A Hit with Honeywell
|Benton in his temporary office at Honeywell|
When the information on this trip became available, Benton was attracted by the opportunity to travel, the potential for exposure to a new culture, and an opportunity to deepen his understanding of international business principles. He had hoped for a full-immersion experience into another culture in spite of the expected challenges of language barriers and how that would affect his performance at the host company.
Benton’s hopes and expectations were met on every level. He was invited to take a look at Honeywell operations involving ISO 9000 and to give feedback on what, if any, improvements could be made and how. When asked about his experience he said “I was surprised to find that many of the things we struggle with in the U.S. are things that they struggle with there as well.” He was also surprised at how advanced the retail markets were in a country that is so new to capitalism. One of the greatest benefits that Benton felt he gained from this trip was that he was able to develop renewed self-confidence, in ISO 9000 in particular. He stated “I proved to myself, more than the host company, because they didn’t know me before the trip, that I could communicate these concepts clearly, even through cultural and language barriers.”
|Benton making a presentation to officials at Honeywell|
Benton also gained a new perspective on everyday life back here in the States. He explained “In contrast to business people in the Czech Republic, we work too hard, too long, and take too much for granted.” During the trip Benton even joked that he “had to come all the way to the Czech Republic for God to call him a workaholic.” When asked if he would ever consider going on this type of trip again or if he would recommend the trip to others, Benton replied “Yes and yes. I feel it would deepen any business person's understanding of basic business principles to flesh them out in a much different context.”