• Tips for Entrepreneurs

Mansour Javidan + Jennie Walker's 9 Steps for Thinking Globally

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Founder and Publisher
Be Inkandescent magazine

When it comes to thinking globally, Mansour Javidan gets right to the point in this YouTube video.

“Most people figure this can’t be rocket science; any good manager can figure it out,” he says, noting that it’s probably true. “But there’s a hard way, and an easy way. The hard way is by parachuting a manager into a global environment without any support or multicultural understanding.

“The manager may have the best technical skills, but if the manager’s level of global mindset is low, that person is going to go through a very painful, frustrating experience. And in fact it may jeopardize the company’s and the manager’s ability to work in that situation“—and result in the company losing business.

The easier way, he says, is to be proactive.

That’s the goal of his new book, which he wrote with colleague Jennie L. Walker, PhD: Developing Your Global Mindset: The Handbook for Successful Global Leaders.

This resource guide is a must-read for managers and leaders in global roles or who have global responsibilities.

The Purpose

In 2007, the Global Mindset Inventory (GMI) was first introduced to corporations and graduate business programs, Javidan explains.

“The purpose of this instrument is to do a global mindset assessment of a manager or a group of managers,” he shares. “By completing this Internet-based questionnaire, managers find out which areas are their strengths and where they need to further develop. While we have always provided development suggestions during GMI coaching sessions, this handbook takes the support we offer managers to the next level.”

The Research

In consultation with managers, executives, and some experienced international executive coaches, they offer advice and ideas on how a manager can improve on all elements of 35 scientifically defined capabilities within the Global Mindset Inventory.

“All of the ideas are very actionable and very specific, and they don’t usually take much time to implement,” Javidan explained in our podcast interview for the Inkandesent Radio Network. “The development tips may be used by individuals or for direct reports, coaches, and teams. In addition to a rich variety of development suggestions, there are engaging narratives throughout the book illustrating the various components of the Global Mindset in action.”

The Approach

The diverse international experiences of the contributing authors bring Global Mindset to life through the narratives as well as seven intriguing case studies at the end of the book.

The case studies transport the reader into complex, real-world scenarios that cross geographic and cultural borders, says Javidan.

“They push the boundaries of our current global leadership skills to identify ways to successfully influence diverse others while working within the complex and fast-paced world of global business,” he says, noting that the case studies may be used for individual development through self-reflection or in teams, where the discussions will no doubt be lively.


Nine Steps to Creating a Global Mindset

To develop GLOBAL INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL:

1. Build Your Global Business Savvy

Have knowledge of:
• Your industry from a global perspective
• Global competitive business and marketing strategies
• Ways to transact business and assess risks of doing business internationally
• Supplier options in other parts of the world

2. Take a Cosmopolitan Outlook

Develop your knowledge of:
• Cultures in different parts of the world
• The geography, history, and the important business, political, and pop culture icons in several countries
• Economic and political issues, concerns, and hot topics of major regions around the world
• Important world events—past and present

3. Expand Your Cognitive Complexity

Increase your ability to:
• Quickly grasp complex concepts
• Analyze and problem-solve
• Understand abstract ideas
• Take complex issues and explain the main points simply and understandably

To develop GLOBAL PSYCHOLOGICAL CAPITAL:

4. Have a Passion for Diversity

Expand your enjoyment of:
• Exploring other parts of the world
• Getting to know people from other parts of the world
• Living in another country
• Traveling

5. Ramp Up Your Quest for Adventure

Develop an interest in:
• Dealing with challenging situations
• Taking risks
• Testing your abilities
• Dealing with unpredictable situations

6. Redefine Self-Assurance

Assess which, and how much, of these qualities you possess:
• Self-assurance
• Self-confidence
• Comfort in uncomfortable situations
• Wit in tough situations

To develop GLOBAL SOCIAL CAPITAL:

7. Embrace Intercultural Empathy

Assess your ability to:
• Work well with people from other parts of the world
• Understand nonverbal expressions of people from other cultures
• Emotionally connect with people from other cultures
• Engage people from other parts of the world to work together

8. Increase Your Interpersonal Impact

Develop your ability to:
• Negotiate contracts and agreements in other cultures
• Create strong networks with people from other cultures, and with influential people
• Define your reputation as a leader

9. Improve Your Diplomatic Skills

Determine the level of your ability to:
• Start a conversation with a stranger
• Integrate diverse perspectives into your worldview
• Listen to what others have to say
• Collaborate

And that’s just a taste of what is explained in depth in this 648-page book.

Don’t miss our Q&A with Jennie Walker, our August 2013 Truly Amazing Woman.

Check out our podcast interviews on the Inkandescent Radio Network with Walker and with Javidan.

And for more insight from Javidan, watch his YouTube videos.

Click here for more details, sample chapters, and a “Caught in the Middle in Japan” case study sample from Developing Your Global Mindset.

Here’s to going global — and doing it mindfully and well!

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