Sunday, October 31, 2004

Entrepreneur in a Global Organization

In the Star Online

For any entrepreneur contemplating going global, this article is for you! Here is part of it:

Hatim argued that one could not be a global enterprise unless and until one not only thought globally but also acted globally. He also believed that one should not be intimidated by the differences that exist in this world but instead embrace those differences.  

Citing an incident with a South African bank, he related VeriFone Inc’s experience in winning a deal by living this philosophy. When he went to meet the chairman of the bank, Hatim had with him the VeriFone Philosophy document, which had been translated into Afrikaner (Laurel here ... how sensitive and important that he did this in his business dealing -- read on). 

The chairman almost could not believe it and said he had never heard of a global enterprise that was thoughtful enough to have documents in English and also in his own language. The meeting went on for about 45 minutes and nothing was said about VeriFone, but a lot was said about ethics and global leadership. When he walked out the office, Hatim said, he was 100% certain that his company would get the orders. 

And it did, in that case and in many others. 

The moral of the story is that when one has a document – like the VeriFone Philosophy document – translated into different languages, one actually believes in it. 

Hatim admitted that it was very difficult to get people to follow one’s lead, though. One has got to continually communicate and make sure that people understand that one is serious by living what one believes, i.e. “walk the talk”, he said. 

To read the entire article, visit: Entrepreneur in a Global Organization

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