Tag Archives: global business strategy

People Before Profits – Judy Halter

Judy Halter traveled to Mondragón, Spain this past summer, studying the models of participatory leadership in a global context. Please enjoy reading her perspectives on business, philosophy and the importance of the cooperative model.

“Now having an increased knowledge of the many positive social outcomes for cooperative management, I ask how can we incentivize people to work for cooperatives again? An economist made a presentation for us during the week and mentioned “that it would be rare for anyone to currently creatimg_4927e a startup in the coop model.” The dynamics that were in place in the late 1950s when MCC was created were very different than today’s environment. We learned that even by the 1990s, people were joining coops for practicality reasons, not for higher purpose or perceived societal benefits. Though I personally believe and appreciate the positive societal outcomes from people coming together to work for each other instead of an individualistic approach, my beliefs are not the norm. So I ask, what is going to bring the appreciation of solidarity and democratic management back into favor?

I feel that our changing employment demands could possibly create a scenario where people will appreciate the work and be willing to sacrifice the funds for the greater good. Gallop in May 2016 reported that 13.7% of people are underemployed in the US. Underemployment is a form of cooperative tenets taking place in the sense that people want to work so much they willing to take jobs beneath their skill level in hopes of future mobility. As our economy continues to be disrupted by technological Mondragon 15advancements, our employment avenues are changing rapidly. Will there be a time of retraining workers? How long will that take? Will workers, in hopes of belonging to a community and making a contribution, consider a cooperative model? Possibly, only time will tell. I truly concur with Dr. Herrera’s belief regarding man’s need to contribute and evolve through his work. The cooperative model may be one of the more acceptable means of providing full employment when jobs are declining in availability. Allowing more people to work for less and spread the opportunity to work, might be one of the solutions to keeping people engaged, contributing and connected. I also believe that the cooperative pay scale could be one of the quickest ways to solve income disparity if applied in corporate America. That being said, capitalism is one of the founding pillars of American society, but my hope is that we can dial back our consumption in an effort to put people before profits, which is the foundation of the MCC.

Mondragon 6I am so thankful for the enlightening week in Mondragón. The cooperative tenets align with me philosophically, and I believe corporate America has an opportunity to integrate some of the best tenets of the cooperative model: equity, democratization, participatory leadership, and education. Some of our best companies in the US (ie. Google, Wegmann, Boston Consulting Group) maintain some of the cooperative tenets. They receive high marks from their employees on “best places to work.” Utilizing a system similar to the cooperative model, these American companies have created a strong, unified culture where people take pride in their work and collaborate. I believe this engaged dynamic occurs because the companies strive to put their employees before their profits similar to the cooperative principles of people before profits. In America, we have leadership that implements similar philosophies; we just need other leaders to be inspired as well.”

To check out more student experiences, visit our Study Abroad blog page.

Information on international opportunities can also be found on our website.

Innovation and Cooperation in Mondragón

This past summer, Jessica Kort traveled to Mondragón, Spain to learn about the role of the environment and community in innovation and entrepreneurship. Please enjoy reading her perspectives on the philosophy of business, leadership, and life.

“It is extraordinary that this course on Models of Participatory Leadership is offered in Mondragon. Beyond being a unique yet entirely enlightening topic for students of business, it is invaluable to learn about this style of leadership that is uncommon for us in the United States. Were Mondragon 2it not for the financial aid, I would have been unable to travel and study in Mondragon. I truly treasured the experience because being immersed in the culture that generated this philosophy of business and leadership added complex layers to my understanding of it.

It was one thing to read about Mondragon cooperatives’ competitive advantages and astounding success from campus in San Diego. It was another entirely to see where it all began, speak face-to-face with beneficiaries of this way of business and of life, experience the culture that inspired it and watch its creations in action. Visiting the headquarters of the cooperative umbrella corporation, the cooperative factory floors and cooperative university brought theMondragon 9 narratives to life. We digested the forces and motives that drove visionaries to create cooperatives in the Basque region while sharing traditional Basque meals with beneficiaries of their foresight. We studied the economic theory behind cooperatives and walked the halls of a stunning university later created to teach and embody that cooperative structure. We mulled over how Catholic Social Thought laid the foundation of values that inspired the cooperatives’ founders to construct something better for their community in the 1950s, and trekked to a symbolically designed basilica erected and dedicated to the community in that same decade. We learned about another people’s perspectives on wealth, happiness, progress, independence and fairness.
Mondragon 1The course content gave me much to consider as an entrepreneur, and the trip reminded me that our environment has as great a role in our creations as we do. We cannot design or innovate in isolation. We must observe our surroundings and take stock of other people’s needs and perspectives to generate workable solutions and community change. I am currently applying what I learned to my nonprofit work. I’m drawing useful comparisons between cooperatives’ growth in their cultural environment and collaborations in the San Diego social sector. I will remember what I heard from cooperative workers as I look for ways to incorporate qualities they cherish about their professional environment. It was so inspiring to witness their commitment to and belief in the cooperative model, and I hope to emulate those feelings of dedication to work and livelihood here.”

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To check out more student experiences, visit our Study Abroad blog page.

Information on international opportunities can also be found on our website.

Pushing the Limits of International Strategy and Management in Argentina

Written by George Zuniga

The International Strategy and Management study abroad program tremendously increased my knowledge of strategic planning, development of global analyses, and strategic problem solving. I found that the assigned readings and case studies chosen for the course were relevant and fit well into the class that was mainly focused on globalization. I particularly enjoyed the Cemex case, which provided an excellent example of strategic planning. It stressed the importance of communication, culture, and innovation in strategic planning. Because of its innovative integration process, the company successfully acquired other organizations. After acquisition, post merger integration (PMI) teams were formed to improve the efficiency of the new operation. Teams were made to help adapt the companies to Cemex’s standards and culture. The integration process involved 3 steps: harmonization of cultural beliefs, improvement of plant situation, and the sharing of basic management principles.

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The course also examined the case of Wal-Mart’s downfall in Germany. This case was extremely helpful in the development of my global analysis skills. Wal-Mart wanted to continue its globalization process with the entry into the European retail marketplace. Germany seemed like the perfect fit as they boast the largest retail economy within Europe. Wal-Mart failed to gain success in the German marketplace because it failed to do a thorough analysis of the marketplace. Wal-Mart instead chose to use the same strategy that worked so well in the United States. It missed that fact that other companies had failed because of tough Zoning laws, labor union issues, store hour restrictions, customer preferences, supplier issues, and fierce competition. This particular case was useful in assisting me with other coursework that involve globalization analysis.

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Lastly, I found that the Dell case increased my knowledge of the process of strategic problem solving. Dell changed the traditional distribution systems of the PC industry, which had been an indirect model, referred to as, “The Channel.” Dell operated as a pioneer in the “configure to order” approach in manufacturing, delivering individual PC configured to customers specifications. This strategic problems solving helped Dell get closer to its customers, created lower inventory, and allowed for just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. In this case, I learned how strategic problem solving can make a company very successful.

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The International Strategy and Management study abroad program has had a life changing effect on me. A common theme that I gained from each of the guest speakers we encountered in Argentina was a willingness to take RISKS. I absolutely loved the story of Pablo Belocopitow, the CFO for Wal-Mart, Argentina. Pablo was working for a successful company in Argentina when he decided to take a risk that most people would never dare to take. He took a gigantic risk by leaving a great job and moving his family from Argentina to San Diego, California in the US to earn an MBA. He chose the University of San Diego as his learning institution. But Pablo didn’t stop there; he later accepted a job with Wal-Mart and moved to Bentonville, Arkansas. I admired his willing to push the limits of his confront zones. After a few years in Bentonville, Wal-Mart decided to send him to Japan. Once again, he moves his family to a very strange and foreign place. His continuous success with Wal-Mart was finally rewarded when they sent him back to Argentina to become the CFO of Wal-Mart Argentina. His story gave me inspiration to take risks in my own life. I decided to pursue my own dreams of working in the Human Resource field where I have always felt I would be at my best. I am currently on my second interview for an HR position with a technology company. Going to Argentina has given me the confidence to take risk and push the envelope of my comfort zone.

To check out more student experiences, visit our Study Abroad blog page.

Information on international opportunities can also be found on our website.

Ahlers Fellow Matt Oney: The Dangers of Growing Too Big, Too Fast

“Navera, a start-up in San Francisco, recently tasked me with determining the viability of expanding their product internationally. The team wanted to find out whether potential revenues would outweigh the costs of adapting their product to fit a few select markets. To give you a bit of background, Navera works in the healthcare space, creating fun, user-friendly cartoons designed to help consumers better understand available healthcare options. It’s a really cool product, and they’ve seen great success within the US. In the everlasting pursuit of increased revenues, they’re looking to offer additional language support to target native Spanish-speakers.

I began by determining the potential market size that would be opened up by offering Spanish support. After Mandarin, Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world, so there’s huge potential here, right? With over 400 million speakers and official language status in 21 different countries, Spanish could offer Navera the opportunity to tap into markets all across Europe, Africa, and South, Central, and North America.

I split the potential expansion into two different categories: (1) international expansion into Spanish-speaking countries in EMEA (Europe and the Middle East), and (2) Mexico and LATAM (Latin America). Everything looked great for EMEA. There are about 38 million native Spanish-speakers there, with only three varying dialects, all primarily located in Spain. Mexico and LATAM weren’t so bad, either. There are about 221 million Spanish speakers in the emerging economies within this region. And the rapidly rising population and income in these areas will only lead to greater demand for healthcare. The product fits, and the market is huge. Awesome!

However, the issue is there are so many variables to take into account before jumping into these markets. For one, the way healthcare works in the US is incredibly different from these countries. There are tons of government regulations and compliance codes, which we need to be familiar with before launching the product. Not to mention a severe lack of brand awareness, local Sales and Business Development teams, and cultural differences to take into account. Quite simply, launching internationally would be a huge task, on top of Navera’s current work domestically.

Scaling back, I decided to look just at the Hispanic population in the US. Sifting through the US Census data from 2015, I found that the market here, too, is huge. 62% of all Hispanics in the US predominantly speak Spanish at home. A huge number of these people simply can’t speak English fluently, and there really is a need for Spanish support here. Cutting the data down, I found that 5,500,000 of these Hispanics are over 18 (check), not fluent in English (check), and earn a salary (check), making them eligible for health care coverage through their employer.

I started to believe we should start expansion domestically. Navera had previously stated that they wouldn’t consider international expansion unless they were guaranteed at least $25M in revenue, which was starting to look bleak, given the major differences in healthcare internationally, compliance factors, operating costs, and cultural factors. Starting small, adapting the product by offering standard Spanish support, and targeting these 5,500,000 native Hispanics will give us a good benchmark of how successful this project could be.

The biggest thing I learned, through this research, was that you can never get ahead of yourself, especially when looking internationally. The market for selling to these overseas markets is undeniably huge, and very profitable. But the costs (mostly in terms of time and complexity) far outweigh the benefits, in the short-term. In this case, it’s smarter to start small, test the product within our current US market, and take it from there.

There I had it. I organized my findings and recommendations, presented them to the Head of Marketing, and helped to reinforce their decision to focus on the US market first. The biggest thing I learned, through this research, was that you can never get ahead of yourself, especially when looking internationally. The market for selling to these overseas markets is undeniably huge, and very profitable. But the costs (mostly in terms of time and complexity) far outweigh the benefits, in the short-term. In this case, it’s smarter to start small, test the product on Spanish speakers within our current US market, and take it from there.

Throughout my time working on this project, the team was incredibly supportive of me, offered me an abundance of internal data and information to use, and truly seemed to appreciate the findings that I provided them. Their international expansion hasn’t been terminated by any means – we’ve just taken a more cautious, measurable approach toward growth.”

Read more student blog posts about our Ahlers Fellowship and study abroad opportunities!

Visit our website for more information about study abroad.

Optimizing your Global Supply Chain #3

3 Seminars: May 13, 18 & 20.

Prices include all 3 seminars.

In our hyper-competitive world of international business, building, managing and sustaining a global supply chain is critical. Regular supply chain issues must be addressed in innovative ways. There are a number activities companies should focus on in order to optimize their supply chains. These include properly controlling costs, mitigating supply chain risk and complexity, pursuing cross-functional alignment, implementing green practices and attracting and retaining appropriate talent.

Although sound supply chain management practices are not always followed, crafting and executing a thoughtful supply chain strategy is critical–and the benefits are huge. A well-oiled supply chain can go a long way in enhancing global competitiveness and achieving higher profits. It could also be the difference between success and failure.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design and execute a sourcing strategy aligned with your firm’s needs
  • Identify best practices and key performance metrics in managing your supply chain
  • Develop a “green” supply chain strategy that makes financial sense for your firm
  • Identify sources of supply chain risk and complexity and describe methodologies to mitigate
  • Recognize the importance of supply chain innovation to a firm’s survival

Total Seminar Hours: 9

Seminar Leader

Joel SutherlandJoel Sutherland is managing director of the Supply Chain Management Institute and an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego. Previously, Sutherland was with Lehigh University and taught at the University of Southern California.

Sutherland has more than 30 years of experience as a supply chain executive working for multi-billion dollar companies in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, paper, pharmaceutical, food and third-party logistics (3PL).

He received his B.S. degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University, has dozens of published papers and articles and is a popular speaker at industry meetings and universities around the world.

He received a number of honors including the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Distinguished Service Award; the Professional Achievement Award from Logistics Management magazine; recognition as a Top 20 Logistics Executive by CLO magazine and the Logistics and Supply Chain Forum; and honored as a Thought Leader by Supply Chain Quarterly and DC Velocity magazines.

Optimizing your Global Supply Chain #2

3 Seminars: May 13, 18 & 20.

Prices include all 3 seminars.

In our hyper-competitive world of international business, building, managing and sustaining a global supply chain is critical. Regular supply chain issues must be addressed in innovative ways. There are a number activities companies should focus on in order to optimize their supply chains. These include properly controlling costs, mitigating supply chain risk and complexity, pursuing cross-functional alignment, implementing green practices and attracting and retaining appropriate talent.

Although sound supply chain management practices are not always followed, crafting and executing a thoughtful supply chain strategy is critical–and the benefits are huge. A well-oiled supply chain can go a long way in enhancing global competitiveness and achieving higher profits. It could also be the difference between success and failure.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design and execute a sourcing strategy aligned with your firm’s needs
  • Identify best practices and key performance metrics in managing your supply chain
  • Develop a “green” supply chain strategy that makes financial sense for your firm
  • Identify sources of supply chain risk and complexity and describe methodologies to mitigate
  • Recognize the importance of supply chain innovation to a firm’s survival

Total Seminar Hours: 9

Seminar Leader

Joel SutherlandJoel Sutherland is managing director of the Supply Chain Management Institute and an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego. Previously, Sutherland was with Lehigh University and taught at the University of Southern California.

Sutherland has more than 30 years of experience as a supply chain executive working for multi-billion dollar companies in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, paper, pharmaceutical, food and third-party logistics (3PL).

He received his B.S. degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University, has dozens of published papers and articles and is a popular speaker at industry meetings and universities around the world.

He received a number of honors including the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Distinguished Service Award; the Professional Achievement Award from Logistics Management magazine; recognition as a Top 20 Logistics Executive by CLO magazine and the Logistics and Supply Chain Forum; and honored as a Thought Leader by Supply Chain Quarterly and DC Velocity magazines.

Optimizing your Global Supply Chain

3 Seminars: May 13, 18 & 20.

Prices include all 3 seminars.

In our hyper-competitive world of international business, building, managing and sustaining a global supply chain is critical. Regular supply chain issues must be addressed in innovative ways. There are a number activities companies should focus on in order to optimize their supply chains. These include properly controlling costs, mitigating supply chain risk and complexity, pursuing cross-functional alignment, implementing green practices and attracting and retaining appropriate talent.

Although sound supply chain management practices are not always followed, crafting and executing a thoughtful supply chain strategy is critical–and the benefits are huge. A well-oiled supply chain can go a long way in enhancing global competitiveness and achieving higher profits. It could also be the difference between success and failure.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design and execute a sourcing strategy aligned with your firm’s needs
  • Identify best practices and key performance metrics in managing your supply chain
  • Develop a “green” supply chain strategy that makes financial sense for your firm
  • Identify sources of supply chain risk and complexity and describe methodologies to mitigate
  • Recognize the importance of supply chain innovation to a firm’s survival

Total Seminar Hours: 9

Seminar Leader

Joel SutherlandJoel Sutherland is managing director of the Supply Chain Management Institute and an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego. Previously, Sutherland was with Lehigh University and taught at the University of Southern California.

Sutherland has more than 30 years of experience as a supply chain executive working for multi-billion dollar companies in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, paper, pharmaceutical, food and third-party logistics (3PL).

He received his B.S. degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University, has dozens of published papers and articles and is a popular speaker at industry meetings and universities around the world.

He received a number of honors including the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Distinguished Service Award; the Professional Achievement Award from Logistics Management magazine; recognition as a Top 20 Logistics Executive by CLO magazine and the Logistics and Supply Chain Forum; and honored as a Thought Leader by Supply Chain Quarterly and DC Velocity magazines.

Developing a Focused Global Sales Strategy #3

3 Seminars: April 23 & 30, May 7.

Price includes all 3 seminars.

In today’s global marketplace, individuals and companies are increasingly looking to sell to foreign customers, which often requires that they expand their sales and business operations to international locations. International selling often starts with the basic demands of the current customer who is expanding outside of the U.S. and asking its suppliers to follow. In other instances, companies are looking to sell internationally in order to compensate for slumping domestic sales or otherwise to grow revenues. In all cases, a focused strategy must be developed and implemented in order for individuals and companies to realize a sufficient payoff from such a large investment of time and resources by the company and its sales force.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design and execute an international selling strategy that supports the goals of the company
  • Identify best practices of selling globally and managing a global sales force
  • Demonstrate consideration for foreign customs and cultures
  • Evaluate pertinent trade regulations and mechanisms of each target country including tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, quotas, and exchange controls
  • Determine how much product and price adaptation is necessary for each foreign market
  • Develop a process for finding and obtaining high quality in-country partners
  • Evaluate the various methods of working with each partner and pick the most appropriate one
  • Assess the proper sales and delivery terms to ensure payment while mitigating international financial risk

Total Seminar Hours: 9

Seminar Leader

carsten zimmermanCarlton O’Neal, clinical professor of marketing, is a 25-year veteran in technology and global entrepreneurship, marketing, sales and business development. Currently, he is a visiting assistant professor at the University of San Diego teaching marketing, business-to-business marketing and professional selling in both undergraduate and graduate programs. O’Neal also teaches marketing and sales to local technology executives through UCSD Extension. Previously, he held VP and CEO positions with various startup and public technology companies in the U.S. and abroad, including GigaRiver, Proximetry (Poland), Alvarion (Israel), Bosch Telecom (Germany) and Texas Instruments. He also pioneered the creation of the first commercial 4G standard in the world called WiMAX. In his positions, O’Neal has been involved in strategic planning and leadership, including market targeting, positioning and differentiating, developing key early customers and partnerships and marketing and selling products and services in the U.S. and 35 countries worldwide.

Developing a Focused Global Sales Strategy

3 Seminars: April 23 & 30, May 7.

Price includes all 3 seminars.

In today’s global marketplace, individuals and companies are increasingly looking to sell to foreign customers, which often requires that they expand their sales and business operations to international locations. International selling often starts with the basic demands of the current customer who is expanding outside of the U.S. and asking its suppliers to follow. In other instances, companies are looking to sell internationally in order to compensate for slumping domestic sales or otherwise to grow revenues. In all cases, a focused strategy must be developed and implemented in order for individuals and companies to realize a sufficient payoff from such a large investment of time and resources by the company and its sales force.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design and execute an international selling strategy that supports the goals of the company
  • Identify best practices of selling globally and managing a global sales force
  • Demonstrate consideration for foreign customs and cultures
  • Evaluate pertinent trade regulations and mechanisms of each target country including tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, quotas, and exchange controls
  • Determine how much product and price adaptation is necessary for each foreign market
  • Develop a process for finding and obtaining high quality in-country partners
  • Evaluate the various methods of working with each partner and pick the most appropriate one
  • Assess the proper sales and delivery terms to ensure payment while mitigating international financial risk

Total Seminar Hours: 9

Seminar Leader

carsten zimmermanCarlton O’Neal, clinical professor of marketing, is a 25-year veteran in technology and global entrepreneurship, marketing, sales and business development. Currently, he is a visiting assistant professor at the University of San Diego teaching marketing, business-to-business marketing and professional selling in both undergraduate and graduate programs. O’Neal also teaches marketing and sales to local technology executives through UCSD Extension. Previously, he held VP and CEO positions with various startup and public technology companies in the U.S. and abroad, including GigaRiver, Proximetry (Poland), Alvarion (Israel), Bosch Telecom (Germany) and Texas Instruments. He also pioneered the creation of the first commercial 4G standard in the world called WiMAX. In his positions, O’Neal has been involved in strategic planning and leadership, including market targeting, positioning and differentiating, developing key early customers and partnerships and marketing and selling products and services in the U.S. and 35 countries worldwide.

Leading Across Cultures for Business Interactions and Teams

3 Seminars: April 8, 15 & 22.

Price includes all 3 seminars.

In the current global business environment, leaders at all levels of the organization interact with peers, clients, subordinates and suppliers from a wide variety of countries. Some of these interactions take place domestically while others are clearly cross-border. In either case, understanding the cultural values that underlie behavior is critical to leadership success. This seminar is designed to develop a level of cross-cultural awareness that will enhance global leadership skills. This applies to not only leading multicultural teams (virtual and face-to-face) but also dealing with clients and suppliers from all over the world. Additionally, the seminar will be invaluable to those who will be in leadership positions as expatriates. The sessions will be primarily interactive utilizing small groups discussions, experiential exercises, cases and self-assessments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify tools for assessing cultural differences
  • Describe one’s own cultural profile and how it affects one’s perceptions of and behavior towards others
  • Identify the potential impact of cultural values on how people communicate
  • Use cultural values to understand and lead multicultural teams
  • Describe unique challenges of leading multicultural virtual teams
  • Recognize the characteristics that contribute to success as an expatriate leader
  • Utilize a self-assessment tool to identify leadership skills related to expatriate success

Total Seminar Hours: 9

Seminar Leader

Cynthia PavettCynthia Pavett is professor of management at the University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration, specializing in international organizational behavior, comparative management, organization design, and negotiations. She has a broad range of experience teaching and living in multiple countries including China, Armenia, India, Australia and a variety of EU countries. Her passion for the complex issues involved in cross-cultural management has resulted in numerous academic publications and presentations at international meetings as well as her teaching in several of the University of San Diego’s executive programs, both domestically and internationally. She received both her PhD and her MBA from the University of Utah.