Global Mindset, the Concept

The global-mindset concept has been studied and written about for decades.  If you search for "global mindset" on any major bookselling website, you'll find more books than you probably care to read.  Shorter papers and research reports are easy to find.


Here are three of the many definitions that have been put forward.  A global mindset...

"helps leaders see the world from multiple perspectives, make decisions that work both locally and globally, and increase the ability of their company to compete in the global marketplace."

"is the ability in influence individuals, groups, organizations, and systems that are unlike the leader's."

"is a highly complex cognitive structure characterized by an openness to and articulation of multiple cultural and strategic realities on both global and local levels, and the cognitive ability to mediate and integrate across this multiplicity."


"Transnational mentality" is another name that's been given to this constellation of competencies.

"Geocentric orientation" is said to be characteristic of managers who downplay the significance of nationality and cultural differences in determining who is competent or trustworthy."

"Cosmopolitan" has a similar meaning.  Cosmopolitans are defined by their "willingness to engage with the Other, openness toward divergent cultural experiences, [and a search] for contrasts rather than uniformity."  They have learned the "ability to make one's way into other cultures through listening, looking, intuiting, and reflecting."  One authority notes that it is "not travel that defines cosmopolitans -- some widely traveled people remain hopelessly parochial -- it is a mindset."


Based on insights gathered by researchers over decades as well as our own 25+ years of experience providing Global Leadership Solutions worldwide, we are confident that...

  • "Global mindset" designates a constellation of mental, emotional, and behavioral competencies;
  • These competencies comprise...
    > an openness to engaging with, and an ability to come to complexly understand, others from cultural backgrounds with which one is initially unfamiliar;
    > the elimination of, or lessening of, "knee-jerk" judgementalness with respect to the values and behavior of others from unfamiliar backgrounds; and
    > an eagerness, and an ability, to view the global marketplace and one's own challenges within it from multiple value perspectives.
  • These competencies can be learned or, if already possessed, can be further enhanced.
  • Managers who have a global mindset are more likely to remain loyal to a company that, organizationally, also has a global mindset; in such a work environment the managers' global competencies are valued and leveraged to provide them with "stretch" global assignments.
  • An expatriate assignment is not the only way for a manager to develop or enhance his or her global mindset.

The Learn More button, above right, will bring you a fast reply from Cornelius Grove, co-creator of this program.