Both the time and place of 2013’s CEO Leadership Summit could not have been more fitting. In December, in the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and with the fiscal cliff still looming ahead, more than 100 business leaders from across the country gathered at the NYSE Euronext—an icon of free enterprise that later turned out to have been in the midst of a merger—to share ideas on navigating the challenges of the stormy global economy.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who some observers reckon will run for President in 2016, called for “stem-to-stern” immigration reform that “prepares a path to legalization as opposed to citizenship.”
For the mid-market company that is expanding internationally -- whether for the first time or into uncharted territory – identifying the right talent can be a challenge. In a 2012 Ernst & Young study of C-level and other executives in rapid-growth markets, 30 percent of respondents reported the need for a strategic hiring process in international markets. Intensifying the problem, according to the same study, is a self-reported knowledge gap in local culture and ways of doing business by more than half of the participants.
Some entrepreneurs believe employee empowerment is not just a buzzword but also a business strategy. Founder and CEO of ecommerce giant Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani, is a big believer that business must consciously develop a global worldview and culture before attempting international expansion. Rakuten, which also owns Canadian e-book creator Kobo and Buy.com, is giving Amazon.com its first serious competition in years. In his recent book, “Marketplace 3.0, Rewriting the Rules of Borderless Business” he sets forth a path for doing this.
Building a global business is something that requires careful consideration, according to Irv Rothman, president and CEO of HP Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard. With over 30 years experience in leasing and captive finance, he explains what it takes to grow successfully in global markets.