Monday, September 10, 2007

Global Leaders & Ethical Dilemmas

In the practical world of international business, the ability to understand and respect differences is necessarily tied to the ability to reconcile the ethical dilemmas that can result from cultural differences. Business problems can be solved. Dilemmas, on the other hand, need to be reconciled. As long as we manufacture in low wage environments and sell the resulting products in high wage markets, we will be faced with culturally derived ethical dilemmas. So, can one be a global leader without knowing all the answers to cultural dilemmas?

A leader who truly understands and respects the dynamics of cultural differences will quickly become aware that a “global leader” knows – and accepts – that he or she does not have all the answers. This new breed of leader must know how to learn from this or her associates – and they must “learn to learn” in different cultural environments. Each day, the global leader has to ask: Where am I today? Who am I talking to? How can I be most effective here? Getting the right answers to these questions requires a well-honed ability to pick up on all the clues offered by the new international environment. Read more...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Understanding the fine points of cultural differences, BEFORE committing to projects has saved international companies millions. The small investment up front to embrace the dynamics of other societies is key to successful global operations.