If you work or study abroad you are likely to be more creative, a better problem solver, start new businesses, be a better manager, get promoted and create new products. Provided that you integrate and adapt to the countries where you live and become bi- or multicultural.
Harvard Business Review article
According to research carried out by professors William W. Maddux, Adam D. Galinsky, and Carmit T. Tadmor and published in Harvard Business Review “Be a Better Manager: Live Abroad” (if you end up on an ad just click go to site) people who are international or have more than one nationality benefit from it in many ways.
Bicultural individuals scored higher than monoculturals on the different tests carried out which, as the professors put it, is good for companies. That’s not saying that monocultural people don’t have the qualities tested, merely that being international further develop those qualities in an individual. There are also, in my opinon, other ways for monocultural people that are open minded and curious to broaden their mind, be more flexible and hence increase their creativity. The comments to the HBR article agree or disagree depending on if the person has lived abroad or not.
Conclusions a reflection of future businesspeople
Already today the world is irrevocably one global market. Next generation of businesspeople will prove the professors’ findings correct. Already now young people study and work abroad like never before and are fluent in English at an early age.
Local and regional businesses will increasingly start operating on a global level and bi- or multicultural experience will hence gradually increase.
Propitious timing of HBR article
Thinking out of the box is essential in our integrated world and an ability to approach issues from different global perspectives is becoming increasingly important.
Since I have lived and worked all over the world I’m obviously biased. Have just taken the positive aspects of being international for granted and honestly not given it much thought.
The option of academically testing how exposure to different cultures increase your abilities to look at problems from new and previously alien perspectives never even entered my mind.
The world is gradually becoming one huge country and the timing of the findings published in Harvard Business Review are hence propicious. In the future more and more people will look at the world as their market and be prepared to move to the other side of the globe to get a job. If the professors findings contribute to making more people realise the benefits of becoming global citizens it will be beneficial.
Global experience makes you flexible
Have learnt a multitude from various cultures. The most educational experience was Saudi Arabia. Almost every day something happens that you have never experienced before, positive or negative. And frequently it’s simply a question of adapting or failing. The same actually applies to when I lived in Japan, but to a lesser degree.
It was a positive surprise that research published in Harvard Business Review indicate that being a “global citizen” develop your abilities. That not only international but also local businesses will increasingly benefit from global minds.
Do you agree that the world is irrevocably one global market? Will more people live, work and study abroad in the future? Is it a logical step in our integrated world that people increasingly become global citizens? Are the professors findings that global people develop their abilities in ways that benefit companies correct? Will people with a global frame of mind find it easier to get promoted, start a business or create new products? Does your company, as the professors recommend, have expatriate programs to develop better managers? Or maybe you disagree with the professors’ conclusions that the more exposure you get to different situations, problems, scenarios and cultures the more enhanced and creative your ability to solve problems will be?
Photo: Flickr – World Economic Forum