In today's interconnected world, where companies operate on a global scale and professionals find themselves working across borders, a global mindset has become increasingly essential. It not only benefits foreigners working in Malaysian companies but also Malaysians working in foreign organisations.
Having a global mindset means more than just being able to navigate geographical cultural differences. It also means to communicate effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and adapt to different business practices and norms. It also involves having a curiosity and willingness to learn about other cultures, embracing new ideas and approaches, and recognizing the value of collaboration and cooperation on a global scale.
Here are a few observations we have come across regarding the notion of a global mindset at Cultural Impact:
Recognizing the Importance of Culture in the Workplace
To illustrate the impact of culture, let's consider an example. In an American company, there was once an American manager who understood and valued the role culture played at work. However, when he retired, his successor lacked the same perspective, resulting in challenges for the company , in terms of discomfort and frustrations for employees, more frequent misunderstanding and misaligned expectations This scenario emphasises the crucial role culture plays in shaping organisational dynamics and the need for a global mindset that appreciates diverse cultural contexts.
The Power of curiosity and Global “Mindsight”
Marie Tseng, an experienced coach for expats, has encountered a range of reactions among individuals when it comes to embracing cultural differences. Some adopt the perspective that we are all humans and disregard the importance of culture, while others show curiosity, appreciation, and engage in self-reflection. It is the latter group that exhibits a global mindsight, which not only contributes to personal growth but also creates global citizens who actively work towards a better world and the well-being of all people.
Curiosity is the foundation of having a global mindset. It enables us to embrace diverse perspectives and appreciate our differences. By being curious, we become more open to exploring alternative approaches and recognising the inherent value that lies within various cultures. Curiosity helps us to be aware of and manage our own biases, encouraging us to seek understanding and embrace the richness of our global community.
Going Glocal: Thinking Internationally with a Local Context
The concept of "Going Glocal" was examined by Dr. Asma Abdullah in her book of the same title. She highlights the importance of blending international thinking with a local context. It emphasises the notion that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to navigating cultural differences. Instead, it requires a thoughtful examination of the local culture to identify how it can enhance global thinking and contribute value to organisations.
Embracing Cultural Competencies
To bridge the gap between different cultural perspectives, individuals need to develop cultural competencies. This entails equipping oneself with the skills to receive and understand differing views, adapt to different ways of doing things, and foster effective cross-cultural collaboration. By embracing cultural competencies, individuals contribute to the development of a true global culture and help others cultivate a global mindsight.
Aligning Global Organizations and Local Teams
Cultivating a global mindset within organisations has a profound impact on team dynamics and alignment in a globalised context. When individuals develop a sense of pride and commitment that transcends geographical boundaries, whether they are working for Samsung in Korea or in Kuala Lumpur, they foster a unified organisational culture and pride for their place of work. This alignment, driven by an appreciation for diverse cultures, leads to better outcomes, improved communication, and stronger connections among team members.
In a world that continues to become more interconnected, developing a global mindset is crucial for both individuals and organisations.
A global mindset is about having a broad worldview, being adaptable to different cultural contexts, and having the ability to think and act with a global perspective, not limited by geographical boundaries. It is a mindset that recognizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of people and organisations worldwide.
By cultivating a global mindset, we pave the way for true global citizenship, enhanced teamwork, and a better world for all. By appreciating the value of different cultures, we unlock the potential for growth, innovation, and success in a globalised society.
Written by Farah Rani