Christoph Grizzard l Global Citizens for Global Business
Christoph Grizzard, CEO: Avant Garde Milano
– The world is becoming increasingly global and the need for true global citizens to lead organizations in business, nonprofits, and government is far greater than in decades past.
Global citizens are able to bring people together across organizational boundaries and are more effective working and collaborating anywhere in the world. Christoph Grizzard, CEO of Avant Garde Milano understands this better than most. In his time as founder and CEO of Avant Garde Milano, an Italy-based sales and fundraising organization, Christoph has seen more globetrotting than the average James Bond movie.
“Being a global citizen means seeing as much of the world as possible,” says Christoph Grizzard, clearly a voice of authority on the subject of global citizenship. “I was born in the US, but I’ve been hopping around too much to put roots down anywhere. Now I mostly restrict my travelling between Porto, Lisbon and the UK but I feel my experiences really help me appreciate cultural differences. The only way to break down social and cultural barriers is to immerse yourself in the culture of other societies. I like to think that’s what I have been doing since I was old enough to travel alone.”
“We should all aim to spend time overseas, to learn at least one new language and to gain a better understanding of other cultures. We can learn so much about how to do good business by watching how similar businesses are run in other countries. I have often encountered familiar problems being dealt with in new and exciting ways, ways I would never even have considered had I not seen them being put into practice.”
Even if you’re not employed in the business world, a well-travelled candidate with a wealth of global experience is always going to appeal more to a business employer than a candidate who has stayed at home. Corporations tend to seek leaders who are at ease with cultural immersion; they seek out the multilingual, the culturally-experienced, those who respect and understand the nuances of doing business outside their home regions. Many global companies are now relying on international rotation programs to encourage future global leaders. One German consumer company, Henkel, requires its leaders to work in at least two countries before they can be considered for promotion.
Christoph Grizzard, CEO of Avant Garde Milano believes living in different countries and cultures can lead to a more fulfilling life. “It’s about getting the best out of the time you have. I really feel it is important to broaden your horizons, experience as much as possible, not just to benefit your business acumen but to enrich your life. I really believe I am a better person for having travelled and seen a little more of the world than I would have, had I chosen to stay in the US and let all these great opportunities pass me by. Above all else, I will cherish the memories of the places I have been, the people I have met and the cultures I have experienced for the rest of my life.”
~ Christoph Grizzard ~ CEO: Avant Garde Milano
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