Research Paper: Global Leadership Roadmap

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[. . .] Readiness Assessment and Talent Selection:

That said, there is no better assessment for capability in a cross-cultural context than performance in real-world scenarios. Therefore, following the courtship of diversity, the recruitment of high potential talent and the facilitation of general cross-cultural sensitivity throughout the organization, selected candidates for global leadership will be placed on international assignment.

Readiness assessment will be conducted through qualitative and ongoing evaluation of experience, performance and improvement on international assignment as per research cited in the article by George. Here, the article provides a template, pointing out that "major U.S. companies like Cargill, ExxonMobil, 3M, and IBM insist their line executives have numerous assignments running overseas operations to ensure they understand their global businesses. They also conduct intensive development programs for global leaders through in-house training programs." (George1, p. 1)

A combination of these two strategies would essential place prospective global leaders in a variety of different cross-cultural settings over the duration of a previously established evaluation period. Based on the business drivers cited in an earlier section of this account, performance evaluation will ultimately help to produce usable talent assessment and, consequently, actionable talent selection. The highest performing candidates on international assignment will have an opportunity to assume positions of senior leadership in newly emergent cultural fronts of the business operation.

Development Acceleration:

Before being dispatched to their respective cultural contexts, high performing leadership candidates will also require specific company-derived training experiences. Following evaluation and assignment, the next step should be the implementation of a well-informed and thoughtfully constructed course of education. This should be designed in multiple phases. The first phase should strive not for compatibility within a specific culture but for a more general understanding of the implications of working in cross-cultural settings. According to the text by Caligiuri (2006), "developing leadership cross-cultural competence was among the top 5 organization-wide practices affecting the effectiveness of multinational corporations. The results of their study suggest a positive relationship between firms' bottom line financial success and their ability to successfully develop global leadership competencies. To remain competitive companies must continually develop their leaders to be successful in global tasks and activities." (p. 220-221)

After achieving cross-cultural competence in training, contextualized cultural training is required within the selected business setting. This calls for induction into the cultural norms specific to the country which may include general etiquette, basic linguistic capabilities and understanding of the country's customs. Additionally though, it calls for induction into the business norms of the culture which may include a firm understanding of work/life balance customs, appropriate attire and conversational tone. There is also a need to understand some of the features of local culture that may be inconsistent with the companies general values, whether this refers to the role of spirituality in public affairs, the prescription of certain gender roles or the existence of economic inequalities in the country's political structure. It is especially imperative in a global context where opportunities for commerce are expanding into all manner of developed nation that selected global leaders understand the more complex external challenges that they are likely to face.

This same training and awareness must apply to an understanding of contract law, the court systems and the conditions of either local or global regulation that may be at odds. These inconsistencies often serve as the most problematic of pitfalls for multinational companies. Leadership that is trained to navigate these specific realties is absolutely essential.

Talent Deployment:

As we deploy our leaders into the working world, there are a few tactical demands that should be satisfied. As the text by Stensgaard (2004) reports, it is incumbent upon the organization expanding its brand into global territory to develop and maintain a clear company identity with consistent values, procedures and strategic objectives. According to Stensgaard, "in strategic change, a global leadership development needs to be a top-down initiative with necessary alignment that needs to be consistent in all countries." (p. 2)

In other words, while adaptability at the local level will be critical, a strong centralized identity must provide counterbalance. We intend to dispatch leaders with a pronounced sense of their responsibilities to the company and as well as to the maintenance of its established and proven business orientation. This will allow global business leaders to refer to an internal company compass even as they navigate through unfamiliar cultural waters. The resolve should be a meaningful give-and-take between the local culture and the company's global identity.

Stensgaard goes on to advise that deployment of talent should center on finding ways to merge the key features of the company's existing global identity and its emerging local identity. Accordingly, the Stensgaard article observes that in order for an organizational culture "to be successful…culture-building activities need to overlay national and linguistic cultural elements. This development approach often needs to adapt the corporate charter to a local reality." (p. 2)

Thus, deployment of talent to new contexts may be accompanied by reconsideration of some core practices in favor of local initiatives. Some autonomy should be given to selected leadership to allow for a more intuitive assimilation of local business culture principles.


Indeed, as many of the strategic dimensions of the discussion here above illustrate, the ideal leader is one who will ultimately be capable of functioning in a balance between the imperatives of the broader company structure and the characteristics unique to its host culture. This is why the features described throughout this account ultimately describe a leader who is prepared to take both a mantle of responsibility for the emergence of the company in a new cultural and to serve as an appropriately representative member of said company. Instilling both identity and cultural adaptability will be the keys to achieving the kind of success that justifies participation in a competitive and risk-saturated global marketplace.

Works Cited:

Caligiuri, P. (2006). Developing Global Leaders. Human Resource Management Review, 16, 219-228.

George, B. (2012). A New Era for Global Leadership Development. Harvard Business Review Blog Network.

George1, B. (2012). Developing Global Leaders is America's Competitive Advantage. Harvard Business Review Blog Network.

Maznevski, M.L. & Distefano, J.J. (2000). Global leaders are team players: Developing global leaders through membership on global teams. Human Resource Management, 39(2-3), 195-208.

Mercer/Oliver Wyman. (?). What the Future Demands: The Growing Challenge of Global Leadership Development. Harvard Business School Publishing.

Stensgaard, A. (2004). The Six Principles for Developing Global Leaders. AMEinfo.

Tessmann-Keys, D. & Wellins, R.S.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Global Leadership Roadmap.  (2013, April 11).  Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Global Leadership Roadmap."  11 April 2013.  Web.  20 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Global Leadership Roadmap."  April 11, 2013.  Accessed June 20, 2019.