Working at ParentLink I was assigned to manage and direct the affairs of our office in Bangkok, Thailand. For almost a year, I spent time learning everything about international business management.
I recently read a book which described the changes in the term “Globalization” over the years. In the 1970’s it meant doing business with any foreign country; in the 80’s – outsourcing jobs; and in the 90’s – building physical foreign offices and corporate staff. Today, and for the future, the book argues, successful globalization of business is about finding, training, building and keeping leaders from foreign countries to run those operations. I not only agree with the position of the author, but have had the opportunity to participate in such an activity first hand.
Bangkok, Thailand, 2008, I was assigned to manage an office of four Thai professionals and one US X-pat. The office had struggled for purpose and success, to which the CEO challenged me with the task to identify if it was worth us to keep the office open and how it should operate going forward. To make a long story short, I not only recommended the office remain open, but I built it to a staff of 11, and found, trained and developed a local executive to run the office. Mona Rachthagulwanich from Thailand has been running the office since I left in 2008 and there are now no X-pats in Thailand, as she has demonstrated the skills, vision and management necessary to build a lasting organization in Thailand.
Specifically I had the opportunity to focus on: