Saturday, January 31, 2009

Knowledge Sharing, Collaboration and Networking

How do you find what you need to know, or want to know? How many Google searches can do? How many visits to Wikipedia? A new source to add to your choices for interesting articles written by interesting people is Insightory ( I love the idea that it combines insights and stories and am happy to share my articles on the site.

Insightory says it is about Knowledge Sharing, Collaboration and Networking. The people whose work is included are all authors of books to discover. There lots of knowledge to share, collaboration and networking will evolve. You can contact all the people who have work on the site so it's an opportunity for everyone who visits to make new connections.

To get an idea of what's available take a look at recent posts. You’ll find articles and excerpts from speeches that include titles as varied as Teens and the Internet, Brand Archetypes, Fly High with Twitter and HR Leadership in Difficult Economic Times. Take a few minutes and explore what people are thinking, speaking and writing about. A new source with information. See if there's something useful for you. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Polite or Rude? A Challenge of Global Business

We know from experience, from stories we’ve heard, that what’s the definition of acceptable business behavior varies from company to company (high tech start up casual - law firm formal), city to city (LA - New York) and even more so county to country (Germany - Mexico).

But it isn’t only what we do that varies; most importantly it’s also how we define polite or rude. Reuters did a global study of “workplace manners” and now tells us that swearing which can lead to a hostile work environment lawsuit in the US is acceptable for 25% of Australians and that the United States and Britain are the two most sensitive countries. (

Don’t lose a deal because you inadvertently insulted someone by not offering a cup of coffee or by asking too many personal questions. Do some research and be considered polite wherever you go.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Silent at Lunch: Challenge of Global Communication

As I sat silently at lunch one day this week, listening to an incomprehensible swirl of Chinese around me, I realized how much energy it takes to stay connected when you don’t understand what’s being said. How many times has it happened to you? I remember conversations in Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, and Italian that surrounded me as I sat waiting for some English to emerge. It’s tiring to keep your focus on the people speaking, easy to mentally drift away, to feel that people are talking about you, your company, your project purposefully not sharing with you. From that perspective we can quickly become frustrated, annoyed and to withdraw.

But it’s essential to stay alert, to show that you are engaged with the people around you both to be polite and moreover ready for the moment the language shifts and once again you can speak, understand what’s being discussed. Don’t miss a question directed to you, an important point being made.

Thinking about that experience is a reminder to be thoughtful (even kind) when we are the host and it's the visitor who sits silently, waiting for us to shift languages or at least for the speakers to adjust their English to his or her speed, vocabulary. It’s simple to get caught up in a conversation and forget that a guest, even one who speaks some English, may not be able to catch everything that’s said when we speak at our normal pace.

We often discuss the challenges of communicating globally in terms of subtle issues,
how culture shapes our choice of words, whether we’re direct, quick to say what we mean or subtler where the answers are woven into a story, slower, less direct. But sometimes the difficulty of global communication is simply that conversations get conducted in multiple languages and we don’t always understand all the languages in the mix.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Traveling to a Global City?

Business or pleasure taking you to a new destination? If your travels will take you to one of the cities on the list of Gobal Cities created by Foreign Policy ( then check out the International Herald Tribunes Globespotter’s blog ( The entries are written by the paper’s reporters and editors and expanded by comments from readers. The only limitation is that there are only a dozen cities covered but those included are like to make your travel list. They incude, but aren't limited to: London, Paris, Hong Kong, Frankfort, Istanbul and Bangkok.

There are two components to the Globespotters section. One is a blog that brings you current insightful information about a city. In Berlin for Thanksgiving? Read the entry and you’ll know where to shop for the makings of a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner or which restaurant will be serving that special meal. A free Sunday in Madrid and wonder if there’s a flea market to explore? Click on the section on Madrid and you’ll find it.

The other piece is simply called " Travel Advice" will help you figure out how to get from the airport to your hotel, what to tip and where to find good wireless access.

With just a few minutes reading you’ll find some very useful information that can help smooth your first visit to a new city.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cities, the places where we live and work have unique personalities, energy. We each have our favorite places - to live, to vacation or do business. Most of us have a list of places we want to explore. We categorize them as big or small, relaxed or frenetic. Now Foreign Policy ( magazine gives us another designation, Global Cities.

In their November/December 2008 edition the magazine published the first index of The World’s 60 Most Global Cities. Created in collaboration with AT Kearney ( and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs ( the index ranked cities in five categories: Political Engagement, Cultural Experience, Information Exchange, Human Capital and Business Activity. From their perspective Global Cities serve as hubs for global integration not just in terms of economic links but through political and cultural activities as well. It’s people as well as products and process that shape our world living in cities they make alive, exciting and global.

The index leads off with the first three spots filled by New York, London and Paris and moves around the globe ending with Bangalore, Chongqing and Kolkata. In addition to the overall ranking and showing a city's rank in each category, it also tells us the Best City to be a Diplomat (Washington), to Get Some Culture (London), To Do Business (New York). Find your city and see where it ranks and tell us do you agree? My favorite cities (to date) are on the list. Are yours?