# The i scarcity i of i qualified i managers i has i

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The i scarcity i of i qualified i managers i has i become i a i major i constraint i on i the i speed i with i which i multinational i companies i can i expand i their i international i sales. i The i growth i of i the i knowledge- based i society, i along i with i the i pressures i of i opening i up i emerging i markets, i has i led i cutting-edge i global i companies i to i recognize i now i more i than i ever i that i human i resources i and i intellectual i capital i are i as i significant i as i financial i assets i in i building i sustainable i competitive i advantage. i To i follow i their i lead, i chief i executives i in i other i multinational i companies i will i have i to i bridge i the i yawning i chasm i between i their i companies' i human i resources i rhetoric i and i reality. i H.R. i must i now i be i given i a i prominent i seat i in i the i boardroom. Good i H.R. i management i in i a i multinational i company i comes i down i to i getting i the i right i people i in i the i right i jobs i in i the i right i places i at i the i right i times i and i at i the i right i cost. i These i international i managers i must i then i be i meshed i into i a i cohesive i network i in i which i they i quickly i identify i and i leverage i good i ideas i worldwide. 1. i Break i all i the i "local i national" i glass i ceilings The i first, i and i perhaps i most i fundamental, i step i toward i building i a i global i H.R. i program i is i to i end i all i favoritism i toward i managers i who i are i nationals i of i the i country i in i which i the i company i is i based. i Companies i tend i to i consider i nationals i of i their i headquarters i country i as i potential i expatriates i and i to i regard i everyone i else i as i "local i nationals." i But i in i today's i global i markets, i such i "us-versus-them" i distinctions i can i put i companies i at i a i clear i disadvantage, i and i there i are i strong i reasons i to i discard i them: Ethnocentric i companies i tend i to i be i xenophobic i -- i they i put i the i most i confidence i in i nationals i of i their i headquarters i country. i This i is i why i more i nationals i get i the i juicy i assignments, i climb i the i ranks i and i wind i up i sitting i on i the i board i -- i and i why i the i company i ends i up i with i a i skewed i perception i of i the i world. i Relatively i few i multinational i companies i have i more i than i token i representation i on i their i boards. i A.B.B. i is i one i company i that i recognizes i the i danger i and i now i considers i it i a i priority i to i move i more i executives i from i emerging i countries i in i eastern i Europe i and i Asia i into i the i higher i levels i of i the i company.