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Global Knowledge is Power

Global Leaders must develop intellectual curiosity and do their research diligently to be able to see both the differences and similarities in different cultures. Inquisitiveness, research and observation are the key factors behind global leadership success. They always have to be on the lookout for new knowledge, fresh perspective, and insights to incorporate into their global strategy. A leader’s insatiable desires to seek new information not only helps them access recent data, it also helps them take advantage of the ability to bring new products and services to their new markets overseas.

Leaders need to travel frequently to meet and get to know their counterparts, customers, and employees to have a solid understanding of their end-users needs and expectations. A great example is the former CEO of Procter and Gamble, John Pepper, who made a habit of reaching out to five of his foreign customers by visiting them in their homes. He wanted to talk with families and ask pertinent questions on the usage of his company’s products. His actions clearly indicated the fact that international travel is crucial in order to learn more about various countries, local cultures, and consumers that make up a major portion of the company’s global business. His travels confirmed the belief that French people prefer the front-load washers to top-load washers. This particular information helped him accept the duality of managing a new cold-water detergent brand on a global basis, while at the same time finding a way to meet the local needs of getting the detergent to distribute evenly during the wash process when used in front-load washers. Eventually the company came up with a new product based on a plastic ball, which was filled with detergent and placed in the front-load washer along with the dirty clothes.

When a company tries to establish a global presence, its executives need to travel to the target country to see first-hand their foreign consumer’s consumption patterns and habits of their products. Eventually the data they acquire will help them decide which products need to be changed slightly, totally reinvented, or require subtle adaptation to the local culture.

About the Author:
Ayse Oge is a business woman, author, public speaker and consultant, provides counseling for small and medium sized companies on international trade. She is author of books, “Go Global to Win” and “Global Business Guide” and currently serving as Vice-Chairwoman of Valley International Trade Association and Score Counselor on exporting at Glendale, California. Her website is
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