- Idea Gathering phase (March 2012 – April 2012)
With an objective of becoming the global manager, I have spent time in finding out what are the key challenges both world and business organization may encounter in next 10-15 years. Objective was to know those challenges and start gaining skills to encounter them easily.
I have read employment surveys from major agencies like (Randstand, Adecco, Manpower, KellyOCG) to understand what kind of skills is missing in the managerial sectors and what can be the requirements in future. It has highlighted some of the business challenges like increment in automation, need for better soft skills, workforce with adaptable mindset. I could also see the ageing population predicted as one of the growing problems in many countries.
I have also used Euro-stat, American State Department, World Economic Forum, International Monetary Fund, United Nations Millennium Reports as well as World Bank reports to understand the trends in world economic environment in future. Although, I was aware that nothing is certain in business environment, these studies gave me some estimate about the future trends. They were:
Demographic changes: Future population is going to be very mobile, very aged in some countries and having mixed ethnicity due to mass migration. Some regions of the world are experiencing high population growth going to offer opportunities as well as challenges. Understanding the new population composition and laying out strategies keeping this trend in mind will be an important aspect.
Urban planning/Smart cities: According to UN surveys, majority of population will leave in cities.
Environmental Law & Policy: With the rising awareness about climate change, this is the area where most of the companies need to pay attention in future. Having participated at many levels, I knew that this is going to be an area of huge growth as well as potential conflicts with other areas.
Some other changes were related to income inequality, political failure in some regions and growth shifting from developed countries to developing nations.
I have read some articles from the newspaper highlighting some of current or upcoming challenges faced by global companies.
Managing global workforce: Managing a mobile workforce requires skills such as intercultural communication & management. Language learning and understanding cultural code are desired by many corporations and going to be a key skill in future.
Public policy/understanding international organizations: understanding the working methods and direction of any government can be a boon for the planning of any companies, especially in today’s competitive environment.
Trade disputes/free trade agreements: International trade is going to be a key focus area with many major economies going to create their own free trade parks, even though they are part of WTO (World Trade Organization). Future of any company depends on all such deals, negotiations and talks of the free trade. Knowing this area can bring a good overview for a future global manager.
Economic policies: Since the crisis of 2008, I wanted to know more about the movement of money in the global markets. The crisis in Europe actually highlighted the importance of monetary and fiscal policy in doing business. This is also linked to foreign exchange rate, a small difference can easily erode the revenue of any firm.
Later, on a tip from one of the LinkedIn friend, I have also added the need to understand Big Data in this list.
I have been reading Harvard business Review from past few years along with the New York times column ‘Corner office’ from quite few years. This has given me lot of insights on what problems people at executive level generally faces. I have narrowed down few of them as possible problems, a future global manager might face.
- Matching them with the existing skill-sets
Then I have cross checked this with my existing skill set. In some areas of Management, I already had good practical exposure but they needed international level up-gradation. Some new soft skills like understanding economic policy making has to be developed. Some future trends needed to be studied in slightly more depth to get a good overview. Even if I have already met people from many countries as well as ministers, Nobel laureates; I realized the requirement of learning foreign languages and understanding different cultures to become a better communicator.
Overcoming Initial confusion and setting up my own program/curriculum
Choosing skills over degree: By now, you might have seen that my ambition was too big to be fit in any traditional program. Moreover, my obsession was gaining the skills not with degree. With already having degree from top best universities, my education in Denmark has given me confidence to design my own curriculum like I had during my master studies in Chemical engineering at Technical University of Denmark.
Aiming for Zero cost : Even, if it could be possible to fulfill my ambition of becoming this interdisciplinary person from traditional education than I might need to wait for some more time before the start of new session. But there is no guarantee, I can afford it in future also. I had not interest in becoming them. Even if it was possible (like doing a MBA), I have to wait for 17-18 months before next session starts. And even if I wait, there is no clear answer on what my financial situation will be at that time. With already aware of the mismatch between university education and industry requirements, the results of which are many people sitting with high debt occur through their student loan. To remain debt-free is my major priority and I am glad that I have obtained what I wanted without much cost.
- Initial phase and discovery of Coursera/MOOC
It was already May and I was slightly confused on what to do next. I have been just graduated from one of the world’s top technical universities (Technical University of Denmark) with good qualifications. Should I take risk of pursuing this program or take up employment to start my professional life? With no clear answer in sight, I gave myself 3 months to decide. I started applying for jobs and parallel started to study management courses from MIT Open Course Wares. No job application turned out to be successful and after the discovery of MOOCs in July 2012, I forgot about everything and lived with this idea for the next 2 year by working on it full time. have used easily applicable resources like newspapers, magazines, television, libraries as well as social media to build the knowledge sets.
After 2 years, facing many personal difficulties and putting my professional career at risk, I am glad to finish my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project.
So how I did this entire project? Just click on the following links:
– List of Courses used in ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project
– List of important resources used in ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project
– Course Reviews
– Live projects to test skills in the real life situations
– Learning experiences with some memorable moments as shared with other learners around the world
– Globalization Tools developed: This page is still under construction