Making It Overseas: Why You Need to Have Cultural Capital & a Global Mindset | Harvard Business Review
What skills, attributes and experience do managers require when working across the globe? According to a recent report in the Harvard Business Review, effective International Business Managers command what is termed a ‘Global Mindset’. The researchers interviewed more than 200 senior executives in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and surveyed more than 5,000 managers around the world to record the individual traits which shape the successful Intentional Business practitioner.
Whilst there are many pitfalls, International Business can be extremely challenging and equally rewarding for business people with a global mindset. The report discusses the three main components of this mindset and are listed as:
- Intellectual Capital
- Social Capital
- Psychological Capital
Intellectual capital refers to the individual’s ability to learn coupled with a detailed knowledge of international markets and business. The report outlines two particular case studies of successful domestic business managers, but demonstrates a clear separation in their ability to succeed beyond their frontiers. Intellectual capital is a key component of this success but not the only factor.
Social capital, in my opinion is one of the most crucial elements in International Business and a Global Mindset, whether from a Coleman’s economist or Bourdieu’s sociologist perspective. Within the parameters of the Harvard Business Review article, social capital refers to the ability to develop relationships and influence specific stakeholders. These may be active within the micro and macro environment such as clients, suppliers or a government body.
Psychological capital is referred to as ‘openness to different cultures and the personal ability to adapt and change. Whilst Marcus Brody from the Indiana Jones films may not exhume such qualities at first glance, the Harvard Business Review article states that “the most effective international leaders are strong in all three dimensions”.