We talk a lot about building up Global Competence in the organization, but what does it mean? Does it mean that everyone in the organization needs to know the ins and outs of Global Commerce? Does it mean that everyone is Culturally Sensitive? When does Global Competence stick enough to where it makes a difference in the organization?
In our experience, Global Competence typically develops from individuals that are reacting to global needs. We’ve written before that there is a distinct difference between traditional businesses who react to global commerce over “born global” organizations, where globalization is part of the nature of the business from the beginning. But in working with many organizations over the years dealing with global communications, while there may be a difference between individuals who have been exposed to translation and those who are starting out, there will always be moments of growing pains. Some may be more inquisitive to explore how to deal with global needs than others, but at some point the organization needs to look at processes, technology and budgets to streamline global communication efforts.
Before that happens, we do see that our work with individuals shapes perspectives. And it’s important to recognize the importance of continuing to shape that perspective as we go along. It’s also important to us that we get informed about the organization and their challenges. We know that many people we work with have an investment in protecting the brand, but may not always know how that translates to the global message. Once we start working with global brand managers, designers and writers and understand their needs, the idea of global competence starts to shape form.
We see the value of these relationships and developments especially during reorganizations. We have gone through a few moments with organizations making staff changes where the transfer of knowledge does not take place. Most of the time established processes are not documented. And it’s not always easy to pinpoint where that expertise is found since experience is shared among different employees, such as in-country experts, project managers, designers and writers. When a long-standing in-country reviewer left the organization, the knowledge sharing and collaboration takes a step back.
Through our process and technology, we manage assets for clients that can guarantee continuity, such as sharing of terminology databases for consistency. But established processes are often lost without some form of knowledge transfer and training in the organization. Without insight into the process as a whole, and likely changes that may occur between two different people appointed to the same role, the process of shaping perspectives may be starting over again.
On the other hand, we find ourselves in situations where an organization attracts talent who has already experienced some of the pain points and who is looking to streamline global communications as they take on their role. This perspective can be a true asset to the organization if they take advantage of it. Sometimes, our contacts who move to other organizations take that knowledge with them and are looking to bring that expertise to a new job. You can definitely tell that there is a certain amount of foresight that is being put into the job. That’s when Global Competence starts to stick and perhaps turns into best practices and processes that will live throughout the organization. As a Language Service Provider, building on this Global Competency is certainly core competencies from which organizations should take advantage.
Looking to build on your Global Competence while getting some quality translation work done? Or are you a seasoned Global Competent individual looking to partner with a like-minded organization for global communication process improvement? Contact Language Solutions.