5 Critical Areas to Begin Focusing on Now
• How to develop strategies that can’t lose. Being able to evaluate opportunities and threats around the world has to be a fundamental skill and one that is exercised regularly. This is because political, economic, and social issues are different and they change. How different are they? How about new regulations that appear without notice; judicial systems that do not administer justice; economic systems that can’t support the needs of operations, workers, or goods; and social cultural systems that condone corruption.• Managing and motivating employees from different backgrounds. There is a good chance that Employee A from Country A won’t be motivated by the same things as Employee B from Country B. In part, this can be cultural, for example, pitting employee against employee may inspire the competitive spirit in Americans,but contests for individual supremacy can be culturally offensive for many others. Or, it may be regulatory. In the United States, it’s relatively simple to terminate an underperforming employee. In many countries, it will cost a fortune and even require external approvals.• Traditional decisions on the 4Ps are being turned on their head. American managers have always preferred to build innovative/different products overproducts that are the lowest cost. But, this option will often be unavailable in the newest attractive markets. Besides competing on cost, there is the challenge of getting paid without credit. How do you promote products to people who read at a basic level, or in countries where there are many official languages? How can products be delivered on time when roads are primitive and airports inadequate?• Reading financial statements. What if financial data is unreliable due to cultural inclinations, political machinations, or manual reporting systems? Gone are the days of blindly valuing what comes in black and white.• A strong moral compass. Operating within unfamiliar, unpredictable places can make it challenging to distinguish the gold mines from the land mines. Some cultures will see bribery, the concealment of data, and quality shortcuts as business as usual. Today’s leaders know that a strong moral compass is the only reliable navigator of behaviors and decisions.