Global Experience Provides Direction: Expanding the Board Perspective - Anthony Ventress

Inspiration And Insights
3 min readAug 14, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Joshua Rawson-Harris

In recent years, the pace of change worldwide has been unparalleled, and the global challenges businesses face have rapidly multiplied. Russia’s escalating invasion of Ukraine, the fragile relationship between the U.S. and China, COVID’s continuing disruption of global supply chains, and growing concerns about the negative impact of climate change are just a few of the issues that may affect decision-making for global companies. Such continued worldwide pressures suggest American corporate boards could benefit from having more directors who bring to the table experience working in diverse world markets.

We’re in conversation with Anthony Ventress, a health care technology leader who in the course of his career has expanded his team in several countries, from China to India, the UK to Brazil. He has drawn on his multi-cultural experience to provide valued insights into the geographic regions he knows well.

Anthony, you’ve served in many different roles in your career and have had the opportunity to build, work with, and grow global teams. How can such a global cultural understanding help boards make better decisions today and create better results for tomorrow?

Entering a new market typically comes with hurdles. Board members who have a global perspective can better guide the board on the nuances of each market and the sensitivities of country cultures.

For example, Germany has work councils that act similar to unions and advocate for employees. Our team in Germany was on a 35-hour workweek schedule; we wanted to expand to a 40-hour workweek. A longer workweek required presenting an official proposal to the work council in the region where we were stationed — and then negotiating and renegotiating an agreement. We settled on a 40-hour week and in return agreed to the council’s terms of hiring five more people.

Other markets present us with unchartered territory. Working in China brought a heightened need to protect information technology. In mainland Europe, we had to be careful to address the misperception that Americans want to take over. We were painstaking in building respectful relationships while pursuing our global growth.

As I’ve expanded my experience in international markets, I’ve understood products and solutions are not one-size-fits-all. We need to adapt our products to each area of the world where we have a presence — for example, developing low-end solutions for India, mid-tier for China, and high-tier for the European market. If we’re developing a training portal, we need to ensure it’s built for a global audience, not just North

Ultimately, global experience provides direction to boards in a variety of areas, from local culture and politics to workforce labor issues, regional economic concerns, social context, and legal frameworks. Such knowledge can be critical for boards in evaluating risk and opportunity — and better understanding the regions their company serves. A global perspective at the board table can expand and enrich the conversation and help boards make more rapid yet more informed, and durable, decisions.

Thank you, Anthony, for sharing with us your knowledge, experience, and exceptional observations.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn.


Anthony Ventress is a senior technical and services executive in the medical device industry. An inclusive leader with a global cultural perspective, he is devoted to building authentic, long-term relationships. He leads with a never-failing positive attitude that helps companies turn problems into solutions, drive growth and revenue, and keep teams motivated and aligned.