Global Exposure Is a Must in Doing Business
In an increasingly connected world, world class organizations are looking for a new breed of professionals with a Global Mindset. 21st Century Leadership requires managers who can see things differently and make the right decisions in a global context. To operate effectively internationally requires new set of competencies including global intelligence and intercultural competence. Together these two competencies prepare managers with the ability to appreciate the differences and similarities between cultures and what these mean for business globally.
Gone are the days when a successful leader or manager could do well in his/her career with good analytical and communication skills. In the globalized world of today, though communication and analytical skills are important there is much more critical intelligence that is essential for thriving. A recent report from the World Economic Forum identifies the following as required in a post-Covid era. These include Contextual Intelligence, Ethical and Moral Intelligence, Emotional and Social intelligence, Digital Intelligence, Generative/Innovative Intelligence and Transformative Intelligence. Each of these need to be enhanced, through a continuous exposure to what is happening around the globe. Managers and leaders need to be constantly be aware of things that happen around the world in the backdrop of these critical competencies. This would help them to prioritize and take relevant decisions. They also need to be aware of cultural subtleties and nuances to successfully do business in a global context.
A recent research by Harvard University identified Global Intelligence as a key leadership skill for the 21st century manager. This has been validated by another study conducted at the Cornell University, where three groups of individuals were given the famous Duncker candle problem. One group was people who had a single country experience and exposure, the second group had a two-country exposure and the third group was exposed to multi-country experiences. The results were astounding, the ones who had the multi-country exposure had a much greater percentage of success in solving the cognitive problem in comparison to the other two groups.
Corporations across the world are looking for multi-talented, multi-faceted individuals who bring diverse competencies as above to solve challenging problems in a VUCA world, represented by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. These competencies along with global awareness have become the need of the hour and future oriented business schools conscientiously embed international experiences as part of the curriculum. This is not just about visiting different places. It goes much beyond towards an immersive experience which encompasses dimensions of politics, economics, business and culture of these different countries.
Participants going through such an experience are aware and more open to global challenges and gradually evolve into globally relevant professionals. Fast forward into their careers, when they are exposed to perplexing global challenges, the unique experiences in diverse global environments, enhances their cognitive skills and helps them to connect the dots from divergent perspectives. This unique ability to see problems from a “global bird’s eye view” can be a game changer for the successful manager of the future.