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As your business continues to recover from the recent upheaval in the economy, think of this as an opportunity to rethink, rebuild and redesign old practices. In the past, you were safe within homeland borders; most competition came from the business next door. Now, businesses from all over the world are tearing down borders and appealing to the masses. Whether you want to or not, your business world is functioning in the global arena.

If you want to lead your business into the future, you must begin leading with a global mindset. This current worldwide economy requires that you become more culturally aware and competent. With a global mindset, you become empowered to adjust in different environments and work effectively with business partners. Doing so provides your best opportunity to remain relevant in a highly competitive business world.

As the world continues to change, you face tremendous opportunity for positive developments. Develop a sustainable strategy to function successfully on the global business scene. With the right plan, you can create and innovate a global world that is best for your business.

The following ideas offer some ways you can begin changing your mindset from local to global.

Global Trends Impacting Business

Take an honest look at the global trends in the workforce if you need evidence that having a global mindset is important. It is difficult to deny the changing effects in macroeconomics, social environments, and business and industry.

Economic activity continues to shift globally and regionally as the world embarks on massive realignment after the latest recession. An aging workforce calls for new levels of creativity and efficiency. If public sector activity balloons, productivity gains will become more essential to business. A lack of clear productivity gains will cause taxes to rise to stifling portions to cover pension and healthcare burdens.

The social environment is changing thanks to the ways in which technological connectivity has transformed. The ways in which people live, work, play and interact has changed the battlefield for talent.

The technology revolution has created a workforce that functions globally and instantaneously. Communities and relationships are forming in new ways that have a profound impact on doing business. As a result, strategies for global labor and talent are taking center stage with sourcing and manufacturing.

As the attraction of migrating jobs to low-wage countries wears off, labor and talent shifts will require knowledge workers. These shifts highlight the scarcity of well-trained workers, which will lead to an increased integration of global labor markets.

All these things culminate into nontraditional business and industry practices. Generally, businesses must find ways to respond to market regulations that can challenge old ways. Business models that focus on innovative practices are flourishing with the advent of new technologies.

Corporate borders are enjoying blurred lines with an interlinked ecosystem of customers, producers and suppliers merging. Complex businesses competing on a global scale demand new tools to operate effectively. Today’s business leader is embracing a global mindset with the use of sophisticated software to back their innovation.

Finally, your business exists in a world where new industry structures continue to emerge. Businesses on the winning side will use efficiencies to capitalize on opportunities gained by these new structural possibilities.

Global Mindset and Your Business

Knowing how to communicate effectively and appropriately during professional interactions is required. Since the U.S. currently reigns as a dominating economic power, many professionals in other countries adapt to an American style and language in business practices. In some cases, American business people fail to recognize the importance of returning the favor.

In other words, remember there is a particular style and culture within the person who is accommodating what is familiar to you. Their cultural mindset is most likely very different from your own, which calls for cultural sensitivity. Therefore, you can gain some advantage in business dealings to learn about other cultures, styles and though patterns. Incorporate these lessons into communicating with others, specifically in how you behave and listen.

Doing business with a global mindset distances you from the everyday reality that is literally foreign to most people. Your world perspective changes and you can begin to see their values and priorities. This knowledge permeates the products and/or services that you offer. Not only will you satisfy international business partners, but you will also please a broader pool of customers.

Adapt and Take Innovative Risks

Changing your current mindset for the global arena requires a willingness to adapt and take risks. You are not simply throwing ideas against the wall to see what sticks. Rather, your risks are born out of innovative thinking to extend your global reach.

Being adaptable expands your understanding of how different markets function. If things change from one thing to another, you are prepared to shift gears and work with the conditions within the country. This type of nimbleness also requires creating strategy on your feet. With more at risk, your chances for success or failure increases. However, if you never push the limits, you will remain an obscure company.

Welcome New Experiences

New experiences – good and bad – challenge you to confront your normal way of doing things. Shying away from challenges keeps you from finding a new direction to unleash your creative energies. Even though you sell the best product and/or service, improvements are possible if doing so expands your customer base.

Keep a fresh, fertile mindset to use new perspectives to your advantage. These are the prerequisites of innovation and vital to successfully conduct business worldwide. Transformation is the innovation’s partner in the way you do business.

Be willing to challenge your preconceptions about what is the norm and never withdraw from cultural differences. Embrace those differences as another learning opportunity that will help your business grow.

Pay Attention to Etiquette and Protocol in Different Cultures

Unlearn what you perceive as normal and learn as much as possible about the different countries in which you do business. When traveling to these countries, observe etiquette and protocol. Pattern your behaviors after the way interpersonal situations dictate is acceptable. Remember that your role may change based on certain situations. Enter different cultures with knowledge that will keep you ahead of your competitors.

Broaden Your Perspective

Broaden your perspective so that you can function on a large and small scale. Pay close attention to details while comprehending the bigger picture of what you are trying to accomplish. Absorb information and recognize the significance. Act on it based on what is best for your business, but also based on what you have learned about the situation. Cultivating your perspective keeps you on the cutting edge of international business.

Be Passionate, Enthusiastic and Curious

Every business owner who wants to be successful must bring a natural enthusiasm about their products and/or services. After all, if you do not have the passion to believe in your business, how will others appreciate it? Typically, your business associates want to know that you value every negotiation. Show them you care through your body language and verbal conversation.

Be alive, alert and aware as you interact with business partners around the globe. Listen and convey a sense of urgency about the necessity of doing business well. Let them see your passion even through mundane business transactions.

Your enthusiasm makes you friendly and accessible to others who might be just as wary about your expectations. Take the initiative and allow your energy to flow and permeate the environment. This can also stretch your curiosity to discover more, do more and push unknown limits.

Change the mindset that curiosity killed the cat; it will not kill you either. Instead, curiosity will give your business bigger life in countries that are waiting for your presence. Use curiosity as a fuel to create change across oceans.

Value Building Relationships – The Deal Will Follow

The natural progression in business is securing deals that will open new opportunities and improve the bottom line. Begin to rethink this practice as your business expands on the global stage. Place a higher value on cultivating a relationship with customers. Even when following best practices, there is only so much that you can do.

Letting the deal happen is not the same as not being in control. The only way to become a true business insider is through getting to know the person and culture where you want a business relationship. Remember: relationships are not a one-time deal. Business relationships that are meant to be will flourish over time.

Inspire Others

Challenges of competing in a global economy are overcome when a team of gifted, talented and inspired professionals join forces with a worldly leader – you. Be an inspiring leader and team builder with your staff. Leading your business with a global mindset does not stop with learning about the outside world. You business is strengthened when you include those who work every day to make your business a success.

This requires having an eye for talented people who are willing to contribute. They are the ones who offer unique and irreplaceable contributions to the team because you give them room to grow. Inspiring your team to grow will directly influence how your business performs in global territories. Create an environment where each person knows that their talents and contributions are valued.

Provide vision, encouragement and direction as you inspire those who work for your business. Collectively, your business is empowered to do more when you practice smart talent management strategies to find the right people. Once you have them on board, trust that they are skilled enough to do great things.

Many competitors will attempt to duplicate the products and/or services that you offer. Some will do well and others will fail. The one thing that no competitor can duplicate successfully is the winning chemistry within a talented team. Keep your focus on motivating the team to survive the international marketplace.