Saturday, October 31, 2009

Global Happy Halloween: Trick or Treat?

"Hey ho for Halloween
When the fairies all are seen;
Some black and some green,
Hey ho for Halloween!"

~ Traditional Irish Rhyme
Posted by Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, October 30, 2009

Who Has The Global Edge On Wireless Reading Devices?

You tell me:

1. Sony Reader
2. Amazon Kindle
3. Barnes & Noble Nook
4. Samsung Papyrus

And there are more here!

How do you determine which company is truly global on the launch of its e-book reader -- by wireless capabilities, number of people using the gadget or the number of different languages available on it or all of the above?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

11-Year Old's Idea is Exported Around The World

If an eleven-year old boy from Minnesota can come up with an idea and have it shipped worldwide, so can you. Learn in this case what the secret to global small business success is here.

And love this quote within it:
Even if some funding remains in question, Michael Howard of the U.S. Export-Import Bank had good news for businesses: "There is plenty of money out there." Federal loan guarantees are available for many export businesses.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Entrepreneur for the World

The World Entrepreneurship Forum’s “Entrepreneur for the World” Award, Politician category, has been exceptionally granted during a conference held on October 20, 2009 hosted by EMLYON Business School (Lyon, France). And the winner is Mary Robinson!

From the press release:
Mrs Robinson's passion and faith left the audience capitivated and charmed. In her speech to more than 600 EMLYON students, Mrs Robinson highlighted that “The world needs leadership and especially leadership of values” saluting our School mission statement "educating entrepreneurs for the world" that gives sense to any action and project at EMLYON Business School.
Patrick Molle, President of EMLYON Business School, and Jean-Luc Decornoy, Chairman of KPMG SA, presented the Award to Ms. Robinson in the presence of the official partners of the World Entrepreneurship Forum (full disclosure: I am a member).

The broadcast of the conference will be on the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s website: ( as a video shortly.

The "Entrepreneur for the World" Awards are granted to emblematic international personalities, in recognition of their actions in favor of entrepreneurship and social justice.

There are four different award categories: Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur, Politician and Academic Expert. The names of the award-winners are being held secret until the Award Ceremony which will be held on November 19, 2009 during the 2009 World Entrepreneurship Forum (full disclosure: I am attending).

The "Entrepreneur for the World" Awards have been initiated during the 2008, and first edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, when all its members freely voted for each one of the four categories. The vote was secret. A biographical research has been conducted by the World Entrepreneurship Forum committee to ensure that nominated personalities are in line with the World Entrepreneurship Forum ethics and values of entrepreneurship, social justice and international exposure.

The final Jury was held in Lyon, on April 1st, 2009, composed of 15 personalities of 6 different nationalities.

More information about the World Entrepreneurship Forum can be found here. Guiding Principals which enable and foster the various forms of entrepreneurship can be found here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do You Have Cultural Intelligence?

As Steve Miller for IndustryWeek states in "Are You Cued in to Cultural Intelligence?:"
Understanding the culture of the parties you are negotiating with is vital in order to establish a successful business relationship.
Agree? Disagree?

With increasing globalization, cultural intelligence becomes ever more crucial to global business success. We covered this issue extensively eight years ago with, "Are You Ready? Take the Global IQ Test To Find Out (available for download here)" -- here's tip No. 3:
3). Are you adaptable, do you take risks, and can you be innovative?

Adaptability means that if you don’t know how different markets operate, you find out—fast. You stay sensitive to the cultural values of other countries. And if things appear one way today and another tomorrow, you shift gears and work with conditions as you find them. Creating your strategy on your feet is the only way to do global business.

The more you risk, the greater your chances for success or failure, but either way you’re pushing your limits and extending your reach. There comes a point in every initiative when you must recognize the risks and move forward anyway. Remember, you learn the most from failure, so take what chances you can afford.

Keeping the mind fresh, fertile, and open to new perspectives—the prerequisites of innovation—is a must if you want to effectively conduct business worldwide. There are endless ways of opening your mind that you can get to work on right now. View as many Web sites as possible. For example, check out, which uses the techniques of improvisational theater to help executives learn to think fast, react to sudden changes, and build truly effective teams.

Beyond surfing the Internet, take long walks in unfamiliar neighborhoods. See foreign films. Meet people in other professions. Join social groups that attract members of other nationalities. Don’t withdraw when confronted with cultural differences—hang in there and ask yourself why you feel the way you do. This is real learning. Give yourself a chance to discover your own unexamined values and assumptions and you will find it a lot easier to accept others’ unfamiliar approaches!

©2001 Laurel Delaney. All rights reserved.
Back to cultural intelligence. According to Miller's article, David Livermore, executive director of the Global Learning Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., and author of "Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success," has fresh insights to share on the topic. I have not read his recently published book so I cannot comment on its content.

However, I have read Silvia Cambie's and Yang-May Ooi's new book, "International Communications Strategy: Developments in cross-cultural communications, PR and social media" which examines the cross-cultural challenges facing the communication industry and offers experienced advice.

Whether derived from an article, book or experience, one cannot emphasize enough the importance of cultural competence in the world of business.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Panasonic Goes Local to Achieve Global Economies of Scale

Television, consumer electronic and white good producer Panasonic Corp., which already has a sizable chunk of Japan's home appliance market, is aggressively pushing into India and Europe by considering local production in those areas to take advantage of lower distribution and manufacturing costs not to mention acquiring a competitive edge in delivery time.

Important Insight

Panasonic sees ...
... emerging markets -- defined by the company as Brazil, India, Russia, China, Vietnam, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and the Balkan states -- overtaking North America and Europe as the biggest overseas market for its overall consumer products by 2013.
Read more about this here.

Panasonic sporting some heavy duty innovation.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Know Where You Are in the World

“It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are ... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Hope your weekend brings clarity. The photo above is taken outside of Chicago in Rogers Park, Illinois.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Every Single Person On The Planet Will Have a Global Small Business

In the next couple of years, it's easy for me to predict ...
That nearly every single person on the planet will have a global small business that hopefully will become BIG someday. This evolution will be similar to the shift from black and white television to color. If you had tried to watch black and white television for the rest of your life — which some consumers attempted to do because they didn’t have the money to buy a color set or hated change — that set someday would die. At some point, to repair it would have cost far more than a brand new color TV. So whether they liked it or not, consumers had to move with the masses and upgrade to the new color technology. They soon discovered it was the coolest invention ever and the best investment that money could buy! That’s how I envision the radical shift from small business to global small business.
Find out five (5) best practices on why it's happening here.

I authored the article, "From Local To Global Small Business: 5 Best Practices That Make It Happen," for Small Business United Blog. Feel free to let us know what you think of it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drucker Delivered Direct To Your Door

I am a big, big fan of Peter Drucker and I just noticed in marking the 100th anniversary of Peter Drucker's birthday that Harvard Business Review has some thought provoking essays written by Harvard folks as well as a feature on Drucker's classic contributions.

No matter how you look at it, Drucker was a tremendous force and influencer in the business world, especially on management thinking. If you can, take the time to review some of this information. It might make the difference between operating from good to great with your global small business.

Drucker Today

By Rosabeth Moss Kanter
While Peter Drucker was alive, he sounded early warnings about sky-high executive pay, an ossified auto industry, and emerging — market threats to U.S. economic dominance. It's not too late to benefit from his advice.
By Alan M. Kantrow
Peter Drucker's writings offer distilled, articulate analyses of modern business management. But, more important, they are a case study in how to think. Five leaders describe Drucker's influence on them in essays that accompany Kantrow's 1980 article.
By Tammy Erickson
We're not quite there yet, but, as usual, Peter's clear vision paints a picture of a world that is looking increasingly likely.
Classic Drucker Articles

Managing Oneself
Drucker challenges readers to take responsibility for managing their futures, both in and out of the office.
What Makes an Effective Executive
Eight simple practices — and one rule — every executive needs to follow to be effective.
What Executives Should Remember
A compilation of the savviest management advice Drucker offered HBR readers over the years.
The Theory of the Business
What happens when the assumptions on which an organization has been built no longer fit reality?
What Business Can Learn from Nonprofits
The best nonprofit organizations are pioneers in motivating knowledge workers and raising their productivity.

All of it can be found here.

And visit The Drucker Institute.

Separately, it appears the Google tag issue has been resolved on our blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Asia Appears To Be Leading the Global Economic Recovery

Those are the words from Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve and he also stated that the Asian nations were pulling the global economy out of its downturn.
Mr. Bernanke avoided what was in many ways the elephant in the room: the value of the United States dollar. The dollar has dropped sharply in recent weeks against the euro and the Japanese yen, a move that has helped increase American exports by making them cheaper in some foreign markets. But the dollar has not budged in more than a year against China’s renminbi, which the Chinese continue to tightly manage and which many economists say remains greatly undervalued.
Read more here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

China Is a Market Going In Only One Direction: BIG

Gap Inc. announced plans to open a China store and expand on its e-commerce operations. In addition, they will be establishing e-commerce sites in the U.K. and Canada next year.
International store sales were $2.6 billion last year; roughly 19% of the company's total store sales. U.S. Online sales reached $1 billion last year.
To think they started out small. It gives us all hope that we can go from global small business to BIG business. They are now in a major turn-around mode with a huge international push.

Read more here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

75% of Intel's Business Is Overseas

This is a trend that might continue. Global stimulus money has something to do with it.

Find out more here.

Sample: Intel India Systems Research Center

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Give a Man a Boat He Can Sail

“Give a man a horse he can ride, give a man a boat he can sail; and his rank and wealth, his strength and health on sea nor shore shall fail.” ~ James Thomson

Have a magnificent weekend. Hope it's smooth sailing wherever you are.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Learning a Language?

Holy cow! Google has added an amazing 285 languages to its Translator Toolkit which brings the total number of languages to 345.
Google says its focusing on minority languages. This includes regional, heritage, indigenous, and threatened languages. Google wants to help preserve these lesser known languages so that these smaller cultures won't be forgotten as history constantly unfolds.
One of the minority languages is Māori. Read more here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guess How Many Internet Users There Are in the World?

As of June 30, 2009 there are roughly 1,668,870,408 Internet users on the planet. Where do you suppose your next target overseas market is going to be?

Source: Internet World Stats

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tentative Global Trade Turnaround?

World trade is beginning to pick up. But the turnaround seems to be tentative unless we make a concerted effort to export or import more.
In the U.S., the Commerce Department said Friday that the dollar value of exports, which surged in July, rose another 0.2% in August. That put exports at their highest level since December, but still 21% below year-ago levels. Lower oil imports reduced imports by 0.6%, narrowing the trade deficit to $30.7 billion after four months of widening.
Read more at "Trade Upturn Hints at a Recovery."

And check out the World Economic Outlook (October 2009) or IMF Data Mapper here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fair Trade?

Even with fair trade, small farmers find it is hard labor for scant return.

Find out why here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wake-Up Call to America

An interesting perspective by Kishore Mahbubani for The Wilson Quarterly entitled, "Can America Fail?"


The simple thesis of this essay is that American society could also fail if it does not force itself to conceive of failure. The massive crises that American society is experiencing now are partly the product of just such a blindness to potential catastrophe. That is not a diagnosis I deliver with rancor. Nations, like individuals, languish when they only have uncritical lovers or unloving critics. I consider myself a loving critic of the United States, a critic who wants American society to succeed. America, I wrote in 2005 in Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World, “has done more good for the rest of the world than any other society.” If the United States fails, the world will suffer ­too.
Read the entire article here (and don't miss out on the comments -- you might end up adding a few of your own!).

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Let's Work Together to Invigorate SMB Exports!

Who stands the best chance at boosting American exports? Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
'Every team within our building will be involved in this effort to determine what we can do now to make our trade policies more effective in helping small and medium-sized businesses, as we are in assisting ... multinational corporations,' U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told reporters.
Read more here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Is Canada's Economy Freer?

Than what?
I work for a libertarian think tank, and libertarians are supposed to disdain the land of poutine and Dan Aykroyd for its socialist health-care system and general failure to really love liberty. Yet not only can you get gay-married in any of the provinces, or almost-legally toke up in your toque up there, but Canada’s economy is also slightly freer than that of the global hegemon to its south. According to the Cato Institute, at least.
Read the full whimsical story here.

Note: We are posting without related labels for a while because set an arbitrary limit of no more than 2,000 labels over the course of a blog. We can use existing labels but not new ones at this point. For example, we would normally include the author's name to the article we link to as a label with this post but if we do that, we cannot post. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Rise of Sweat Shops is Getting Worse

U.S. firms may be contributing unwittingly to the exploitation of workers imported from India and elsewhere by tech-services outfits.

Read more about this here.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Dream Big, Dream Global

Found this amazing house. Not sure where in the world it is located. Anyone care to lend a helping hand?

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, October 02, 2009

China Goes Local

China's aggressive and seasoned exporters are setting their sights on a whole new market: The Chinese.

Find out why here.

Another interesting related tidbit here.