Global Smarts: The Art of Communicating and Deal Making Anywhere in the World

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Wiley, Apr 18, 2000 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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Global Smarts It may not surprise you to learn that seventy percent of cross-border joint ventures fail within the first three years. But did you know that the reason most commonly cited by transnational executives for this phenomenal failure rate isn't geopolitics, global competition, or economic volatility, but culture clash? As one frustrated transnational manager quipped, "How are you supposed to get all your ducks in a row when half of them think they're turtles?" Why, despite the vast sums spent each year on cross-cultural executive training, do so many well-laid business plans continue to fall apart under the strain of cultural differences? Author Sheida Hodge finds the answer in the training itself, which typically focuses on "the ten percent of the iceberg above the surface-how to bow or shake hands, whether to cross your legs, what gestures to use." Much more dangerous is "the ninety percent of the iceberg that is under water"-the deep-seated cultural values on which unsuspecting executives routinely founder. In this book, as in her world-renowned training courses and seminars. Hodge departs from the common practice of drilling readers in the do's and don'ts of doing business in various cultures. She concentrates instead on helping you build cross-cultural competence by acquainting you with the basic values, beliefs, and biases that inform the business styles in most Asian, Latin American, and European cultures. Rather than simply offering tips on how to eat and what colors to wear-which do appear, in abundance, throughout the book-she coaches you in a proven set of strategies and skills that will enable you to successfully navigate the people dimension of doing business virtually anywhere in the world. For Hodge, learning to see past one's own cultural hobbyhorses-while avoiding getting trampled by everyone else's-is the first big step toward succeeding in global business. Thus, most of her discussions of specific cultural differences start by exploring values and business practices that seem "natural" to North Americans, and go on to show how they differ from values and practices in other cultures. To better illustrate her points, she has included anecdotes throughout told by managers from North America and around the world that provide vivid, sometimes hilarious, object lessons in how minor cultural frictions and misunderstandings can mushroom into major business disasters. A complete guide to building solid cross-border business relationships, Global Smarts is must reading for all managers and entrepreneurs in today's global business world.

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Contents

Developing a WorldBased Perspective
9
What Is Culture?
27
Key Cultural Contrast
35
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

SHEIDA HODGE is President of Professional Training Worldwide, a management consulting and training organization specializing in cross-cultural business relations. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Sprint, Boeing, and Motorola. She is also an international business owner and a former manager of international business development for General Electric Company. Hodge holds an MBA and has taught courses at the Thunderbird International School of Management and continues to teach at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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