Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ireland Rolls the Dice on Financial Bailout

Ireland has launched a full-scale rescue of its financial system, issuing a state guarantee worth €400bn (£316bn) to cover the key liabilities of its biggest banks and mortgage lenders.

The Irish government guaranteed all deposits and debts of the country's major banks, one day after the Irish stock market plummeted 13%, nearly twice the decline of the Dow Jones industrials according to the LA Times

"We have to create confidence," Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said on RTE Radio, according to Bloomberg News. "We can't bail out a particular bank. That wouldn't be right. What we have decided to do is give a general guarantee that the banks can lend in security and safety."

According to the Guardian newspaper, "desperation can sometimes engender inspiration. During Monday night, the Irish government was facing the potential collapse of the Republic's banking system. Shares in Anglo Irish Bank had lost half their value in a single session, with similar sharp falls in other publicly listed Irish banks. Real concerns about the stability of Ireland's banking system – prompting a signal from the government a week earlier that it would "intervene" in the event of a bank collapse (Irish Times) – that had been percolating for months finally boiled over.

The goal is to jumpstart international confidence in Irish banks, to help unfreeze interbank money markets and give potential lenders confidence based on the Irish government's guarantee.

Domestic reactions to the bailout scheme were broadly positive. Although there were warning voices about the enormous risk potentially being taken on by the state – the €400bn commitment is more than twice Ireland's GDP and nearly 10 times its entire national debt – and critics on the left demanded that the Irish taxpayer be compensated for the risk with an equity stake in the institutions.

Other observers put the deal in its dramatic historical context, comparing it to the Irish decisions – also born of desperation – to open up its economy, slash taxes and grab foreign investment, that led to the Celtic Tiger phenomenon of supercharged Irish economic growth in the 1990s through the early part of this decade.

But for a government that seemed impotent and paralysed in the wake of the defeat of the Lisbon European reform treaty referendum in June, the radical action has proven to most Irish observers that their government – unlike most others in the western world – is willing to try whatever it takes to get through this crisis."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Corporate Global Mindset poses the following questions:
Why are some companies highly successful in spotting and exploiting global opportunities, while others mismanage them or miss them entirely? The answer could lie in the company’s mindset, a topical subject currently doing the rounds at numerous executive education seminars. The term corporate mindset refers to how the company sees the world and how this affects its actions.

For companies operating on a global scale, developing a global corporate mindset presents a formidable managerial challenge. The corporate mindset determines to what extent management encourages and values cultural diversity, while simultaneously maintaining a certain degree of strategic cohesion. Developing a global corporate mindset and a group of global managers as its main flag bearers has become a key prerequisite for successfully competing and growing in worldwide markets.

Think Globally, Act Locally

""Think globally but act locally" sounds nice", says an article in the Washington Post, "but most people think and act locally, and short term to boot. This is why efforts to conserve resources and energy, reduce pollution, and decrease carbon dioxide emissions remain fragmentary and marginal. The scale and complexity of the problem are enormous. Most of the world's societies, including ours, resist acknowledging the problem and refuse to seriously tackle it."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Future World class Economies

From the archives of

"The Philippines now rivals India for BPO investment and leads Southeast Asia in call center growth. Vietnam successfully competes against both China and India for software development centers and pharmaceutical facilities. Bangladesh is pulling light industry out of India and China, and Turkey is beating out Eastern Europe for auto assembly.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Turkey are part of the "N-11," the Next Eleven, a designation developed by Goldman Sachs in 2005 to identify a group of developing countries with the demographics and economic capability to become major economies and potential rivals to the "BRIC" nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China). In addition to the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Turkey, the N-11 includes Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Relocating to find a new job

From MSN Careers with Career

In an ideal job market, you would find the job of your dreams right under your nose. You'd have a hefty paycheck, great benefits and flexibility, and you'd wake up every day loving the work you do.

The reality is you'll probably spend several weeks -- even months -- scouring the Internet and chasing job leads just to find a few openings worth pursuing. Even after all of your efforts, the jobs you find may fall short of meeting all of the criteria to be the right opportunity for you.

People in such situations may never come across their dream job because they've limited themselves in the job market. They've narrowed their search to local job openings and have no idea that their dream job is actually in another city or state.

Many people, however, would be willing to pursue those opportunities if they were aware of them. According to a study from and, conducted by Harris Interactive, 59 percent of employees say they'd be willing to relocate to another city for a new job and 44 percent say they'd be willing to relocate to another state, province or region for a new job.

"Depending on your career goals and where you live now, your best chance of finding work and achieving a rewarding career may be in another city or town," says Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, co-authors of "Today's Hot Job Targets."

They warn, however, that relocating for a job isn't the best option for everyone. In their book, they encourage people to consider five factors before making the decision to relocate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

International Travel: Good for Children

Rebecca Ruiz at says: "Parents have been sending their children abroad for education and culture since at least the advent of the Grand Tour in the 15th century. At that time, young men from aristocratic families spent months traveling Europe with the aim of learning about music, classical history, languages and art, among other subjects.

Times have changed and now kids have countless demands on their time, from SAT-prep courses to playing the latest Wii game. But that doesn't mean parents should give up on turning their son or daughter into a world traveler. Even by taking one trip abroad each year, parents can instill in their children an appreciation for languages, food, history and cultural traditions.

The New Generation Gap - and Retention

I ( just saw this on "WorldatWork:

August 28, 2008 –– With four generations of employees that are as different as LPs are from iPods, companies need to do a better job of identifying and utilizing the varied skills available to them under the same roof. A recent study has found that almost 70% of companies don’t have programs in place to deal with the four different generations currently in the workforce.

The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) study found that a third of the companies say that generational issues are not important or only somewhat important in their organizations. Additionally, a full eight out of 10 companies devote less than 5% of their learning and development budget to the issue.

"With four distinct groups at work, building relationships that cross generational gaps is important to a cohesive culture," says Jay Jamrog, i4cp's SVP of research. "If you want to be a preferred employer with the ability to attract, retain and engage top-flight workers, it makes sense to be keenly aware of the beliefs, attitudes and values of your workforce, no matter how diverse it is."

Of the organizations that do have generational initiatives in place, most cited the inclusion of training and/or educational programs, flexible work arrangements and overall issue awareness. When asked what the specific focus of their generational initiatives was, 59% of respondents pointed to awareness, a measure that jumps to 67% for companies with more than 10,000 employees. 47% overall said they look at differences beyond the generational issue (other diversity issues), and 45% utilize tools for promoting better interaction.

To gauge the effectiveness of generational initiatives, 33% of organizations track the impact on retention, 28% measure impact on engagement, and 26% look at individual performance/productivity. 43%, however, admit their organizations do not measure the effectiveness of these initiatives. Furthermore, even though companies say they do measure retention and engagement after an initiative, 72% don't know if retention rates increased in correlation to the initiative and 64% don’t know if the initiative is responsible for improved employee engagement.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Global Thinking! delivers the biggest foreign buy-out in China

Peter Galuzka reports that Coke is “it” in China. The soft drink maker was part of a group of 12 international companies that put up $1 billion to become official “sponsors” of the just-ended Beijing Summer Olympics.

Apparently, those bucks generated more fizz for Coca-Cola which is on track to make the biggest foreign buyout ever in China — that of juice maker China Huiyuan. According to CNN "China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited is one of the leading companies in the Chinese juice beverages market. The company generated total sales of approximately RMB2.7 billion (approximately EUR270 million) in 2007".

Chinese government officials still need to approve the all-cash dea,l valued at $2.5 billion. But it seems obvious that Coke’s handling of the Olympics is about to earn it a gold medal.

The juice deal will give Coke a better market position as it battles arch-rival PepsiCo. in the Middle Kingdom. China is Coke’s No. 4 market and is increasingly important as domestic U.S. sales have been rather flat.

Business observers have been watching closely how companies played the Olympics for marketing tips. It looks like Coke might be a great example.

Olympic corporate sponsors included Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Visa, Atos Origin, Samsung, Omega and Manulife. All bet that their prominent exposure to more than a billion potential Chinese customers will make a positive impression and win market share. Keogh & Associates Consulting, LLC helps multinational companies develop the international talent needed to win Olympic Gold in a global economy.

Global Mindset and Inclusion of students with disabilities

The following is from Jim Fennell, a Staff Sports Writer at the Union Leader of New Hampshire.

"Including Samuel" is the personal journey of Dan Habib and his family -- his wife, Betsy McNamara, and two sons, Isaiah and Samuel -- told over four years. At the heart of the story is the family's support of Samuel, who has a rare form of cerebral palsy, a disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to control the body's muscles. It's about their efforts to make him part of educational and recreational activities open to kids without physical or emotional disabilities.

The film tells not only the story of Samuel, but also of four other people with disabilities. There is a balance between the positive and negative aspects of inclusion that reveals Habib's journalistic background. Some of the greatest advocates to emerge from the film are the students without disabilities whom Habib interviews.

"I really want every school to be welcoming to all kids," he said. "It's all about problem solving. It's about saying this is a value that we embrace, that we want our school to have the diversity of kids of all abilities. I honestly believe that's part of the natural diversity of our society, but a lot of schools are challenged by that, so you have to get together and say how do we do this well".

Simply stated, Including Samuel is a must see…for anyone who wants to develop a "Global Mindset" and wants and/or needs an in-depth look into the concept, current practice and real-life experience of inclusion and integration for those with disabilities. “Sometimes students with disabilities are the low-hanging fruit. They’re the ones that people pick on and say ‘they’re too expensive.” Some children are going to require more resources to learn than other children. And that is part of America. And that is where it becomes a civil rights issue. ” (Jan Nisbet, director of the UNH institute, cited in Business Week)

So readers, how do you feel about “inclusion”—is it the next civil rights issue and does it relate to having a "Global Mindset"?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doing Business in Sao Paulo

At Keogh & Associates we know that sometimes the success of an international deal depends just as much on how you manage your time as on the content of the contract. The Economist has rounded up practical etiquette tips to help managers headed to Sao Paulo (and other cities) make the right impression. Here is a sampling from the Economist blog:

"Despite its many woes, São Paulo remains the business hub of Latin America. Having prospered first with coffee and then with industrialisation, it is now reinventing itself in the services sector. Its huge market (nearly 20m people in greater São Paulo) is a magnet for multinationals. The city claims to attract more visitors (mostly, but no longer exclusively, on business) than Rio; bearing in mind the intense rivalry between the two cities, this must prove deeply satisfying. If you are one of those heading to São Paulo, here are some things to be aware of (part of a series).

• Local business-people tend to be fairly laid-back. There are few unexpected taboos that you should fear transgressing.

• One exception though: avoid putting your briefcase or handbag on the ground (local superstition holds that your money may run away). Restaurants sometimes provide hooks or clips to help.

• It is always best to arrive at a business meeting in a suit, but sometimes even investment bankers wear “smart casuals” in the office.

• In this workaholic city, don’t be surprised if meetings are scheduled after 6pm. Brazilians talk about “pontualidade britânica” (British punctuality), which means turning up on the dot. But you should neither give nor take great offence if you or others arrive a little late. Bad traffic is usually the excuse.

• Business contacts tend to speak English, often fluently. But locals will appreciate even clumsy attempts to chat in Portuguese. (Remember “Bom dia”, “Boa tarde” and “Boa noite” for “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” and “Good evening”.) Do not assume that people will speak Spanish.

• Poor plumbing originally led Brazilians to dispose of toilet paper (papel) in the bin (lixo) rather than the toilet bowl. Though pipes have improved in newer buildings, the habit persists. You may be asked to follow this practice".

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain: using a "global perspective"?

At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska's relatively brief history as a state. She's also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.

This is due partly to her personal qualities. When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness. Two years later, when she won the "Miss Wasilla" beauty pageant, she was also voted "Miss Congeniality" by the other contestants.

Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is still drop dead gorgeous. And smart to boot, a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party. Track, her eldest son, enlisted in the Army last Sept. 11. She's a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes and runs marathons. A regular churchgoer, she's staunchly pro-life. She believes in marriage between a man and a woman but was quick to offer benefits to same-sex couples in her native state.

"The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah," pollster Dave Dittman told the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes. Her husband is a commercial fisherman and union member (steelworkers); she used to be a union member.

I know it's a broad interpretation of "global perspective" but I think the term is apt for McCain's approach to his choice for VP.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here is some useful insight from Frank Brown, the dean of INSEAD, a leading international business school with campuses in Europe and Asia that supports the need for a global perspective which is a core concept at Keogh & Associates Consulting, LLC:
"As our economy becomes more global, the need for corporations to develop leaders who can navigate risk, expand into new markets and operate with an international perspective has never been more apparent. Corner offices will increasingly be filled with leaders from all over the world, and the DNA of management will change to reflect the type of transcultural leadership that has proven to drive lasting results for corporations". Read more at Chief Executive Magazine.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An intuitive "sense of the world"?

Political commentators speak of Barak Obama’s “intuitive sense of the world” and that his “personal identity” is more important than “experience and expertise”. This relates to his "global mindset": according to the Boston Globe his biography is extraordinary: “he is the biracial son of a father from Kenya and a mother who had him at 18; that he was raised in the dynamic, multi-ethnic cultures of Hawaii and Indonesia; that he went from being president of the Harvard Law Review to the gritty and often thankless work of community organizing in Chicago; that, at 46, he would be the first post-baby-boom president”. He has engaged in "a search for identity" and taken "a roots pilgrimage to Kenya,"These comments lead me to investigate the extent of Obama’s experience with foreign cultures. Obviously, orchestrated political visits do not always contribute much to knowledge of cultural differences. However, since 2005 Obama seems to have visited the following countries: Moscow, Kiev, Baku, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Djibouti, and Chad.I am somewhat surprised to see that he has not been to Europe or to Latin America. It seems to me that in order to be a leader on today's world stage one would need the robust quality of "global effectiveness" which unfortunately, is so often lacking in our political leaders.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Global Mindset as New Managerial Paradigm

As our Presidential candidates in the US undertake international travel to convince us of their global understanding, I came across a useful description of a global mindset at the William F. Glavin Center for Global Management at Babson College.

"the global mindset is defined as a state of mind able to understand a business, an industry sector, or a particular market on a global basis. The executive with a global mindset has the ability to see across multiple territories and focuses on commonalities across many markets rather than emphasizing the differences among countries. Companies which find themselves engulfed by extensive global pressures will need to acquire a large pool of executives who possess a global mindset and who are able to view business opportunities from a global perspective. Part of this global mindset is an entire set of new and different analytical tools that would not be needed by the previous domestic or multinational mindset. New strategies, resulting from responding to new market opportunities, are another part of this toolkit. This global perspective differs substantially from the more traditional single-country, or domestic, and multinational perspective so much more typical today".

The description is from: "Managing with a Global Mindset" by Jean-Pierre Jeannet.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Busiess Judgment

One of the by-products of cultural awareness is an improvement in our ability to make sound judgements. When we become aware of the biases that sway us and realize that they are derived from our cultural background, our language and our nationality we are well on the way to being culturally aware. The best way to overcome our cultural biases is to travel, to stay for an extended period in another country and to learn another language. The more we are exposed to different points of view the more able we will be to :judge" right from wrong. Indeed, we may learn that culture presents us with more "dilemmas" than "problems." Dilemmas need to be reconciled, not resolved.
The ability to make good judgments yields high returns in global business. It is a vital ability which is not necessarily learned in business school. A good marketer needs to be able to consider things from the perspective of other people. So too, global managers need to be able to make judgements through the eyes of other people and their cultures.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Marketing in Asia

Here is an insight on brand mindset gleaned from Knowledge@Wharton: Western companies looking to do business in Asia, especially in China, don't always confront a homogenous market, and the ways that consumers make decisions about what to buy aren't always predictable, according to a group of marketing experts who spoke at the 2007 Wharton Asia Business Forum. Like developed-world consumers, many urban Chinese people are technologically savvy and comfortable seeking product information on the web. But unlike them, they don't typically show brand loyalty and are often more motivated by price than perceptions of product quality or prestige.

Consumers in China and other fast-developing Asian countries tend to be less attracted to luxury brands than their Western counterparts. Partly, that's simply a matter of economics. Although many of them are experiencing a significant rise in their standard of living, they are still relatively poor compared with people in the developed world.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Here is an interesting note on culture from Dvorak Uncensored:

As part of efforts to transform Abu Dhabi into the cultural lodestone of the Middle East and expand libraries there, the emirate’s Authority for Culture and Heritage has chosen the first 100 books to be translated into Arabic under a new program.

Among them are Alan Greenspan’s memoir, “The Age of Turbulence,” John Maynard Keynes’s “General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” and Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom.” The goal is to translate 100 titles every year.

The authority, known as Adach, has formed a nonprofit organization called Kalima, which is Arabic for “word,” to undertake the translations and expand Arabic-language publishing in the United Arab Emirates…

The first 100 titles draw from history, science and fiction; Kalima is still securing the rights to most of them. More than half were originally written in English, and they include a Pulitzer Prize winner, “The Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright, which examines the origins of Al Qaeda, as well as the best-seller, “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini. Classics in the first group of books to be translated include Milton’s “Paradise Regained.” A number of works by Jewish writers are on the list, including “Collected Stories” by the Nobel Prize recipient Isaac Bashevis Singer…

“Good books are like penicillin,” said Jumaa Abdulla Alqubaisi. “They fight against hate, segregation and misunderstanding.”