Glen Wakeman Uses International Experience to Aid Modern Companies
Globalization is a topic that looms large in the world of modern commerce. It seems no industry is untouched by the changing demands of the increasingly interconnected world of business. Where it was once only large multinational corporations that needed to focus on how the economies and political situations of foreign countries might affect their day-to-day operations, now even the smallest startup is forced to find their place in the world at large. For the modern entrepreneur to succeed in this environment, they need to seek out resources that are informed about the new global economy. Glen Wakeman, an internationally experienced startup consultant, is just such a resource.
To understand the breadth of knowledge that Wakeman offers to those he advises, it’s important to take a quick look at his educational and commercial background. An attendee of the University of Chicago, Wakeman holds an MBA with a focus in economics and finance. Building off of the foundation that his degree afforded, after completing his schooling Wakeman soon found himself in the thick of the business world holding a position at General Electric (https://ideamensch.com/glen-wakeman/).
During a career at GE that spanned over twenty years, Wakeman held numerous positions throughout the corporation. Some of Wakeman’s early responsibilities at the company involved managing large divisions as well as formulating strategies to promote sustainable growth.
Over the course of his time at GE, Wakeman lived in six countries and worked in thirty-two. This grounding in the intricacies of international business would prove to be a springboard for later pursuits in Wakeman’s life, but would also set the stage for what is perhaps Wakeman’s most notable accomplishment at GE.
Drawing on living experience in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, Wakeman worked to create an entirely new division at GE dubbed GE Money Latin America. Soon after its initial creation, GE Money Latin America proved to be a boon to GE’s international presence. By the time Wakeman left the company to pursue alternative opportunities, the new division was employing 17,000 people and operating in nine nations. Additionally, the division boasted a valuation of $12 billion with an estimated annual revenue of $100 million.
The legacy Wakeman left at GE Money Latin America is especially impressive considering the emphasis GE places on operations through the region. Having maintained a presence in Latin America for over 115 years, GE has worked on a number of infrastructure issues such as healthcare and transportation. With operations that now span thirty-one countries throughout the region, it is clear that GE prioritizes maintaining and growing its presence in this increasingly democratic and economically stable portion of the world.
After his time at GE, Wakeman decided to take his international talents and apply them to the world of startups. With that in mind, Wakeman co-founded LaunchPad Holdings, LLC, a company of which he is now the CEO (Wikidot). LaunchPad is a SaaS firm that works to enable early-stage entrepreneurs to increase their success rate. LaunchPad offers a range of online business planning services to help startup owners achieve their goals.
In addition to these services, Wakeman also blogs frequently about a host of issues pertaining to the world of business. Drawing on his decades of international experience at GE and elsewhere, Wakeman’s blog covers subjects related to emerging markets, global affairs, business transformation, and leadership. Wakeman also mentors C-level executives and works as a direct advisor to numerous startups. Much of Wakeman’s focus in this capacity centers around innovation, executive development, and growth.
Many companies are increasingly seeing the lines between domestic and international commerce blurring as the internet makes interacting with international customers easier than ever. With so many brands increasingly searching for expansion opportunities afforded by emerging markets in Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere, Wakeman’s informed take on global business is a welcome bit of expertise for any entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur himself, Wakeman also offers business owners a unique set of expertise related to successfully navigating the difficulties of bringing their ideas to life. In a recent video on his website, Wakeman offers a strategy he formulated intended to come to the aid of entrepreneurs who may find themselves overwhelmed in the pursuit of success.
Wakeman dubs this strategy his three steps to thoughtful perseverance. As the name implies, the strategy is born out of a philosophy that one of the most difficult things about helming a fledgling business is simply finding the drive to carry on in the face of adversity. Wakeman’s three steps center around emphasizing benefits over features, seeking disconfirming evidence, and surrounding oneself with a dispassionate support group.
The first step of the strategy, emphasizing benefits, touches on a foundational concept in business and sales that is tied into a consumer’s search for value. By emphasizing this step, Wakeman prompts business owners to consider how they might better present their product or services to their clients in the hope of better communicating how they can address their problems.
The second and third steps in Glen Wakeman’s strategy are related to a general human need for confirmation bias. Whether we’re fact-finding on our own, or turning to a support group for feedback, we all have a natural inclination towards wanting to hear what we already believe is true. What Wakeman points out in enumerating these steps as part of his strategy is that entrepreneurs who find that their business is struggling would do well to more critically question their beliefs and search for weak points in the underlying philosophy of their company. Seeking out evidence or information that contradicts their preconceptions can lead business owners to improve their offerings and may ultimately be key to achieving success.
With a robust history of international business experience that spans large corporations and startups, Wakeman serves as a wealth of knowledge for players from all walks of the spectrum of business. Having worked to develop GE’s global business operations in Latin America before moving on to lending his expertise to startups through his efforts in consulting, Wakeman is a leader who has a firm grasp of the modern global economy. Wakeman’s influence will surely be felt for years to come as he continues his work both at home and abroad.