Today’s first panel is about doing business globally. The participants are IBM, Xerox and Sun. All very formal, all dressed up as compared to the general business casual dress of all the attendess.
Key first question…by Esther, what lanaguages are spoken, with the key language being English. But caveat being that just because someone in a foreign firm speaks English doesn’t mean that they are the smartest people.
Steve Ward of IBM…In a meeting, idea, create a list, and put a check mark along side the name of everyone who speaks. Then call out the people who don’t speak.
Ann Mulcahy…Xerox..Fuji-Xerox, long term partner in Asia Pacific. Focus on competiveness, outsourcing, but Fuji-Xerox late to the meeting. Be a better competitor togther rather than being a competitor alone. Have become a supplier to Dell, not their first choice. Have to struggle like you do with any partneship.
Jonathan Schwartz…10k people in R&D at Sun doing software reserach. 70 global sales locations, and 28 that do research for software. If you are not there, you aren’t going to get a sense of what is going on. Have to build with the local business. Cambodia and Viet Nam will continue rising. Key question is where can you find market opportunities. How to move product team there with whole group, i.e. business managment, marketing, engineering. Process of saying how do you disassemble and reassemble around the globe. Getting over the culutural hurdle. Whose is going? With your family?
Mulcahy…struggled in Russia, finally getting some traction. Doing less of expat assignmnents.
Schwartz…done a little bit of everything. Natural default is to allow foreign nationals to go back home. But with mixxed success. Work to create autonomy, job to grow business, and create opportunity.
Esther…issue with corruption, how do you deal with it?
Ward…companies who want to succeed, tend to have the right ethics. Much more familiar with a situation where someone else has come into try to bribe your employees.
Schewartz…Sun has left a country because of corruption. Won’t identify the country. Compares Tyco, Worldcom, Enron…As you look at growing, you tend to find corruption in high growth environment.
Mulcahy…gotten a lot clearer as to how we do business. What brand and market presence, but don’t want reputational risk. Part of tradeoff, growth versus reputational risk.
Ward…Transparency before something happens. Key is international management. The ability to ask how to do the right thing.
Mulcahy…no checklist that will be as good as the quality of leadership in a country. One stop shopping era over!
Schwartz…key is bidirectional flow of business.
Ward…Thinking of country by country and customer by customer?
John Patrick…What is going to happen to our ThinkPads?
Question, how many have ThinkPads? Huge show of hands, almost remarkable!
Answer from Ward…ThinkPads will be forever! ThinkPad or Lenovo ThinkPad?
Doc Searls…How about Linux desktop..
Ward…Lot of Linux being shipped but in other devices. Still have more work to do. Lots in Linux in dedicated environments.
Key is great leader in Japan?
J.P.___________…test is right people, not whether you use “Xpat”…relationship based..
Art Marx… great to have role models.
Responses…Schwartz…all comes down to individuals and leaders. Impart the values and drive the business.
Ward…brand and businesses, but there are inflection points. Leadership that takes the natural inflection points.
Mulcahy…avoid getting too broad and lacking the depth to do so…
Peter ______ How to write your own ticket to PC Forum..