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July 17th Submission

Been distracted this week with a combination of work and personal issues, so not able to add a lot in the area of insights this week. However, I did have a good conversation with our CEO this week as we prepare for a set of meetings with our Netherlands partners on how to build a better global business. While we have been fairly progressive in the area of international growth, we are both concerned that our international partners have many individuals who are not fully on-board with the concept of global integration.

Part of their issue is that they have built such a strong presence with local companies and government agencies that the purchase of of US based company could be more of a distraction from their core business. It is strange from the sense that we were the acquired company but have been pushing integration and change more so than they are necessarily willing to go. Part of it is culture, the Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemborg style regarding change

is through collaboration and discussion. I have found that Americans are much more willing to meet and "hammer the issues out" so that some clear direction and purpose is found. Ultimately, I don't think either way is better or worse, just different.

In thinking of applying this experience to our class, I can see that as the global continues to integrate together, we are going to have to get much more open minded to other ways that cultures and people interact. No longer is just enough to worry about your domestic competitors are doing, you need to consider what global influences now exist. In developed products and services, it will be equally important to not only understand your customer in the markets you currently serve, but emerging markets where your product and service are in demand. Based upon the rate of change, this is not a process that is moving slowly either. Thus, I envision that more time for successful managers will be spend in simply managing and preparing for change.

As always, I an enjoying the class because it is making me think outside of my normal day to day concerns. Thanks, Dan