Street Smarts for Global Business: a practical guidebook for global business executives
BookSurge Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (11/08)
Business dealings are complex even when you conduct them in your own country, but they can become positively overwhelming when you venture outside of your comfort zone and have to deal with foreign business people in their own countries. I am speaking from personal experience here, although the first foreign country I had to deal with in my own career was actually the United States. You can believe me that the American way of doing business was a real culture shock to this European.
That’s why I was truly glad to have found a really good, down-to-earth and practical guide in Rob Day’s “Street Smarts for Global Business.” There are a lot of things to be said for it, not the least of which is the very organized and approachable way all of the information therein is laid out for the reader. I have oftentimes found myself in a situation when I wanted to go back to a certain book for reference, but usually I found it really difficult to find the section I was interested in at the time. That’s where the outstanding Summaries at the end of each chapter come in. Coupled with the fantastic Global Business templates at the end of the book they would already be enough for me to highly recommend the book. When we add to this the great amount of truly practical, hands-on information; as well as the personal and oftentimes funny insights of the author, we clearly have a potential winner in our hands.
I am sure you noticed the word “potential” in the previous sentence, which brings us to the elements that I found distracting and in some cases, just slightly disturbing. One of them was the clear lack of proofreading, most evident in the random punctuation used in the direct speech sections, as well as in some other areas; with my personal favorite being the placement of the apostrophe in the “Bill Gate’s” name – I guess being one of the richest people on this planet is not enough to insure the proper spelling of your name either… The second issue – some factual mistakes, such as talking about Czechoslovakia in a book published in 2008, when the two countries, Slovakia and CzechRepublic, separated back in 1993. And I am sure that the author is aware of the fact that people living in Central Europe are not big on being called Eastern Europeans, yet he does that more than once. Well, Western Europe did not fare much better, since one of the most famous streets in the world got renamed into Champs de lyses, and I am not sure that the French will ever forgive Rob Day for his opinion of foie gras. Even if the French were to forgive him, he’d still be in trouble, for calling expatriates ex-patriots. Most, if not all of those mistakes, should have been caught by a competent editor.
Overall I really liked the practical aspect of “Street Smarts for Global Business” as well as the invaluable examples and lessons of how to conduct business globally. With the world getting smaller every day, this is a book that should be read and referred to often by anybody who might ever be in the position of dealing with partners, investors or customers from another culture.