Global Shared Values – Valley International Trade Association Newsletter, October, 2007

Increased competitions in the global marketplace and rapid technological advancements have put the need of effective global leaders at the forefront. These leaders must communicate well and show they are open to people in all countries, and that they can successfully engage in international alliances to commit their firms to long-term business opportunities, and that through this process they can find and celebrate the shared values with all the stakeholders.

This particular approach was taken and implemented by Ritz Carlton at its new hotel in Shanghai and exemplified its main philosophy of centering on global culture. Ritz Carlton acquired rights to manage the property under its own name in the late 1990’s with a staff of 1,000 people. The management of the upscale hotel chain prides itself on superb quality and customer service, and decided that the property required extensive upgrading. The company brought in their top executives from other Ritz Carlton hotels around the world to accomplish this make-over and manage the new hotel in Shanghai.

Among the hotel’s initial action items in the first week of operation under its own control was the decision to start renovating from the employee’s entrance as opposed to other locations, like the main lobby. The rationale behind this approach was that every employee would see and feel the dramatic changes in the first week: Firstly, the new level of service and quality standards would be much higher than the previous, and secondly, the employees were among the most appreciated and valued stakeholders in the company. This incredibly low cost of having such a powerful approach helped the company to convey their main global culture to their employees: “We are Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen”.

Leaders must understand that the critical role of global leadership involves leveling with people from different cultures, and should be sensitive to the needs and expectations of all the stakeholders, most notably the employees. The management of a business requires symbolic and effective actions, which speak volume in eliminating differences and helping the stakeholders, integrate into the global culture.

Ayse Oge, President of Ultimate Trade, can be reached by phone (818) 609-9196. and by e-mail: