Having a global mindset is one of the most critical skills to have in today’s business world, for both employees and organizations. Think about it: the world is so interconnected. Gone are the days when your local context is all that matters. We’re all affected by world events whether we like it or not. That’s why it’s crucial to break out of a local mindset into a global one.
Having worked with global organisations for close on two decades, thinking in terms of the wider global perspective comes naturally to me. It’s a skill one develops either through experience or deliberate action, and one I encourage everyone to embrace whether they work for a company that only operates locally or not.
There’s a distinct difference between how employees who have only worked locally versus those who have been exposed to regional or global projects and teams approach their roles. It affects everything from engaging with colleagues to innovation. Besides a broader knowledge base, those who have been in regional or global roles have valuable knowledge working across countries, cultures and navigating all the complexity this brings on every level from communications to R&D. They’re more open to risks and using products, technologies and resources from anywhere in the world. The world is really a small place when you’ve been exposed to thinking beyond your immediate consumer base and location.
So, what is a global mindset? Harvard Business describes it as follows:
Intellectual capital: Global business savvy, cognitive complexity, cosmopolitan outlook.
Psychological capital: Passion for diversity, quest for adventure, self-assurance.
Social capital: Intercultural empathy, interpersonal impact, diplomacy.
The benefits are obvious, so how do you develop a global mindset especially if you’re not in a regional or global role? According to Training Industry there are 5 ways to develop a global mindset:
- Recognize your cultural values and biases
- Get to know your personality traits, especially curiosity
- Learn about the workplace and business expectations of relevant countries and markets
- Build strong intercultural relationships
- Develop strategies to adjust and flex your style
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I’ve read many articles around cultural exposure and inclusion to developing a global mindset, but for me a global mindset that truly sets you apart from your peers is far more than interpersonal relationships. It’s about opening your mind to exploring what the world has to offer, and the best place to start is the web. Put it into practice. The next time you’re tasked with problem solving, strategy, research, innovation or thinking up ideas for your next team bonding experience – anything really – take to Google to find out what other countries, markets and overseas companies are doing. Explore all available technologies and deliberately think global.
Good luck! Sandy