Friday, 22. March 2013
The changes in global economics and the growing strength of emerging economies have forced many organizations to become truly global for the first time. We often hear people say that the world has become a smaller place to do business because of the internet and what some would refer to as the age of connectivity. To succeed in this new world, you must first embrace its differences and the multi-cultural environment we now operate in.
When I first took a global role, I had no shortage of people who wanted to advise me on how to be successful with most telling me about the differences I would find, the things I should be weary of and the challenges I would face. All of these things are true, but what I have found is to be successful you must find the things that draw you together and not concentrate too heavily those that push you apart. I have worked for a Japanese company for the past 23 years and during that time have learned a lot about the values and etiquette that come from the Japanese culture. There are things that are different to a western society most notably in the west we tend to trust nobody until they earn trust – in a Japanese culture it is typically the opposite – you are afforded trust and respect from the start but if lost it is difficult to regain.
What I have found consistent the world over is that we all have similar core values. In the many countries I have done business, I have found the values of integrity, trust and respect are a common set of attributes which bind us together. So my advice is not to be afraid of global business, make sure you respect the customs and traditions of the countries you wish to do business in, but most importantly concentrate on the common attributes which connect us and the core values we all respect.
Last but not least, remember that we all want to enjoy what we do – people want to do business with people they like, so the most important thing to remember is to take your sense of humor with you and have fun!
Paul Warburton is the Global Account Director and Head of the Automotive sector at Fujitsu with the responsibility of leading both global account teams and the service-led strategy. He also serves as an executive member of Fujitsu’s Global Automotive Business Community, actively participates in Fujitsu’s Future Leaders Training and is a two-year Advisory Board Member of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT).