The Olive Way E-Newsletter 

July 2009


Random Notes on Going Global


· We have all heard the saying “not to put all eggs in one basket”.  I am sure most of us understand this simple investment principle.  Why shouldn’t we apply it when conducting global business?  After all, going global is an investment.


Take Canada for example.  It is an extremely export reliant economy.  Canadian manufacturers and service providers can’t afford to do business only with our southern neighbour while overlooking better opportunities in the vast global market.  It is not a sustainable option.  Our No. 1 trading partner is leading this deep recession.  With a “buy American” provision in the U.S. stimulus bill, that market is saying to its friends and allies:”Sorry, we are closed.”  We can be bitter about it, fight it, or do anything about it, but we can’t ultimately have control over their decision.  If you know what your best alternative is, or better still, already have one, you will have more control on your business, and can help to steer the course of direction the way you would like to see.          


· A North American trade organization shared the following story with me.  One of their member companies met with their Japanese buyers recently.  As soon as business cards were exchanged, the Japanese expressed their dissatisfaction through their interpreter.  They were not happy with the way their hosts handled their business cards.  This blunder cost the company an otherwise imminent business.  Can your business afford such a loss at current economic situation?  


Have you noticed how North Americans usually treat their business cards?  Do you assume people from another country do just the same?  Have you done your homework prior to meeting buyers or suppliers in/from another country?  What are the cultural issues involved?  How could you use your cultural knowledge to work to your advantage in business?  I was invited to three global business and trade conferences in the last couple of months.  Understanding the culture in/with which companies are doing business was one of the major issues all three conferences singled out to emphasize. 



Letters to the Editor


Re “Secrets of Mastering a Foreign Language”, June 2009


Excellent article Jacqueline.  I am attempting Arabic, spoken and written, the grammar is very difficult but it is lots of fun!

Benita Stafford-Smith, Madinat Sultan Qaboos, Sultanate of Oman


Great tips Jacqueline!    —Patricia Morgan, Calgary, Canada


Thanks for the newsletter, Jacqueline.  Your advice on language is very good.  People often ask me how I maintain my Polish and the answer is a good basic training and interest.  In other words I work at it.   

—Stan Skrzeszewski, St. Catharines, Canada



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