American businesses are on the hunt for international opportunities as the global economy continues to expand. Almost 90 percent believe overseas expansion is necessary over the long term, according to research from financial services giant Wells Fargo. Successfully executing an expansion strategy requires immense internal preparation and guidance from seasoned stakeholders who have the executive experience needed to lead the enterprise through transformative change. Unfortunately, not all business leaders are equipped to handle this duty.
With this in mind, organizations on the verge of establishing an international presence must reevaluate the individuals at or near the top of the pay scale to see if they can lead both here and abroad. If these professionals do not meet expectations, human resources teams must look for global executives who can literally and figuratively take the enterprise to new places. Qualified candidates usually possess a number of common attributes that separate them from their strictly domestic counterparts.
Passion for inclusiveness
Organizations looking to expand overseas must cultivate support in new markets and that require making connections with locals from different cultures. Global business leaders ease this process by forming deep bonds with their international peers through inclusive activities, according to Harvard Business Review. Instead of forcing centralized operational workflows on developing branches abroad, these executives collaborate with provincial authorities to create processes and products that fit the local market. They listen actively and yield the floor to those who understand the area better than they do.
“Global business leaders form deep bonds with their international peers through inclusive activities.”
Expanding enterprises must willingly dive into the culture of a new region to truly understand its people. Again, global executives expedite things here. How? Most are intensely curious and have no problem charting unknown territory, according to the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Executives of this sort are aware that there is always more to learn and yearn to build on their knowledge via firsthand experience.
Openness to culture
Very crucial is also that the executive needs to understand the local culture, i.e. constantly balancing the strategies and ideas (push) from the Headoffice while at the same time respecting the values of each of the local cultures.
Propensity for strategic risk taking
Establishing new offices overseas is risky – even financially secure organizations can falter when stretched too thin. As a result, those with expansion in mind should install calculated risk takers at the helm, as these individuals can leverage their enthusiasm for change to stoke internal excitement and drive support, Zenger Folkman CEO Jack Zenger explained in a post for Forbes. Global executives are known for chasing promising new opportunities despite the inherent unpredictability of such pursuits. This innate drive to move forward can help expanding organizations take the plunge and successfully reach new heights.
Does your growing business need global leaders with these qualities? Contact YES Partners today. Our seasoned executive search consultants can connect you with international innovators who have the executive experience and knowledge needed to coordinate and execute a successful expansion strategy.
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