E-Residency: How Estonia is Advancing Globalization

Estonia is a tiny nation in the European Baltic region. By airplane, it is about two hours north of Germany. With a population of 1.3 million people, it is the smallest member of the European Union (EU). However, despite its size, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. And their progressive growth may be further fueled by a 2014 decision to offer e-Residency to you and me!

“The Republic of Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency — a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online.”

Furthermore, their promotional materials tell us that e-residents can:

    • Establish and administer a company online
    • Conduct all the banking online, e.g. make electronic bank transfers
    • Have access to international payment service providers
    • Digitally sign documents (e.g. annual reports, contracts) within the company as well as with external partners
    • Declare taxes online

At the heart of this landmark decision to offer e-residency is Estonia’s ability to effectively leverage technology. As a result of their free Wi-Fi, immense fiber-optic infrastructure and secure data exchange system, Estonians can electronically sign almost every document. In fact, it is purported that they are so integrated that citizens can file their taxes in less than five minutes. This competitive advantage provides Estonians with secure, seamless transactions and the ability to move information quickly. It also opens the door for people around the world to make use of this same system. For example, I can establish a business in Estonia as an e-citizen because I do not need to physically be present. Estonia has realized that digital information is borderless and built an immigration system that embraces it. Furthermore, they are hoping this strategy will stimulate the economy and broaden their tax base.

A few weeks ago I blogged about two counter-trends – globalization and tribalism (See Going Tribal: When Globalization Fails). In summary, society either seems to be polarizing to one of two extremes; we embrace the complex and messy aspects of globalization, or, we look inward and protect ourselves from outside forces. Estonia has clearly placed their betting chips on globalization. Their press release materials conclude by stating, “With e-Residency, you can become part of the digital society revolution taking place in our dynamic Northern European country. You can become an e-Estonian!

Perhaps you and I will have the opportunity to become an Estonian e-Citizen next!


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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Source: Estonian e-Residency

Photo Credit: Gadling

17 Global Population Trends You Probably Don’t Know

Population.

When was the last time you thoughtfully considered the powerful force of something as simple as population? History is full of examples of how quickly a population change can impact a nation or our world! For example, China’s one-child policy is now causing serious implications for an aged society with few children to care for their elders.

Here are 17 population projections that will deeply impact our world in the decades ahead.

  1. By 2017, Baby Boomers will control 70 percent of America’s disposable income.
  2. More than 40 countries are expected to decrease their population between 2015 and 2050.
  3. Older Americans who describe themselves as lonely have a 45 percent greater risk of dying-and that the population of over-65 adults in the United States is projected to double in the next 15 years.
  4. By 2020, the majority of the world’s middle class population will be located in the Asia Pacific region.
  5. In 2035, 60% of the world’s population will be in cities.
  6. By 2035, almost 80% of the world’s population is projected to be in Asia and Africa.
  7. China’s population is expected to be overtaken by India (1.3 billion) within the next seven years.
  8. The collective working-age population of the world’s advanced economies will decline for the first time since 1950.
  9. By 2030, the current urban population of 3.6 billion will rise to five billion.
  10. The urban population of the developing world is expected to double between 2000 and 2030.
  11. Over 85 percent of the world’s population will likely live in a city by the end of the 21st century.
  12. The global rural population is now almost 3.4 billion and expected to decline to 3.2 billion by 2050.
  13. Over the next 40 years, Asia’s urban population is projected to increase from 1.9 billion to 3.2 billion.
  14. By 2030, a billion Chinese people will be city dwellers.
  15. Half the world’s population is expected to be online by 2019.
  16. Up to 2030 the world will need to build the equivalent of a city of 1 million people every five days.
  17. Labor markets will need to add 600 million new jobs by 2026 to accommodate changing global demographics.

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Source: Shaping Tomorrow

Leading Globally: How Humane is Your Country?

As the world has learned about the tragic earthquake in Nepal we see a tremendous outpouring of generosity and compassion. However, not all nations respond the same to humanitarian needs. This cultural difference can be partially explained by something called our humane orientation.

The GLOBE leadership study defines humane orientation as the degree to which individuals in organizations encourage individuals for being fair, altruistic, friendly, generous, caring and kind to others. The chart below illustrates some of the most common differences between countries with high or low humane orientation scores. At the bottom of this blog you will find a reference chart which provides specific results for the 62 countries in the GLOBE study.

Human Orientation Chart 2

The GLOBE research discovered that societies with high humane scores have citizens who experience economic, physical and psychological well-being. Conversely, countries with lower humane orientation are more economically developed, modern and urbanized. Furthermore, societies which exist in difficult conditions (physically or due to climate) have a higher humane orientation! Difficult conditions help facilitate cooperation and solidarity!

This study provides information about countries that most of us will never set foot on. However, globalization often brings these cultures to our own cities, neighborhoods and classrooms. Effective leaders must understand that we each carry bias about the ideal humane orientation. Furthermore, they learn how to identify and appropriately respond to these different views.

This blog is the final installment in a series on global leadership. You may enjoy reviewing some previous posts: Gender EqualityAssertivenessFuture Orientation, Power DistancePerformance Orientation and Individualism.


 

Head ShotJeff Suderman is a Human Orientation Chart 1professor and consultant in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and their Future-Readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman

Reference

House, R., Hanges, P.J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P.W., Gupta, V. (2004).Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Leading Globally: The Power Distance Effect

We have all felt power at work in our professional and personal relationships. Sometimes it draws us nearer to people and at times it pushes us away. At times it operates so naturally that we feel comfortable while at other times it makes us uncomfortable. There is a term for this – power distance.

By definition, power distance is the degree to which we expect and agree that power should be stratified and concentrated at higher levels. High power distance seeks more stratification while lower score minimize differences. This phenomenon is very present as we examine cultural norms. The caste system in India is a historic example of how power distance can dramatically define and affect relationships and societies.

The chart below illustrates some of the most common differences between countries with high or low power distance scores. At the bottom of this blog you will find a reference chart which provides specific results for the 62 countries in the GLOBE study.

Leading Globally - Power Distance

 

 

 

 

Power distance norms correlate directly to how we lead. Countries with low scores utilize Leading Globally - Power Distance3charismatic and participative leadership styles. Countries with high scores practice self-protective leadership. In addition, the GLOBE research reveals that traditionally, strong Catholic countries have a culture of strong power distance. High practices of power distance are also associated with higher levels of male domination in societies. To illustrate this point, I encourage you to look for countries which have female Presidents or Prime Minister’s. In most cases, you will find that they are nations with lower power distance scores.

This global measure provides us with helpful insights into how societies operate. Power distance is a quiet principle that affects our lives in significant ways. Effective leaders and organizations must learn to identify and adapt to variances in power distance norms as they work and relate to others.

This blog is part 6 of an 8 part series on global leadership. You may enjoy reviewing some previous posts: Gender EqualityAssertivenessFuture OrientationPerformance Orientation and Individualism.


 

Head ShotJeff Suderman is a professor and consultant who works inLeading Globally - Power Distance 2
the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and their Future-Readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman

Reference

House, R., Hanges, P.J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P.W., Gupta, V. (2004).Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Leading Globally: Understanding Performance Orientation

“As you consult with us this month, you will find that our culture tends to work-to-live rather than live-to-work”. “This statement provided me with a very helpful orientation during a recent project in eastern Europe.

Culture affects how we think, how we act and how we lead. As a result, understanding cultural norms and differences provide us with the means to lead and work more effectively. This week’s blog is the first of an eight part series which will focus on developing global leadership skills. It is derived from the seminal work on global leadership commonly called The GLOBE Leadership Study. It assessed 62 different countries and identified important cultural and leadership norms. The results of this massive research project provide us with a goldmine of information which helps us understand cultural differences. I will begin this series by reviewing performance orientation and learning how we can identify and appropriately respond to it. At the bottom of this blog you will find a chart which provides specific high/mid/low performance orientation results for the 62 countries in this study.

PERFORMANCE ORIENTATION

“Performance orientation reflects the extent to which a community encourages and rewards innovation, high standards and performance improvement” (The GLOBE Study, 1004, p. 239)

The chart below provides a simple contrast of differences between high and low performance orientation cultures. As you review these lists, think of different cultures or individuals that you interacted with and determine when you have seen these dynamics at work.

Performance Orientation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to state that this information does not measure good nor bad performance orientation. Rather, it identifies differences, each of which bring a host of advantages and disadvantages. As we begin to identify and understand cultural differences, here are three ways we can apply this information.

1. We can view this as a means to understand an individuals behavior. Interpersonal conflict can stem from differences in performance orientation.

2. We often use this to evaluate a leaders performance. How we define success determines how we evaluate effective and ineffective leadership.

3. We can use it to interpret organizational cultures. Understanding the driving forces behind ‘The way things are done around here’, a common term which describes organizational culture, helps us live and work more effectively in that culture.

Here are some tips from the GLOBE study which will help you work effectively with cultures of high or low performance orientation.

Performance Orientation Tips

 

 

 

 

 

I invite you to provide your insights and experiences below as you consider your experiences dealing with individual, leadership or organizational differences in performance orientation.


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Performance Orientation Country JPG

Jeff Suderman is a professor and consultant who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and their FutureReadiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman

Reference

House, R., Hanges, P.J., Javidan, M, Dorfman, P.W., Gupta, V. (2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.