MASTERS SERIES: Carrying the Chicken: How to Be Effective Overseas

SHRM 2011 Annual Conference
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Track: International HR

An American executive is hauled off an airplane, detained, whipped, and sent home on the next outbound flight. Another gets thrown out of a restaurant and nearly arrested in Turkey after trying to order dessert. A businessman goes to dinner in Hong Kong and, inside of one minute, destroys a multimillion-dollar business deal that had been months in the making. Mistakes like these happen every day, ruining careers and costing American corporations alone over $2 billion a year. And they all happen for one very simple reason: companies send the wrong people overseas.

Human Resources departments have a difficult job. Whether you’re setting up a branch office overseas and need someone to staff it for a year, or simply sending one of your people to negotiate a deal in three weeks, sending the right people is the key to success. It is also the most common cause of failure in international business. Studies have shown that up to 75% of overseas assignments fail. And as many advanced markets flounder in recession and the dollar continues to fall against most world currencies, businesses are turning to overseas partnerships to survive in difficult economic times.

Drawing the audience in with dramatic stories—many from the authors’ own experiences—this session will be an informal guided tour of the global business arena. Baj and Bill will introduce you to key ideas that you can use right away:

- Not Everyone Can Succeed Overseas
- Who You Are Matters
- Attitude Matters
- Time Matters
- Politics, Corruption, and Trust
- So What Do I Do Differently?

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - 2:15pm to 4:15pm

Bruce Alan Johnson

Bruce Alan
Co-author of the book Carry A Chicken in Your Lap—Or Whatever it Takes to Globalize Your Business (NY: St Martins, 2009), Mr. Johnson has worked in the international arena since the 1970s, and has run his own businesses worldwide since 1985. He has helped employers and clients to tackle international problems effectively and affordably, from selecting optimal markets to best strategies for international growth. Some past clients include Hewlett-Packard, Deloitte & Touche, Rockwell International, Rand Merchant Bank, Rainbow Farms, Eli Lilly and Company, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, the Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA), Colgate-Palmolive, Sprint International, Ciena, Armstrong, British Airways, South African Airways, and Lockheed. A dual-degreed cum laude graduate of Claremont Men’s College, Mr. Johnson has taught in several countries as adjunct professor. He has travelled in 76 countries over his career, and has lived in Europe, Turkey, and Africa. He is fluent in German, Russian, Spanish, Afrikaans, and Turkish, and conversant in French, Bulgarian, and Swahili. Aside from having served part time in the White House in 1985-88, some of his former positions include Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute (a leading world think tank); Vice President of Worldwide Affairs for Hill & Knowlton (the world's largest public relations firm); Director of Business Development for ITT Telecommunications; Director of International Marketing & Operations for Schlumberger’s data communications division Rixon (a leading French petro-technology firm); and Manager of International Marketing for RACAL (the British electronics and telecommunications conglomerate). His writings (1350 articles and reviews in five languages over the past 35 years) have appeared in more than 78 countries, including Readers Digest, The Freeman, Telecommunications, and the Wall Street Journal. He has been a guest and keynote speaker in more than 25 countries, and on several radio and television programs in North America, Europe, and South Africa, including NBC's Today show and South Africa’s Third Degree.
Hilton Barron Room
Amount of Credit: 
Credit Type: 
Global Credit