVIEW GUIDES.
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