An executive for one of our clients recently remarked that while they had become an international company, they realized they were not yet a “global” company. This realization became the motivation for them to seek Inter-Cultural Intelligence coaching from KnowledgeWorkx. He hit the nail on the head as he recognized the tensions that our inter-culturally complex world places on the core businesses and cultures of international or multi-national companies.
For better or worse, these tensions must be faced sooner or later. If we look at the scale or growth of a company, we can quite easily chart a progression that indicates different levels of "geographic reach”: let’s say, local, regional, national and international. But what does this executive mean, and what do we mean, when we say “global”? This is a leap of a different sort. It is a leap marked by adaptability and different types of competencies that allow you to thrive in today's world.
Let’s first look at what it can mean to be International. In many cases, it means very little in today’s world. It could simply mean that a company has the capability to sell its products or services into all sorts of markets around the world. Perhaps there is only one administrative head-quarters, but due to the wonder of the internet, the company nevertheless garners a number of sales from a number of countries; they have duly gained business, orders, or customers in different geographies. On the other hand, it could refer to a company that has offices, properties or employees physically located in a number of geographies around the world.
Either way, international companies tend to operate in certain set ways; they have never really changed their processes and procedures; they haven't really considered what types of competencies their people need to have in order to be a global company. If you want to be, not just international, but global, then a lot of things have to change — core things that you thought you had to cling onto.
Transform your company's DNA into global DNA
We have found that the ICI Framework is critically important to this process. If you have representation in over 50 countries across the world, how do you make sure that the way you are represented truly reflects who you are, who you want to be. …but at the same time it is respective or reflective of the local culture in a way that allows you to build relationships and gain clients from that culture? We use the “Six 'C' Model" to facilitate this transformational process. The "Six 'C' Model" helps us ask the right questions, and we will look at this model more closely in another article.
Our tools also include corporate culture analysis and a unique and proven inter-cultural methodology. We can take you through a comprehensive and exhaustive alignment process to make sure that your company’s core is both solidly defined, and also transferable to other geographies and cultures. Your goal will be for your company's core behavior, or the behavioral charter of your business, to help your company to live out your corporate values; that living them out is something you and your colleagues can do anywhere in the world, without compromise.
The process starts with an examination of the core of your business and the culture of your business. When people think of the core of their company they often think of their stated values and the definitions they give to those values. But these are not necessarily the core. The core is behaviour -- the day to day behavior that employees display. That raises an important question: "how transferable is the behaviour that my employees display; how transferable is that to other geographies?
KnowledgeWorkx typically starts with behavior as it helps companies navigate this transformational process. Is your DNA, from a behavioral point of view, global enough? The next article in this series will examine five steps of the transformational process.
So, how global is your company’s DNA? And how equipped is your head office team to actually drive a transformation of your DNA – from that of a local, to a regional, to a national, to an international, to that of a truly global firm? In the next chapter we will look at five steps that facilitate the journey. Let us take this epic journey with you.
Contact us to learn more about how KnowledgeWorkx can help you develop Inter-Cultural Intelligence in your organization. You can also start your culture learning journey from our mini-ebook: Inter-Cultural Intelligence: from surviving to thriving in the global space.