Creative Solutions for International Challenges
The international arena is new terrain for many managers, but it contains the lifeblood for many organizations that are ready to tap new sources for economic prosperity. Managing successfully across vast distances, cultural gaps and political differences requires specific abilities, and the authors, members of the award-winning Center for Creative Leadership, present the essential skills that can help global managers do it. By documenting the scope, scale and layers of global complexity, the authors help managers see the complexity in their own lives and operate more effectively when dealing with tough challenges.
The authors write that the "greatest obstacle to global effectiveness is a shortage of people who are prepared to manage and thrive in this new business paradigm." Global experience is a crucial asset for managers, and gathering that experience is not particularly a classroom experience. To provide managers with the knowledge they need to work effectively in an international environment, the authors sought the help of 211 local and global managers who work for four major multinational corporations. Each manager provided answers to nearly a thousand questions on a survey whose results comprise the bulk of this book. The rest of the text is drawn from several other pertinent studies and reports from other experts in the field of global management.
To deliver the skills that global managers need, the authors focus on understanding them by using real case studies, fictional characters who are undergoing the changes that will help them function in a new global domain, and context information that makes understanding the complexity of international management easier. The book focuses on what global managers must do, and what they need to know. The concept of effectiveness is also hashed out, and ways for managers and bosses to rate effectiveness are discussed.
Essential Managerial Capabilities
Every global manager needs certain essential managerial capabilities, and the authors present five that are necessary for local and global managers alike. They are:
- The ability to manage people. This skill includes motivating people to do the best job they can do, and moving them toward accomplishing organizational goals.
- The ability to manage action. This skill includes decision making, negotiation and conflict management.
- The ability to manage information. This ability includes monitoring information, keeping track of it, serving as an external spokesperson for the organization, and communicating information throughout the organization.
- The ability to cope with pressure. Long hours, integrating vast sums of information, performing work on the run, and long hours traveling away from family and friends can create obstacles to a healthy lifestyle and effective management.
- A core business knowledge. Understand how the organization works locally and globally with customers, vendors and suppliers.
To help managers understand how to modify their behavior in response to the demands of global work, the authors present three tools:
- Geographic distance. Technology makes global management possible, and faxes, the Internet, PCs, and Palm Pilots help managers work simultaneously across multiple time zones, country borders and cultures.
- Country infrastructure. A country's culturally determined relationships between financial institutions, businesses and the government determine business practices and laws, which greatly influence an organization.
- Cultural expectations. Understanding people as a society takes looking deeply at tacit norms, rules and expectations that influence behavior, generational groupings, and ethnic identification.
Adaptation Skills for New Situations
After describing the pivotal capabilities of the successful global manager, including the skills, knowledge and motivation that are necessary to succeed, the authors describe how managers must adapt and change as situations demand. On the way, they show managers how they can integrate who they are, what they know and available experiences to develop better global skills. The authors write, because there are so few organizational resources available for this development, managers must take responsibility for their own progress, and work to develop the next generation of global managers.
Why Soundview Likes This Book
Success for the New Global Manager succeeds in providing pertinent lessons and guidance for those who are entering the world of international management because it balances the nuts and bolts of a resource book and the case studies of an academic workbook. Along with clear examples of organizational and cultural integration and adaptability, the authors have compiled several appendices that lend support to their mission of creating a smoother transition between the local level and the global level for managers.