Tag Archives: Globalization

Where are you really from ? An Expat Perspective On Racism


Womanblackman

I found the question in this article very interesting:   Is It Racist to Ask People Where They’re From?
As an expat, I am asked all the time where are you really from ?  and I usually have different answers for different audiences. However to many expats, they don’t feel comfortable with this question especially if they have been living in a foreign country for quite a long time and interpret the question as obviously you are not from there, you are different.
After 25 years of expatriation, I still have some mixed feelings about this question but sometimes it is good to feel different and not from “here”.  Being a French in France is actually harder for me than living abroad, I don’t know anything about popular TV shows or the secret lives of French politicians and I have often a very different view on sensitive questions as I am living on the “other side”.
When I lived in Japan in the 90s I obviously did not look Japanese and I have been asked frequently where I was from, but at that time, being French and saying I was from Paris, were magic words and I was very well treated both at work and with perfect strangers in the streets. I was kind of “exotic” there. However Caucasians were better treated than non-Japanese Asians, especially Chinese, Koreans or Filipinos.
In the US, when I lived in New York City and 8 months pregnant, strangers were giving me a “god bless you” very often, then we had the 9/11 dramatic events and my son was born 12 days later. However I got unpleasant remarks when I said I was French because at that time the French president and the government refused to send troops to Baghdad as if I had anything to do with this decision.
Altogether I had a very positive experience in NYC. I also lived in Atlanta and we were very well-integrated partly because of my son being at the Atlanta International School but generally speaking, Atlanta is a very international city. However I was shocked to see that nothing really changed since Martin Luther King Jr, I saw a lot of segregation between African-Americans and White Americans. Each community including Latin American people had their own neighborhood with very strict boundaries. I then realized that America was far from being a melting pot !
Then we spent one year in New Jersey and it was painful to have in the neighborhood listing “the French” instead of our family name.
Now we live in Russia, I don’t have any specific problems with racism, the “where are you from? ” is still there since my Russian is pretty basic but unlike the stereotypes, I find Russians very courteous with men giving their seats to women in the Metro for example. But here again even for wealthy expatriates,  it is better to be a Caucasian than having a dark skin color.

How do you feel about being asked : where are you really from ?

Related Article:  Encountering racism abroad — or why I sometimes wish I was white

What Does Interculturality Mean ?


 

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A number of studies on the development of intercultural skills and competences have shown that first-hand experience of ‘otherness’ and even sojourns in a foreign country are not sufficient conditions to foster interculturality.

Both study abroad and intercultural education literature state that, in addition to experience, intercultural learning needs reflection and analysis, and that immersion in a different culture does not in itself reduce stereotypical perceptions of otherness.

Interculturality does not mean comparing two or more countries, nor learning to adapt to a specific ‘national culture’.

Rather, the concept implies, for example:

  • Understanding how different types of identities (eg gender, age, racial, ethnic, national, geographical, historical, linguistic) impact on communication with others
  • Interpreting what people say about their culture as evidence of what they wish others to see about themselves, rather than as the ‘truth’ about a particular culture
  • Exploring the role of power in dominant discourses (media, political, institutional) and reflect on how these discourses affect the way we perceive people from other backgrounds.

Read Full article : Mobility is not a value in itself: intercultural education resources for mobile students – European Association for International Education

Related articles: 

 

 

Online Education as an Agent of Transformation


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Online education is beginning to show itself as a disruptive innovation, introducing more convenient and affordable services that can transform sectors.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Online (higher) education or E-learning, will change the way students will learn and it will help serve students who cannot afford traditional on campus teaching today. With globalization it is inevitable that traditional learning processes will be challenged and prestigious universities may lose their competitive advantages to the benefit of more collaborative and multicultural entities.

However the need for face to face meetings will still be there. The students may meet in person in local clusters to work on projects while using online materials instead than on campus classes.

The word MOOC has been introduced to designate MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES (FREE ONLINE COURSES) OFFERED BY THE BEST UNIVERSITIES AND ENTITIES. Already many universities offer online free courses  The top three MOOC-makers are Coursera, Udacity, and EdX

Another trend in education is crowd-sourcing, an open way to solve complex problems by using social media tools to get fresh ideas through group collaboration. For example, I use Memrise.coman online learning platform that users feed with their own ideas on how to memorize a specific topic.

See on www.nytimes.com

Related resources:

 

 

 

Davos Man and his defects. How to Define Global Leadership ?


THE two most popular words in the business lexicon are probably “global” and “leadership”. Put them together and people in suits start to salivate.  Read more about this article : See on Scoop.it – Global Leaders

Anne Egros‘s insight:

The cult of the global leader is spreading ! But more responsibilities come with the job.

Globalization is not a static concept. What you knew about fast developing countries like Russia and its cultural differences in term of consumer taste, regulations, politics or technology is obsolete after one year or two, so how do you monitor those changes in more than 60 countries if you are the top executives of true global companies ?

Global leaders need to live abroad at least 2-3 years in key countries to really understand local cultures, traveling is not a substitute for being an expat.

I cannot agree more with this statement:

“If leadership has a secret sauce, it may well be humility. A humble boss understands that there are things he doesn’t know. He listens: not only to the other bigwigs in Davos, but also to the kind of people who don’t get invited, such as his customers”

Related article

What makes a business leader a true global business leader?

https://zestnzen.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/wanted-true-global-business-leaders/

See on www.economist.com

 

Make Yourself a Global Asset


Slogan of the SKOLKOVO Executive MBA (Moscow RUSSIA)

Slogan of the SKOLKOVO Executive MBA (Moscow RUSSIA)

Read “Make Yourself a Global Asset” via Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

In this article, Anna Tavis, head of talent and development at Brown Brothers Harriman champions global experience over education as the key to success in global business.

I agree with her an international executive MBA program is not enough to make you a global executive, the same way that you don’t learn swiming by studying how world champions win a gold medal at the Olympics. You need to get wet and get tough challengers.

You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world more and more connected everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

Do you want an international career and become a global executive?

You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: This is valid for career planning in general but most specifically if you want to win the global talent war you need to plan ahead, learn new languages, get exposed to different cultures via international working assignments. Be prepared to shift every 3 years and chose emerging markets before expats become a commodity in those countries.  No matter how old you are you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and online through many specific forums.

Keep learning in a large variety of topics every day is also key to become a global asset as you need to be highly flexible. Switching job functions from R&D to marketing and operation management is mandatory as much as living in various countries.

Related article: Why White Men Can’t Lead ? (zestnzen.wordpress.com)

See on blogs.hbr.org

Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global


The fast-paced changes of our societies have affected all industries and is changing the nature of work for the next 10 to 15 years. There are three major challenges for the workforce of the future increasing pressures on organizations to become innovation centered, highly productive and a magnet for global talent :

1-Shifting demographic patterns: Over the next 10 years, the world population is expected to rise from the current 6.83 billion to approximately 7.7 billion, with most of the growth in emerging markets generating  high economic growth. We already see an aging and declining population in developed countries with slow economic growth.  U.S. and European businesses are dealing with the challenges of a multi-generational workforce with three distinct generations Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Employers will need to develop highly individualized solutions to accommodate the career needs of each generation. We will not see long careers of 10 or more years in one company but maybe 6 years with either functional or geographic changes every 2 years. The youngest  generation  will probably have 15 to 20 jobs during their career and multiple jobs at the same time because that is what they want to do.

2-Rapid technology changes: From nanotechnologies to neuroscience discoveries, many new technologies will be developed and globalization will continue to drive the utilization of advanced mobile technologies reshaping the workforce with increased telecommuting,  virtual  teams and overall more work flexibility.

3-Economic globalization  In our information overloaded global work environment, knowledge is not a competitive advantage anymore as it goes out of date extremely fast and anybody on earth with an internet connection has access to it in real-time. The critical skills to be successful in the new working environment are vision and  foresight.to anticipate or respond to change very quickly, make wise decisions and take action now to create a better future.

More than a year ago,  I had the chance to listen to Seth Godin “live” in a promotional event in Antwerp about the launch of his book “Linchpin”. I collected about 10 very interesting new ideas from his speech that I posted on a blog : “TOP 10 Seth Godin’s Quotes Made in Antwerp, Belgium. April 1, 2010”

Seth Godin is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. His idea about our current economy is that the current recession is a “forever recession” because it’s the end of the industrial age, which also means The end of the average worker (Read more : article )

Nobody will ever be the only one on the market AND people have an infinite ways to access information. Humans evolved from Hunters, Farmers, Workers and now they have to be Artists-Seth Godin

HOW DO YOU BECOME UNIQUE  ?

1-You don’t need to become somebody you are not. Your uniqueness has to be authentic, you need to know who you really are, what is your dominant character, talent, personality, skills, strengths, what motivates you, what’s your passions in life ? How is your  business acumen and leadership style ? Can you summarize all those information in a compelling story for potential employers or clients?

2-You need to remove blocks that prevent you to excel at being truly you: fears, unmet needs, negative self-talk, lack of training and anything that is holding you back.

3-You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: No matter how old you are, how life has treated you in the past, how much money you have or how many debts, you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. You need to let your right brain expresses emotional intelligence and free the artist in you. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.

BE SOCIAL, BE GLOBAL !

You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world smaller and smaller everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

You cannot claim to be a global leader if you have visited many countries as a tourist. It is like learning swimming in a book, you need to get into the water and get wet .

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and of course online through many specific forums and social media.

Continued learning in a large variety of topics every day will become mandatory.

Where do you see careers heading in 2012 and beyond ?

 Have you invented your future yet ?

Related articles:

What Can We Learn From True Global Leaders ?


Asia

Image via Wikipedia

“To lead the people, walk behind them” -Lao-Tzu

What Fortune 100 global companies like GE based in North-America or French insurance company AXA, have in common ?  Why Apple, Google or 3M are among the most admired companies?

Those among the largest corporations in the world managed to surf on the wave of globalization and continue to grow despite the financial crisis mainly through their developments in emerging markets like in Asia or  Brazil.

They also have  the right  innovation strategy and manage their operations globally across cultures and markets leveraging their global assets.

As Global markets become more competitive and intertwined, companies are trying to standardize and optimize global business processes with  better leverage their global assets and talent pool.

Are You Getting The Full Potential from Your  Employees?

What Do You Do To Grow Your Global Talent Pool ?

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