- Assess your environment before making any changes.
- Get the help you need. This means hiring local interpreters and lawyers, and a "culture coach" who can teach you the business conventions of your host country.
- Consider relocating. Some international stints require time as an expatriate; others can be done remotely, albeit with significant travel.
- Have face-to-face meetings of global teams once a year. The relationships you and your U.S. team build will pay off during all those international conference calls the rest of the year.
- Don't forget IT/business alignment. It's still a work in progress in the U.S.; many other countries have even further to go. Do your part to get les chefs on board with IT initiatives.
This was first published in September 2007