Never before has the world been so connected. Within the last few decades, technology such as telephones, airplanes and the Internet have allowed us to transport ourselves, and our ideas to places that were unimaginable only a couple generations ago. This technology paired with changing demographics and economies are opening doors where there were only windows.
The United States is thought of as a saturated market. We all have basic machines, household goods, technological devices, etc. and are only upgrading what we currently own. We’re relatively set on existing products and services, and only those extremely innovative and differentiated new products are successful here because of currently abundant substitutes, existing rivalries, etc. However, the U.S. is only one of about 200 countries, and represents less than five per cent of the world’s population. As a business, if you are only selling your product or service in the U.S., you are only accessing 5% of potential clients. If you are only hiring from within the U.S., you are only accessing 5% of potential talent. If you are manufacturing within the U.S., you are only accessing 5% of resources, best practices and other knowledge resources. A saturated 5% of the total pie is reason enough to explore the world of possibilities. The task is utilizing these trends for the benefit of your organization.
Attending Nina E. Woodard’s seminar on ‘Developing a Global Mindset’ was extremely insightful and inspiring. Developing a global mindset is about being open to international possibilities. It’s not about speaking the language fluently, but about listening, seeking understanding and making an effort. It’s about not taking things at face value but probing for meaning. It’s about interpersonal skills, creating relationships, and being honest, truthful and respectful. It’s about not imposing your ideas and processes onto others but working together, in ways that are mutually beneficial to all parties involved to get the end result accomplished. Anyone can develop a global mindset for their company, no matter their position.
People are often overwhelmed about crossing international boundaries because they are apprehensive about legal restrictions, trade barriers, language, exporting, shipping, payments, etc. These unknowns are not walls blocking a path to international success, they’re simply questions to be asked. Only by asking the questions can we prepare ourselves to move forward. Having a global mindset is not about merely operating in many countries. By thinking globally, organizations can acquire talent with diverse skills, cultural backgrounds, and language capabilities bringing more value to the organization. You can access ideas and capital unavailable or unattainable in your current market. Developing a global mindset is more than the sum of having these parts. The success of your organization depends on understanding and interpreting events in markets from around the world and applying in terms of your strengths and opportunities. Having a global mindset can open a world of possibilities.
International Relations Office