Although the world is getting smaller, there are obstacles to overcome if a global corporation is to achieve their desired results. One of the major obstacles is the integration of different cultures. Today, major U.S. corporations obtain more than one-half of their earnings overseas. So, it is critical for the corporation to have people in each country sharing the corporate vision and thinking/acting on the same page.
Corporations use a variety of training programs to cope with this particular issue. I, myself was in St. Charles, Illinois for two weeks when I first joined Arthur Andersen. It was in this corporate campus setting, that I learned audit skills with other new employees.
Recently, I have come across the Global Leadership Transformation Development Program. This is a four-week program and is currently being used by a major U.S. corporation. Morris & Gunter Associates, LLC runs this program.
Managers and directors from each location get together (25 people) and spend time together in China, U.S., Japan and another countries. Participants are given projects to solve current issues of corporations, meeting with the CEOs of the corporations, and are encouraged to initiate changes at their organizations.
The facilitator of the training program makes sure that the participants get to work with managers from other countries using English as a common language to formulate the group’s conclusion. Often there is a heated discussion and discovery of self as well as others in these different cultures.
At the end of the four week program, each participant presents what he or she learned from the program. During the four weeks, participants form a bond and make connections that will last a long time after they return to their home countries. Managers then have a common understanding of the corporate vision and mission and the company enjoys a global corporate culture and harmony in their local operating environment.
I believe that this concept of the Global Leadership Transformation Program is a wonderful idea for corporations. Even if your company is small, I think that there are many lessons that we can learn from this training.
Koh Fujimoto, Principal in Charge, International Practice