Donald, your topic at LocWorld in Montreal is ‘The Business of Language…and the Language of Business…how to engage global customers, profitably!’ What will be a few of the key takeaways?
I’m fascinated by the connection between language and culture. It is impossible to understand one without the other. We become what we speak.
Your LocWorld attendees will be very knowledgeable about the importance and interplay of language and culture in connecting with and engaging people in various parts of the world. This is what they spend their lives doing. What I will be sharing with them will help them manage and grow their language business or department more effectively and more profitably.
As a bottom-line business speaker and management coach, I work with business owners and managers in over 40 industries around the world who want to improve clarity, commitment, value, vision and profitability. In addition to being excellent at delivering language services to clients or corporations, your LocWorld attendees must also be effective business managers and leaders if they are to grow their business or their careers. Each attendee will receive free access to my copyrighted set of Business Assessment and Management Implementation Tools.
It’s exciting to have this business management perspective as part of our conference. What do you expect from your audience?
All that I ask is that people be open to some effective new ways of defining their value, creating clarity, improving engagement and improving profitability. Whether they are a business owner, department manager or team member who wants to accelerate their career, this session will change their understanding of how businesses need to operate in this hyper-competitive world.
Who are your typical clients? How do you help companies that are, or want to be global?
My typical clients are medium and large businesses that want to become world-class. Recent clients have been insurance companies, global automotive leaders and global agro-science and animal nutrition companies. Even my clients who don’t want to be global players, still must be world class wherever they’re located. Every industry and every market is over-served and under-differentiated. So mediocrity is no longer an option.
How was language important to your manufacturing business?
Our family business, Cooper Sporting Goods, was the global leader in the design and production of equipment for ice hockey and Canada’s largest producer of baseball, football and lacrosse equipment. In just two generations we grew the company from 13 to 3,000 employees. We operated factories in Canada and Barbados, imported products from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China and sold sports equipment in over 20 countries around the world. This was all before the days of the internet and our major marketing was done through local agents in each market, who lived the language and the culture. Because our international consumers knew how to use our products, there was not a need for extensive translation of labels, operating instructions or manuals, as there is with most products.
Our biggest language challenges were actually in our own province of Quebec where the provincial “language police” forced us to use strictly translated words for specific items of equipment that our retail customers and consumers would never use.
What are the secrets behind rethinking a business to deliver more value?
Great question. Most businesses make the mistake of defining themselves by the products or services they sell and by how and where they’ve always done business. It’s all about them, and it’s all about yesterday.
One of my key phrases is that, “First you have to be a story, then you have to tell your story. If you don’t deliver clear, specific and compelling value, you have no value story.” This goes equally for your attendees as language and culture experts and for their clients.
You will be staying with us the entire day at LocWorld32. What is the best way for the attendees to engage with you?
I will be there for the entire day and I’m looking forward to having time with many LocWorld32 attendees. My commitment is to offer mini Business Coaching Sessions for as many people as possible.
My added commitment is that anyone who does not get an opportunity to grab me at the conference, they can call or email me with a specific business question and receive a reasonable amount of free telephone coaching. I will be set up in the trade show area with an area to chat with folks.
Thank you Donald, we are excited to hear more and to learn from your insights!