How to increase global business success

The report “Behaviours To Ensure Business Success” by the institute’s director Rick Boven and Tony Smale, principal consultant with Forté Management, has been prepared to provide guidance to educators and others developing and preparing our international businesspeople. It suggests number of behavioural changes are needed to build more effective culture among those involved in creating, leading, managing, and marketing new ventures which will help lift New Zealand’s prosperity

Be customer oriented. Kiwis are very good at inventing and making things, but many too easily assume they understand what customers want and need – we design what we want and value, rather than what they want and value. Too often we miss out on achieving the best possible returns and building long term relationships because we do not match our products and services exactly with what the customer wants and values. Firms that are customer oriented take the trouble to develop deep understanding of the product or service from the customer’s point of view and aim to maintain the resulting relationship for long periods of time. That approach reduces the focus on price and shifts it to value.

Be prepared. The ‘she’ll be right’ or ‘let’s make-do’ approach can undermine successful relationship development overseas. Competitors from other countries are very good at presenting their offers. Messages must be developed, customised, and conveyed in an appropriate format. Ensuring marketing and sales people have good product knowledge is obvious, but it is just as important to adopt the appearance, language, and behaviours that will fit with the expectations, values, and conventions of customers. It is equally important to understand when our famous self deprecation is appropriate and when it just devalues our sales proposition.

Be collaborative. Kiwis like to be self reliant and independent. However, growing successful international businesses requires collaboration to form teams and build connections among many parties: directors, specialist managers, international partners, investors, advisors and others. Collectively we do not do enough to overcome the barriers of distance to form connections and relationships with partners. While we are quite capable of collaborating, in our impatience to ‘get the deal done’ we do not always take the time needed to build the trust and understanding with potential partners that collaboration depends upon.

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