Ask a Leader

We have selected some of the questions you asked our experts in the discussion boards section of our MOOC page. For this batch of questions we interviewed one of our MOOC guest speakers, Stephanie von Friedeburg, current VP for Corporate Strategy and Resources at the International Finance Corporation; and also Ph.D Ricardo Ernst, lead instructor of our course.

Supply chain and populism:

Part of the challenge in globalization is dealing with volatile situations. To me, one of the most concerning developments is the rise of populism, and it’s corresponding ‘shrinking’ of borders (Brexit, Donald Trump calling for tighter trade restrictions). For household consumer products, where significant parts of the supply chain may be in foreign jurisdictions, what type of strategy is needed?


Incentives to stay and damage control after leaving:

Companies move to other countries to relocate their headquarters and/or production lines. What do you suggest a government should do (economic incentives) to bring those companies back? And how do you deal with the current backlash against those companies that leave?


Different kind of thinker:

Mrs. Friedeburg stated “a global-ready leader needs to be a ‘different kind of thinker’ and a ‘Renaissance’ person”. This advice was more intangible, incorporating elements of psychology and mindset. What makes a person a ‘Renaissance thinker’ and is there a quantifying tool in use to assist companies in ascertaining if a candidate meets the baseline requirements of a ‘Renaissance thinker’?


Globalization and wealth inequality:

What can be realistically done to convince people that globalization is not the cause of unequal distribution of wealth? Even in highly globalized countries people believe this (for instance, many Donald Trump supporters believe that trade deals are killing the US economy)?


Global African brands:

What is the best advice for an African brand that wants to go global?