ENGLISH CHRONICLE No. 14: GREAT QUOTES FOR MOTHERS

Below couple quotes from famous authors to honor our dear moms

  • The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

Theodore Hesburgh

  • All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

Abraham Lincoln

Mothers quotes

  • A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them

Victor Hugo

  • The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.

  Honore de Balzac

  • The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.

Jessica Lange
Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist

Global Certification

 

Publicités

ENGLISH CHRONICLE No.13: HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT Vs TALENT MANAGEMENT

Ekaterina Walter, Contributor at Forbes, the famous American business magazine quoted that “Your Company Is Only As Extraordinary As Your People”. For longtime, management theories have emphasized the important role played by people in organizations. Traditionally, people has therefore been referred to as Human Resources (HR), which naturally gave the term Human Resources Management used to describe the formal systems designed for the management of people within an organization. The concept of Human resources was perfectly appropriate in the industrial era when people were associated indifferently with the company’s other assets to generate output, and ultimately profit. HR Management therefore has been more administratively focused, essentially dealing with recruitment, compensation, vacation, complaints and other personnel day to day duties.

HR Vs Talent

However with development of the knowledge society and the fierce competition between organizations, with people occupying a central role, HR has shifted to being a strategic function rather than being a purely tactical one. There are now different approaches to people now referred to as talents. While there is no clear and formal distinction between HR management and talent managements, the latter differs from the former by viewing every single employee as unique to the organization success. It makes the whole organization responsible for hiring, training, retaining, helping and improving the best talents in line with its vision.

Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist

Global Certification

ENGLISH CHRONICLE No.12: WOMEN AND BUSINESS IN AFRICA

In most African countries, women have increasing access to education and greatly contributing to the economic activities of their respective countries, or even to the global economy. But do women outperform men in business in those countries?

Women and BusinessWhen it comes to successfully operating a business, businesswomen are facing more challenges than their male counterparts. Indeed the male-dominated business culture prevents women from having the right education and access to capital such as finance and land in most of those countries. Women are therefore generally more active in very small revenue generating activities when they have access to the minimum of resources. Taking their business to international stage is even full of multiple roadblocks for women because of the beliefs that women should stay home to care for the family while women leadership is generally facing rejections in the African society.

However with more freedom and adequate support, women are equally effective in business than men. They are even believed to be more creative, ethical and socially responsible in business… Here are 5 example of successful businesswomen in Africa according to Jeune Afrique magazine:

Mama Tajmouati, Morocco : CEO of Ynna Holding, active in real estate, construction, agribusiness, distribution and renewable energy

Huguette Oyini , Gabon: CEO of BGFI Bank, a leading financial services organization headquartered in Gabon

Delphine Traoré Maïdou, Burkina Faso: Operations Director at Allianz Africa, a Division of a global insurance company

Anta Babacar Ngom Bathily, Senegal: CEO of Sedima, active in agribusiness

Rebecca Enonchong, Cameroon: Founder and CEO of AppsTech Group, Inc., Information Techonologies, provider of enterprise application solutions

 

Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist

Global Certification

ENGLISH CHRONICLE No.11: WHAT IS A GOOD MANAGER?

We all love being viewed as a good manager or working under the supervision of a good one, which means that not all managers are all good! So, let’s review some common qualities that make some people entrusted with managerial position transmit positive impressions.

Manager

  • Competence: A good manager ultimately utilizes the right and available resources to reach the organization’s targets. This comes with being well organized, setting priorities and being focused.
  • Delegation: Entrusting subordinates with key responsibilities ensures their professional growth and accelerates the achievements of the organization’s objectives.
  • Accountability and responsibility: Transparently recording and communicating results to stakeholders is expected from a good manager. While sharing the ownership of good performances with all colleagues, he takes responsibility of low performances on himself so that he does not blame anyone other than himself.
  • Continual learning: A good manager never stops learning from his coworkers and from the any experience he went through to build a stronger organizational structure, culture and process with the aim of delivering superior products or services to customers.
  • Positive and empathetic attitude: Being positive and empathetic makes a manager pleasant to work with, and a resourceful person for subordinates in hard times.
  • Honesty: This is a universal quality sought in any individual, particularly in decision makers. A good manager should not fail to be honest with his subordinates and with the society in general.
  • Fairness: A good manager is fair when it comes to delegating, giving opportunities, rewarding and reprimanding subordinates.
  • Patience: It sometimes take time, especially for the new colleagues to reach a certain level of confidence in their daily tasks. A good manager allocates the necessary time and resources to improve new comers’ performance and tolerate mistakes as part of the training process. In general a good manager gives chance to anyone who failed, to correct their imperfections.
  • Leadership: A good manager is necessarily a good leader. He inspires and leads by setting the good example

Are you at a managerial position in your organization? Consider how you mirror your own qualities with above.

Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist

Global Certification

ENGLISH CHRONICLE No.10: TIPS FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL

Going on business trip is for most travelers an exciting experience full of hope for productive discussions with business partners and also of discoveries. However the journey can turn into a nightmare and fought with multiple difficulties if the traveler failed to properly prepare and plan ahead. Below are some tips based on my personal experience.

Business travel

  • Travel Documents: Gathering all required travel documents such as passport, visa, international health certificate, trip authorization papers, hotels and flight confirmation are the basics. Ideally, having a copy of each travel document can help in case the original is misplaced or just got lost. Carrying used passports containing past visas of different countries sometimes also helps get out of troubles and prolonged interrogations at immigration.
  • Financial requirements: Of course, everyone tries to estimate how much money is sufficient to cover the cost of the trip. When budgeting, it is important to consider a buffer of at least 25% of the total budget for miscellaneous expenses. When entering a different monetary zone, in addition to holding international credit or debit cards, it is advisable to hold limited cash in US dollar or/and in EURO. Check departing and destination country requirement for authorized cash limits.
  • Preparing discussion topics: Business travel implies meeting partners for discussions or implementing projects. As any other type of meeting, getting well prepared for the upcoming discussions will help increase the chance of success and the feeling of mission accomplished
  • Transportation arrangements: Once at destination, the transit from the point of entry (airport, train or bus station) can be filled with unexpected events. It is recommended to ask for hotel pick up service and confirm it before departure. Additionally, anticipating taxi service will help in case of delayed arrival. If left with this choice only, prefer the authorized airport taxi service to the random city taxi even if the former is more expensive.
  • Luggage Packing: Taking time to establish a list of important items for the trip will help the traveler avoid forgetting essential articles and lifesaving tools for the trip. At the same time it also prevents him from getting stuffed with unnecessary materials. In general, having some more space in the luggage is always a good idea that will allow the traveler to bring back souvenirs or other useful stuffs he could find available or cheaper abroad.
  • Local contacts: In case the traveler has a reliable contact person at destination, why not having that person participate into the trip arrangement? That will procure the feeling of more security and assurance especially during first time visit to a country. There is a saying in More language stating that “Mi ned saon mi tenga”, in other words “getting to know someone is better than knowing a place”
  • Medication: It is recommended that the traveler carry his usual medicines against basic discomforts such as headache, stomachache, general fatigue, cold or flu and malaria. It may not be easily find them at destination and the body may not be responsive to their equivalents. If you are under special treatment, make sure you check your drugs in the luggage packing list.
  • Exercise: Traveling is generally a physically demanding activity. If your time allows, exercising 1 o 2 weeks before can help prepare your body to stand in various conditions including long distance walks, long seated positions, extended lay overs at airports or train or bus stations
  • Reading/writing: Most people like reading or writing but few of us really get organized and disciplined enough to do so. Because the traveler will feel lonely and is likely to face lot of waiting time during a trip, this is an opportunity to advance in our reading or writing projects. Getting to have an idea about the place you are traveling to can help build confidence and adopt the appropriate attitude at destination. Specifically reading about the culture, business practices and mapping the places to visit will give a sense of direction once there.
  • Other advice: Refilling the body with energy whenever possible is a good attitude; so the traveler should not miss their chance to sleep to rest their mind and body to meet the next challenge. He should not also miss to eat the meal where there is opportunity to do so. My boss likes providing the following advice to me: “Don’t intentionally delay eating your meal when traveling. You never know if you will have chance to catch up at the next stop”

Are you preparing your next trip? I believe above pieces of advice can help you have a safer one.

Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist

Global Certification

ENGLISH CHRONICLE No 9: CHOOSING YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER

When conducting business operations, you will probably have to work with at least one partner on a formal and somehow permanent basis. Your partner can be an associate, a supplier, a consultant or any other contractor you formally get engaged in a professional relation with.Business partner

Choosing your partners is a critical step that determines how successful your business will be. Indeed, like in a marriage, picking up the wrong partner can lead to misunderstandings, abuses, bad habits, lying and eventually to separation associated with lawsuits and high cost. Therefore before choosing your partner, it is strongly advisable that any entrepreneur checks the following key points.

  • Trust: It would be extremely reckless to enter into a business relation with a partner who is not trustable. Finding ways to build trust may include hanging out with each other, interviewing people who know your prospective partner and legally checking their current and past records.
  • Nonnegotiable: These are standards you must make clear your partner accepts them to enter into business. Nonnegotiable may be values you will never compromise for any reason
  • Common long term vision: It is essential that you and your partner align your vision for the long term. Without shared vision, your partnership is heading nowhere.
  • Complementary skills: Each player should bring a unique but a significant value to the business.
  • Clear role: Every player should have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities to avoid conflicting and frustrating situations.
  • Financial status: In fulfilling their responsibilities, there is high chance that each party will put money on the table upfront. Therefore how financially strong your partner is represents also a good metric of how reliable he is.

Relationship can evolve any time so that there is no guarantee that verifying all above key elements will necessarily lead to successful partnership. It also may take a lot of time, energy and money to find the right partner. But given the evident drawbacks of an improper choice, it’s worth the efforts.

Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist

ENGLISH CHRONICLE No 8: BUSINESS AND CULTURE

Thanks to the expanding globalization, large and small companies have increasingly easy access to foreign markets. However, not all of them create success story in the global market. According to surveys, cultural differences between home and host countries represent a major factor of failure.

There are numerous ways to define culture but in business context, let’s simply view it as a set of norms and values shared within a society.

Business and culture

In that perspective, we’ll consider the below 4 elements of culture which are most likely to influence cross border business operations.

Language and Communication

Finding ways to break the language barrier is obviously a vital step if you want to successfully enter a new foreign marker. It is important to notice that even English is the most commonly used international language in Business, being fluent in the official local language and/or in the most commonly spoken local language in host countries is truly a communication asset. Want to read about learning a new language? Go back previous post on this subject in English Chronicle No.7

Nonverbal communications such as gestures, silence, attire, posture and attitude are also an important hints that can make you win or lose business in foreign countries.

Organizational Hierarchy

Hierarchy refers to the established relationship between management and subordinates. The type of Organizational hierarchy and management style that work in your domestic country may not necessarily work in your target foreign area. For example in places like the United States where the power distance is small, managements and subordinates tend to make no difference between each other. It is normal to address the top management by their first name, directly chat with them and frequently socialize with them. At the opposite, titles and surnames are widely used in situations where the power distance is large. Regions where the power distance is large include Africa and Asia. For example it would sound impolite or too casual to address your boss or your new business partner by their first name in these regions.

Religion

In most cases, it is not necessary to adopt foreign country religious practice in order to access their market. However it is crucial to respect those practices. Eventually you will have to comply your own business operations with the widely accepted or imposed religious practices. For example, your products or services type, the opening days and hours of your business may need to follow the religious norms. It is also likely that your HR practices will be dictated by the host country religious choices in certain countries.

Time and punctuality

There are different approaches to time across regions in the world. Some countries consider time as very important and precious.  People there are mostly punctual and good at reaching targets. Other countries view time as general guidelines and therefore people there tend to be late at meetings or always missing deadlines.

Are you considering relocating or expanding your business into foreign country? Do your homework with “understanding the local culture” as one of your main subjects.

Prosper ZOMBRE

International Business Development Specialist