Technology has connected the world in ways that could have been scarcely imagined decades ago, so it is not hyperbole to say that even the smallest businesses can make a global impact. CIOs and other IT leaders must embrace this globalization to make the best of its opportunities. In an article for CIO magazine, John Edwards (probably not the disgraced senator or the generally disgraceful TV psychic) shares five steps to be a better global leader:
- Understand the challenge.
- Polish your communications.
- Familiarize yourself with local business and IT practices.
- Become an international collaborator.
- Embrace change and reject fear.
The Earthly Embrace
Each country has its own culture and values, some of which directly clash in ways with those of other countries. Finding a strategy to work that agrees with the values of everyone involved is your big challenge. Toward that end, do your own research on these cultures, and also find a peer in that local market who can mentor you toward a better understanding of cultures. When you pair this new knowledge with a healthy dose of empathy, you will be equipped to find effective working strategies.
Speaking of empathy, be mindful of your international audience by being simple and direct in your communications. Leave out the jargon or the region-specific idioms and metaphors. Just say exactly what you mean.
Edwards further adds this about familiarizing yourself with local business and IT practices:
“American IT practices that are team-based with open communication across divisions may face challenges in hierarchical cultures such as India, Mexico or France where team members are used to a top-down management style,” [Annalisa Nash Fernandez, intercultural strategist,] warns. Conversely, the explicit communication styles favored by U.S., Canadian and many Western European leaders may seem condescending or overly simplistic to team members in Asian countries that favor a more nuanced, context-based communication style. “Teamwork and consensus is in the DNA of the highly collectivist cultures of Asia, although this may be confusing to project managers in Japan, which is both hierarchical in terms of management style but consensual in terms of decision-making,” Fernandez adds.
Edwards also adds that, when possible, you should try to hold social events that make it possible to physically see your international collaborators. It is a powerful thing if you can become as bosom-buddy with these distant collaborators as you are with your local team.
For additional thoughts on these steps, you can view the original article here: https://www.cio.com/article/3244625/leadership-management/5-steps-to-becoming-a-global-it-leader.html