Cultural awareness was among the things Hay Group cited in its Best Companies for Leadership study. Rick Lash, national director of the leadership and talent practice for the management consultancy, pointed out that true leadership tends to look the same no matter where it takes place, but it might be implemented differently in different parts of the world.
Now Facebook's taking a page from Google by assembling what SiliconValley.com refers to as "its own foreign service," a diplomatic corps to smooth its entry with foreign governments and cultures. Facebook is beefing up its government relations efforts at the same time state attorneys general are becoming increasingly active in trying to regulate privacy and antitrust issues. One of these policy directors' main tasks will be to serve as Facebook's primary contact with foreign government officials and politicians. Google created its own international team in 2006.
The company is hiring policy directors for the Middle East, Britain, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Germany, Central and Eastern Europe and other regions.
Google and Facebook have come up against regulators especially in Europe.
The article quotes Facebook privacy counsel Ed Palmier, saying:
"It's hard to predict what 600 million people expect" for privacy across an array of countries and cultures.
Experience will be required. The Middle East position, for example, requires someone with 10 years' experience in government, business and as a media spokesperson, preferably on both radio and TV. This person also must be fluent in Arabic and Turkish (or other language of the area).
There's no word on what such a job will pay, but it quotes the job posting, saying:
Successful applicants will become part of a team that is dealing with some of the most interesting public policy challenges of our times, including privacy, freedom of expression, the impact of the Internet on business models, and new opportunities for public service delivery.