In her recent CIO article, Succeeding in international business: observe and learn, Sandra Smith synthesizes lessons learned from the Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership (EMSTL) 2018 immersion session in South Korea. As part of the EMSTL program, students spend one week in South Korea meeting with executives and management from some of South Korea’s powerful chaebols (large business conglomerates) to hone their skills to lead corporate expansions into new markets.
According to Smith, this skill set means more than knowing how to quickly calculate currency conversions. She writes,
“It means being open to understanding the factors that go into how business is done in other countries, why it’s done that way, and why it matters.
Learning about influences such as a country’s culture, religion, politics, and history can offer insight into how business is conducted, how people might react to you, your team and business proposal, and what kinds of outcomes can be expected.
Of course, gaining this understanding takes time and effort, but the benefits that come from doing your homework are well worth it.”
To find out more about the takeaways from this immersion experience, read the rest of her article, Succeeding in international business: observe and learn.