* 7 a.m.: At a time when most top executives would be finishing their morning run and beginning to get ready for work, Wim Elfrink is already an hour into work, virtually meeting his colleagues…
* 9 a.m.: A few hours meeting with colleagues in the US and Europe and initiating meetings with his team based in India…
* 3 p.m.: After several hours of meeting with colleagues, customers and visitors, Elfrink heads back home… “You don’t need to commute to compute,” he often tells his staff
* 6 p.m.: It’s time for another bout of work for Elfrink, as he once again logs on to the TP system and catches up with colleagues in North America just as they are about to begin their workday. As part of the globalisation process, Elfrink often works through the weekend (since some countries in West Asia like Saudi Arabia have differing weekly holidays) and takes a few days off after working for 10-12 days
What is global culture? It is respect for different time zones. If my boss in the US organises a meeting on Friday afternoon, I have to step in and say no because for me it is a Saturday morning. In Saudi, weekends are on Thursday and Friday. In Dubai it is Friday and Saturday. Execution around these simple things, I live it every day. I am the Number Two man at Cisco and so I have to be vocal about these things. You can’t put it somewhere under the carpet. This is how global companies will have to operate five to 10 years down the line. People should speak at least three languages because they would have lived in different continents.
But not everybody can have an open mind, or are willing to move around and learn. So, we are formulating a policy for that because we need to groom future leaders and a percentage of top talent should move around.