True Global Business
I was chatting with a Japanese friend who works for IT firm in the San Diego area. We meet at Starbucks and often discuss global and Asia-focused business. In fact, we both return to our offices around 3 pm and reach out to Asia. I look to Korea; he looks to Japan.
During the recent conversation, my friend shared how he received a call from Japan at 11 pm PST. A global Japanese firm urgently needed some special IT equipment. Usually, firms will require a couple of competitive bids before placing an order. My friend noted that since no other North American firms were available ( i.e. 2 pm EST, etc), he got the order--the deal signed by 1:30 am.
In our Starbucks discussion, we agreed that to be a True Global Business, teams need to be available 24-7-365; and that actually most global businesses still operated with traditional fixed hours. In many cases voice mail or emails might be received 24-7, but responded to during normal hours of operation.
Symbolism vs. Substance
In January 2006, I went Global 24-7-365 after reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. At first, my endeavor was more symbolism that substance. Nevertheless, by the end of 2006, I either stayed connected or worked on projects that spanned 24 hours. Today, my clients often reach out 24-7. I'm available as needed to support global and Korea-based teams.
True Global Business
Like my Japanese friend, we need to be flexible with our business hours. The web and mobile phones make staying connected easy. As we shift from an Industrial Age mindset of 8-10 hours of shift work, 6-8 hours sleep, commute time, TV and family time, etc.. a new bold mindset (and sleep cycle) is required.
To conclude ( and a brief promo),
Change and business go hand in hand. Adapting to new trends, markets, and cultures is vital. If you business has ties to Korea, Korea-based firms, or Korean global business, I can help. Many Korea based firm are Global and understanding their norms, practices and expectations is needed.
In fact, you can reach out to me 24-7-365 :)