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Welcome to The Amazing Race Series!

As those who have been reading this blog for awhile know, my passion is global business and I love to travel and interact with different people from different places.  Everywhere I go (and I have lived, worked or traveled to over 60 countries), I truly enjoy observing distinct cultures and taking away lessons learned from every place and every culture I interact with.  In fact, a good deal of my life’s work is based on this very concept.

I look forward to taking you on my Amazing Race, where I will share with you what I have learned from various cities and countries from around the world – I hope you can use this information to travel well on your journey through global business.

First, we will visit Japan – Bon Voyage!

I have frequently done business in Japan throughout my career. It is interesting how the country and the culture have changed over time, but beneath its surface lies an extremely productive and effective society.

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To the outsider – or gaijin, as we are known to the locals – Japanese business customs appear to be so deeply entrenched in culture and tradition that they couldn’t possibly be applicable to the rest of the world. But don’t be too quick to write off the value that Japanese business practices offer the rest of the world…

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GLABB: I have been (slowly) working my through an attempt to help you understand how I see the world through my acronym GLABB. Last week we discussed working across boundaries and the implications of doing so. But there was more… so I am continuing this week with an expansion of what it means to me to work across boundaries and some suggestions to help you do so successfully.

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Working across boundaries means many things to many people… It can mean:  Continue Reading…

We all know, without a shadow of a doubt, that without customers there simply is no business – you will cease to exist (from an organizational perspective, of course!). The customer is King, but believe it or not, clients aren’t as hard to win over as you might think… if you put customer service in context.

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What most companies don’t realize (or acknowledge) is that Customer Service is the best, most economical marketing they will ever get. Despite this fact, it is a consistently under-recognized, underutilized asset for 99% of the organizations out there. Much to most organizations’ dismay, they consistently lose revenue due to poor customer encounters and never understand why.

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Gifts

December 23, 2013 — Leave a comment

Knowledge and experience are invaluable gifts .

Have you ever stopped to ponder what you have been given and how you can leverage it for the greatest good?  We acquire knowledge and experience on a daily basis as we go through life, but I have met very few people (and I do have a very large global network) that actually use what they know to maximize their potential. Whether it’s a natural talent or acquired knowledge, very few of us actually take the time to stop and consider how we can best utilize the “Gifts” we have been given.

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Organizations realize how important it is to “know what they know” and consistently try to maximize their collective intelligence – shouldn’t you? In a world where the only certainty is uncertainty, your only real source of sustainable competitive advantage is your own knowledge and experience – and how you leverage them. Your success in this increasingly competitive world depends wholly on how you qualitatively and effectively manage those gifts. Continue Reading…

Recently I was at the World Business Forum. As I listened to what some of the world’s top business leaders considered our most significant leadership challenges, one sentiment stood out for me above all others – Jack Welch made the statement that, “the rhythm of business hasn’t changed in 40 years.” That’s profound… and true.

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Ladies and gentlemen, that was not a compliment! Worse, it was not the first (or second) time I’ve heard that commentary from a top business leader… What is actually so depressing about that statement is the fact that little is actually ever done about it. People love to tell us what our problems are… and even share high-level academic theories and pointless observations – but where is the down and dirty “how” to make things better?

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Control Cataracts is a disorder that occurs in a leader’s vision. It happens when someone becomes desperate to maintain control at the expense of the group or the organization. He or she becomes reluctant to share any measure of authority for fear of losing control. This results in a blindness to the value that could be added by those around them, as well as a short-sightedness as to what success really is. Do you know this person?

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