According to the Financial Times a global mindset is “one that combines an openness to and awareness of diversity across cultures and markets with a propensity and ability to see common patterns across countries and markets”. The IIBN’s breakfast on Friday May 5th with an interactive transatlantic conversation between a panel of prominent business leaders at White and Williams LLP in New York and Accenture’s Innovation Hub in Dublin certainly epitomized this definition.
In New York the panel of distinguished guests that were led by captivating moderator, Mark Redmond CEO of American Ireland Chamber of Commerce, comprised of:
- Susan Danger, CEO of AmCham EU
- Brian Moloney, CEO and founder of Silvergroves Advisors
- Mary McEvoy, Director of Global Procurement at PepsiCo
- Nicole Sullivan, Partner at White and Williams LLC
In Dublin Miriam O’Keeffe, Program Director at American Ireland Chamber of Commerce facilitated the engaging conversation with:
- Niamh Haughey, FDI Relationship Manager at HSBC
- Michael Whitney, Global Corporate Real Estate lead at Accenture
Our panelists drew on similar experiences in describing the development of their global mindset, which typically took the course of working or living in a foreign country and overcoming the initial challenges that they faced. From the exquisite White and Williams offices overlooking Times Square each of our New York panelists outlined the importance of the global mindset in their respective businesses:
Nicole Sullivan underlined the importance of a leading law firm to operate with a ‘global mindset’ as her practice includes multi-jurisdictional trust and estate litigation. Ms. Sullivan citied examples of advising foreign companies investing in the US on American business practices, and likewise US companies investing in Europe or South America on the cultural differences that they need to consider
Susan Danger, an English woman, living in Brussels, at the head of the American Chamber of Commerce Europe, referred to the benefit of growing up in the multi cultural environs of London and then the pursuit of global travel after University. The Brexit question is at the forefront of Susan’s agenda representing US business in Europe, and it was her opinion that to a degree the vote to leave the EU represented a lack of education on international trade and misinformation on globalization. For example, one manufacturing company’s raw product crosses the channel between Newcastle in the North East of England and the Netherlands approximately forty times before a consumer purchases the finished product.
Mary McEvoy defined a global mindset as “having an interest in people, being curious, and not being afraid to get out of your comfort zone”. Mary manages a virtual team in nine countries across the globe and as a real advocate of diversity she believes that great innovation comes from embracing a multicultural workforce.
"A Global Mindset starts with an interest in people" - Mary McEvoy
Brian Moloney provided a unique perspective of advising clients of various sizes on pre and post mergers and acquisitions (M&A) across the globe. Brian reflected that globalization affects companies of all sizes therefore a global mindset is not just a concern for Fortune 500 companies. In a M&A deal there is significant investment in the assessing the financial and operational synergies offered by a deal, however, if the cultural and diversity elements are not carefully considered the expected return from the deal will not be realized.
With the present rise of populism across Europe and North America are panel expressed the need for accountability for both corporations and individuals on education and embracing the conversation on diversity and globalization.
We are truly appreciative to our entire panel for sharing their insightful perspectives and contributing to the richness of the discussion. A special thank you to the event sponsor Tom Butler and Nicole Sullivan of White and Williams LLP and to Mark Redmond and all the team at the American Ireland Chamber of Commerce.