As promised in my previous post, here are some of my ideas on how to help employees develop global mindset.
But let’s define what, in fact, we are trying to achieve when we talk about global mindset. For me “global” does not only mean “geographically diverse”, it rather means open to the fact that there might be other ideas and many of them are not better or worse, they are just different. We can take this definition from the Financial Times Lexicon
We would define global mindset as one that combines an openness to and awareness of diversity across cultures and markets with a propensity and ability to see common patterns across countries and markets.
and think of how we can build step to help our leaders develop international mindset.
Let’s put on paper the most obvious approaches first:
International assignments – great way to develop global mindset, provided there is a good support around the programme (I wrote about it earlier)
Working with international managers – you cannot always take all your employees on assignments, but you can bring an assignee to them.
International meetings and conferences within one company – a good solution to start exchange of ideas and create exposure to different ways of doing things.
Studies at international business schools with diverse student bodies – a great, but fairly expensive way to expose your leaders to different ways of thinking and case studies from different industries.
Participation in international industry or functional conferences – a slightly cheaper way of exposing your leaders to diverse ideas. As in case with business schools, a great care should be applied to checking the reputation of such events.
And now, what else can we do, if the budget is tight? What if we…
Encourage our leaders to form cross-functional teams to bring in different perspectives;
Encourage cross-functional stints for our leaders – this will give them an opportunity to look at their own function or department from “outside” and hopefully pick up some new ways of working;
Think outside the box and second our leaders to work at our suppliers or our clients – this will definitely challenge the ways they think of resolving every day issues.
What else would you add to the list?