Working GlobeSmart

Gundling, Ernest
December 2005
Working GlobeSmart - Business Book Summaries;2005, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
Anyone who crosses a national or cultural boundary when doing business faces a common set of hazards. Differences in language, social customs, and business styles add further complexity to already-complicated transactions. The inability to relate and cooperate across organizational lines, with counterparts from other countries and cultures, is one of the main causes of problems in global business negotiations. With the expansion of the global business environment, having interpersonal skills attuned to cultural differences is no longer simply a matter of proper business etiquette, but a critical competitive advantage. Working GlobeSmart is about global leadership and the creation of a corporate culture of engagement with people from around the world. The 12 people skills that form the basis of this book can be divided into three levels: interpersonal, group, and organizational skills. By embracing these skills in their global careers, managers and executives can avoid frustration and realize important business opportunities that may otherwise be missed. Disseminating the 12 skills throughout an organization can cultivate people skills on a broad cross-cultural scale. People skills are related to culture, a set of customs, attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions. Gundling approaches culture as a three-part model centering on core values, cultural dimensions, and global people skills. In a cross-border context, core values such as trust, respect, listening, observation, empathy, flexibility, informed judgment, and persistence, are the foundations for positive multi-cultural teamwork. It is useful for those who work across borders to be aware of these core values and how various dimensions of culture can affect each value. According to Gundling, those who comprehend the 12 global people skills will be truly "GlobeSmart". Cross-border business is usually most successful where people can combine personal values and behaviors that translate well between cultures. These people are considered global citizens with values that create seamless cooperation across organizational lines between nations, ethnic groups, customers, and corporate business units.


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