Just back from a trip to Delhi, now on my way to Phoenix for the first of two kick off meetings. It’s hard to believe that January is about over. As usual, the crush of the now can become all consuming if you let it.
Allow me a few observations of operating globally picked up over the last few weeks.
Twitter is Good, Twitter is Great, but I must say when I was standing at the Taj Mahal I was much more interested in posting a picture to Facebook then sending out a Tweet. But maybe that is just me.
As I lug a very cute stuffed lamb with me to pass along to a colleague about to have a baby in Prague, I realize that International Shipping is remarkably hard. DHL wanted $250 to send a box of about $100 worth of GAP Baby merchandise. Seriously? I can beam a picture of myself “holding” the Taj Mahal instantly around the world, but I can’t cost effectively ship something to Europe?
Context matters. In our meeting in Delhi we heard a very engaging story about how different cultures view things from their own contextual point of view, and that colors their thinking and understanding. This isn’t a surprise; it just bears remembering as you work cross-culturally. (Did you know that Sushi just means “Rice” in Japanese? I didn’t either.)
And despite being out of the country and our 24×7 TV/News/Internet culture when the Earthquake struck Haiti, I still managed to keep abreast of what was happening. It wasn’t as big a story in India, but it still mattered. And through Facebook, I was able to keep up with a friends quest to first make sure that her soon to be adopted son in Haiti was alive and OK, and then to somehow get him “home” to the US. It was a remarkable story that ended happily just yesterday.
And there are dozens, hundreds, if not thousands of stories like this that are playing out whenever there is such a massive disaster, I am glad it worked out for her. Let’s hope they get help to those who need.