Dr. Stephan M. Branch, Author of Cultural Intelligence in the 21st Century and Founder and CEO of World Trade Resource (WTR)

Dr. Stephan M. Branch is a globally renowned business leader of multibillion-dollar publicly traded companies and has lived on five continents and worked in over 50 countries including the UK.  He is multilingual and is the author of a new book entitled, “Cultural Intelligence in the 21ST Century:  Driving Inclusion, Revenue, and ESG.” He is the visionary founder of World Trade Resource (WTR), a company that specializes in Global Leadership and Intercultural Development and Inclusion. In particular, his organization examines the coalescing of all three of these in the context of a global organization to maximize financial performance and overall company valuation.

Stephan notes “If a leader or an organization wants to maximize revenue, profits, brand, sales, and overall business performance, they must learn certain cultural competencies for doing business in other countries. People negotiate, communicate, motivate, and lead differently in other countries.”

Stephan’s leadership style is a blend of cultural intelligence and sound business acumen coupled with his strong academic background, including a master’s degree from George Washington University and a graduate of Harvard Law School’s International Negotiation Program. Stephan has used his expertise to establish World Trade Resource (WTR), a top 10 global leadership development firm headquartered in New York City with global outposts.

Founding of World Trade Resource (WTR)

Branch founded World Trade Resource (WTR) with a clear goal. Throughout his career, he saw a significant gap in the corporate world, even among Fortune 500 giants, where cultural intelligence and competencies were often inadequately understood in the context of their global operations, and most corporations struggled with the complex challenge of achieving performance excellence across various nations.

Explaining his vision, Stephan says, “I realized that these corporate giants often faltered in their ability to understand how cultural intelligence impacts every aspect of their operations, from marketing strategies to team dynamics and expanding into new markets including mergers and acquisitions. He comments, “I’ve saved companies 100s of millions in acquisition costs by advising them on how to negotiate with other countries and cultures.”

Since its inception, WTR’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. The company has consistently achieved a growth rate of over 30 percent year-over-year, even during turbulent economic downturns including the pandemic. Stephan states, “Our sustained growth is a testament to our global expertise. Our extensive international footprint equips us to navigate economic challenges with agility.” He emphasizes the significance of knowing when to “flex” one’s own cultural lens and style when establishing and growing businesses in different countries and cultures. Stephan’s approach to sales, for instance, varies significantly when he’s in the Netherlands or Germany compared to his strategy in Asia, Latin America, or Africa. He states, “I work with lots of leaders in Global 2000 companies that don’t recognize how differently sales is driven from culture to culture.  I’ve seen global sales increase anywhere from 20 to 30 percent once those leaders learn the cultural competencies needed in today’s business environment.”

Elevating Cultural Intelligence for Global Business Success

Mastering nine pivotal cultural competencies can be a game-changer whether you’re a CEO, a team leader, or part of a global organizational framework. These competencies can profoundly influence strategic development, leadership effectiveness, business expansion, customer engagement, brand, or even project management. Stephan emphasizes the importance of acquiring these cultural competencies, stating that doing so is akin to unleashing the full potential of your business on the global stage.

In recent years, businesses have undergone a transformative shift, increasing focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors. This transition is a response to the growing acknowledgment that younger generations, comprising millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha, prioritize investments in companies with elevated ESG ratings. Such enterprises more closely align with the values and principles held dear by these forward-looking generations, who endeavor to leave a meaningful imprint through their investments.

Global 2000 corporations are increasingly focusing on the “S” in ESG, which stands for the Social aspect. Stephan addresses this challenge in his upcoming book, “Cultural Intelligence in the 21st Century: Driving Revenue, Inclusion, and ESG.” The hardback edition distributed by Simon and Schuster was released on November 10TH and is available in the UK, Europe, Latin America, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, and the US in multiple languages and formats, including hardcover, eBook, and audio. It’s also available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The book explores the crucial connection between cultural intelligence, revenue growth, inclusivity, and ESG, providing valuable insights to businesses aiming to thrive in the constantly evolving global landscape.

Meeting the Challenges of a Rapidly Growing Global Economy

The global economy is expanding at an unprecedented rate, and businesses are embracing globalization, but this fast-paced transformation has left many CEOs and leaders struggling to navigate the diverse cultures around the world. With the rise of global and matrixed teams, this challenge has only become more complex.

Stephan notes that today’s world witnesses the emergence of more global teams than ever before across large corporations and smaller enterprises. However, many leaders lack the knowledge and competencies required to lead effectively in this global market. In response, WTR has designed digital solutions to address these challenges. These solutions are scalable, easy to implement, cost-effective, and available in over 50 languages. They cover every aspect of business, including what leaders of sales, strategy, brand, operations, and supply chain management need to know, and where they need to improve their competencies. WTR also offers cultural coaching and consulting to guide leaders through real-world business challenges. Dr. Branch says, “Our digital solutions act as a 24/7 consultant, providing businesses with invaluable access to a wealth of data and insights when expanding into new territories.”

One such tool is the wtrMatrix, which provides extensive data analytics for businesses looking to enter or expand into new markets. It covers important aspects such as a country’s technological infrastructure, healthcare facilities, tax, stability of government, company setup, transportation networks, human capital costs, and salary benchmarks to name just a few. Dr. Branch explains, “We have compiled over 5,000 live data indicators for each of the 20 business categories for all 200 countries. This reduces the cost of research, consultants, and data acquisition and is a game-changer for businesses.”

The accessibility of the tools offered by WTR is truly remarkable. They are available at a fixed monthly subscription rate, which helps eliminate the need for expensive legal or consulting fees. Dr. Branch emphasizes that their commitment to cost reduction is firm, and they strive to assist both startups and established companies. By providing the ability to compare costs across different countries, projections and investments become less costly and less daunting.

WTR has also created a digital cultural solution called GoWorldWise which helps businesses, their leaders, and their teams develop the cultural competencies and intelligence necessary to thrive in today’s global economy. GoWorldWise enables leaders to flex their leadership styles for optimal performance in different countries.

Stephan’s vision of simplifying expansion, reducing costs, and fostering international success is at the core of all WTR solutions. Whether you lead a growing startup or a large corporation, WTR’s solutions are expertly designed to simplify your global journey, making it not only smoother but also more profitable and ultimately more successful.

As globalization continues to reshape the business world, WTR remains committed to delivering accessible and highly effective solutions that empower organizations and their leaders to succeed in this ever-evolving economy.

For More Info: https://www.worldtraderesource.com/

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