Lisa Spivey, Global Business Consultant

Lisa Spivey, Global Business Consultant

Lisa Spivey
Global Business Consultant
Asian Directions

Lisa grew up in Iowa and the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Sociology.  In addition she is a graduate of the Beijing Language and Culture Institute in China and holds a SIETAR (Society for International Education Training and Research) certification from Georgetown University.


Lisa became interested in her field due to both traveling in Asia in the late ‘70s when the Chinese were just beginning to allow foreigners to visit and studying sociology in college. She has great respect for Asian culture and saw China as an emerging economic opportunity.  She feels her sociology studies prepared her for her cross-cultural work in the corporate sector but Lisa says “…. it has been through living and working in Asian cultures that I have gained the most valuable knowledge.”

After college Lisa went to school in China to study language and the culture.  As a result of living and working there for an extended time, Lisa became fluent in Chinese and built relationships with fellow students. She worked in China for the next 5 years.  Her first 2 jobs were in the travel industry: running a cruise ship with a Chinese staff and then opening up operations for an American travel company in Beijing.  Lisa also worked for a Hong Kong based trading company getting a wide variety of experience rather than just an academic view of working with the Chinese.

Her work with Fortune 500 Companies as a Global Business Consultant has two functions: 1) coaching executives/leaders of multi-national companies working globally and 2) insuring global technology company’s intellectual property (IP) is protected.

Lisa thinks that the work related challenge is “…getting companies to implement a global mind-set into their entire company overview and not just on a project by project basis.”  For example, companies who call themselves global continue to make decisions from US headquarters rather than involving the key team members from around the world.

She feels the rewarding aspects of her career are that she has the opportunity to travel and meet individuals and work teams with global perspectives.  Also, working on new and different projects enhances her understanding of business worldwide trends.

Lisa says flexibility, patience, willingness to risk being in a lot of new situations and a respect and admiration for people of different cultures are the keys to success in her field.

New developments in this field are more reliance on virtual communication and technology to make things happen.  However, Lisa says “…this increases the chance that people do not build their relationships properly to ensure trust.”

However, technology does allow gathering and dispersing information. It can be leveraged to more efficiently transmit data that is vital to global understanding, when time zones and language are potential barriers. For example, mobile devices can be utilized to make business interaction more productive.

Lisa has a wide range of interests. She loves spending time with her family, travel, and reading about Asian business.

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