How to Build Strategic International Relationships

Just learning how to shake hands doesn’t make you culturally aware. A few learned copy-cat mannerisms and a couple opening lines will not put the global executive into the good graces of their regional leaders. It used to be fine, considering the small amount of time that leaders spent abroad. But more and more, as we see top-level local management strategies that have transparent relationships with each other for alignment and success, building relationships that are strong and solid are absolutely essential in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

In Japan, during the 1980’s boom years, foreigners were falling over each other to grab some of the success that Japanese businesses had created. Many managers learned a little bit of the language, how to eat soup, etc., but they missed a great opportunity to build real bonds. Unfortunately, those bonds could have also helped the Japanese businesses during the ’90’s.

Today, we are in the midst of a series of dynamics such as, rising new economies, immediate access to customers and speed decision making, so creating and nurturing long lasting connections is a must. Maya Hu-Chan of the Global Leadership Development Center so correctly states, ‘In my work with multinational corporations, my global clients have often pointed out that building partnerships is one of the most important competencies for global leaders of the future’.

To develop powerful partnerships and prevent problematic situations, integrate these five pieces of advice.

* Have a real interest in other cultures and learn about them through food, the arts and music, literature and the areas that give uniqueness to their place the human experience.
* Build partnerships wherever you go with ease. You never force a friendship. You develop it. Become an open access point of assistance to your host reports, superiors and especially those horizontally. Encourage others to do the same.
* Listen, Listen, Listen! This may be one of the great challenges for human beings, but it is an essential skill for trust. Don’t just listen with your ears, but apprehend the individual with all of your faculties. Go beyond their special behaviors and reach for what they are trying to communicate.
* Never be patronizing. This may be very difficult for some cultures that have been taught they are the best. Be careful not to appear paternal or on a higher level than other people. Also pay close attention to how you phrase comments about their culture. This is also true for spouses of expatriates.
* Get out of your shell. The higher you go up in an organization, the more insulated you become. Mingle with different people with different interests and you will be well prepared to meet the exciting challenges of interacting with all types of personalities from all over the world.

By putting these five points into action will give you a basis for working in all environments and with all cultures. Of course, each culture has unique aspects that give them their own perspectives on business and life, and we are all unique individuals with unique behaviors, but having a real sense of how we can make deeper connections profoundly helps us move forward together.

To receive more help and advice on international communications and learn more about John Astor, visit John’s blog, Astor ICS International Communication

Easy – 8 Reasons Why You Can Achieve A Distance Degree From Home

Is your career stuck in a rut? Need qualifications but can’t afford to give up work to go to university? Well fear not, you can learn direct from home with a distance learning degree and the good news is it’s even easier than ever. Here are eight reasons why:

1. No prior experience or qualifications necessary

Often, you can study a distance learning degree without the school certificates that universities look for. Courses are fully-comprehensive and are taught in bite-sized modules.

2. It’s affordable

If you want to learn direct from home, it needn’t break the bank. Many providers of distance degrees offer flexible payment schemes. Plus, you won’t have to give up your job.

3. Learn direct from home in your own time

Studying a distance learning degree means you can achieve that psychology, business, law or education degree that you’ve always wanted – without having to attend classes. Learn direct from your own home and fit your studies in around your life.

4. Study at your own pace

You have the choice of when and where you want to study and you can take as long as you want with it. So, if you have family or work commitments, an hour or two in evenings and weekends may work best for you.

5. Full support from a personal tutor

Studying a business or education degree at home doesn’t necessarily mean studying alone. Many distance degree providers, such as ICS, allocate you a personal tutor. They’ll help you plan your studies, answer any questions and are only a phone call or email away.

6. Access to an online student community

Even though you are studying at home, you can still feel part of the student community. Some distance degree providers have created an online community, where students can give each other help and support.

7. Gain a nationally-recognised qualification

Many online providers of distance degrees are fully-accredited with “bricks and mortar” universities. ICS distance degrees are offered in conjunction with the University of East London, so you can be sure that law, business, psychology or education degree is a valid one.

8. Enhance your career prospects

Not only will you be more qualified, but the ability to learn direct from home shows you have personal skills too. Employers will be impressed by the time management skills, self-motivation and self-discipline required to complete a distance learning degree.

Simplify I2C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode Using Software

Overview of I2C Bus:

In early 1980s Philips Semiconductor developed a simple bidirectional 2-wire bus for efficient inter-IC control. This bus is called Inter IC or I2C bus. All I2C Bus compatible devices incorporate an on-chip interface which allows them to communicate directly with each other via the I2C -bus.

The I2C’s physical two-wire interface consists of a bi-directional serial clock (SCL) and data (SDA) lines. Each device that is connected to the bus is software-addressable by a unique address and simple master/slave relationship with the bus exists all the time. I2C is a serial, 8-bit oriented, bi-directional data transfers can be made at 100Kbits/s in the standard mode, up to 400Kbits/s in the Fast mode, up to 1Mbits/s in fast Mode plus, or up to 3.4Mbits/s in the high speed mode. On-chip filtering rejects spikes on the bus data line to preserve data integrity.

Phillips Semiconductor (now NXP Semiconductors) has published electrical specifications and protocol specification since 1982. The recent I2C- bus specification and user manual was published in year 2007. By following the electrical and protocol specification in the I2C document, semiconductor design and manufacturing companies can ensure interoperability of ICs using I2C Bus.

I2C protocol overview:

Typical data transfer between two ICs using the I2C interface is as shown:

All transactions start with START Condition and stop with STOP condition In I2C Bus. These two conditions are controlled by the master IC. The typical I2C frame format has the following contents: START, address, read/write, data followed by ACK/NACK, and STOP condition at end of the operation.

START: A condition where high to low transition of SDA line occurs when SCL is held high. The is initiated by the master IC.

Address: Master sends the slave the 7- bit or 10- bit address of the slave device

Read/write: The slave address is followed by this bit. A ZERO indicates a transmission (write), and a ‘ONE’ indicates a request for READ.

Acknowledge (ACK) and Not Acknowledge (NACK): This takes place after every byte. During this condition the transmitter releases the SDA line during the acknowledge clock pulse so that the receiver can pull the SDA line LOW, and the SDA line remains stable LOW during the HIGH period of this clock pulse.

When SDA remains HIGH during this 9thclock pulse, this defined as the Not Acknowledgement signal. The master can then regenerate either a STOP condition to abort the transfer or a repeated START condition to start a new transfer.

Data is an integer number of bytes read or written into device.

STOP: A condition during SDA transitions from LOW to HIGH when SCL is held high indicating the end of transfer of data.

I2C Electrical Measurements:

For successful interoperation of IC using I2C bus, the electrical characteristics of physical layer signals of I2C SCL and SDA signals should be compatibility. The timing between the master and slave devices should be within electrical specifications defined in the I2C Specification by NXP Semiconductor.

Electrical Measurement Challenges:

During electrical validation of I2C bus, test engineers need to ensure the I2C bus should comply with electrical parameters of I2C Bus. The challenges faced while electrical validation of I2C bus as follows:

• Test/Design Engineer must know I2C Protocol behaviour at physical layer of I2C Bus

• Electrical parameter measurements must be carried out at different protocol state ( example; stop bit, ack bit and so forth)

• Reference level for each of the measurement changes based on the rising or falling edge of the I2C signal transition

• Reference level is either 30% or 70% as against normally used reference level of 10% to 90% or 20% to 80%

• Validation is time consuming

Overall, measuring I2C electrical measurements demands a very high level of expertise in I2C phy layer behaviour, protocol layer, signal acquisition in oscilloscope and I2C Electrical measurement procedures. Due to complexity in I2C Electrical measurements, the results can be prone to errors.

Simplifying I2C Electrical Measurements using PGY-I2C Electrical validation and Protocol Decode Software:

The PGY-I2C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode Software offers electrical measurements and protocol decoding as specified in Rev 03, June 2007 I2C Bus specification. Now design and test engineers can automatically make accurate and reliable electrical measurements and decode protocols in PGY-I2C software using data acquired by Tektronix DPO5000, DPO7000, DPO/DSA/MSO70000 series oscilloscope to reduce the development and test cycle.

PGY-I2C Software runs inside Tektronix oscilloscopes. During the run operation of the application, PGY-I2C sends commands to acquire to SCL and SDA signals of I2C bus. For accurate measurements, the recommended oscilloscope setup is:

• Signal is at least 5 to 6 six main vertical divisions in the oscilloscope display with the appropriate volts per division

• Select the appropriate volts per division to display the signal with at least 5 or 6 main vertical divisions

• Select sample rate such that at least 8 to 10 samples present in the rising or falling edge of SCL and SDA signals

• Set record length such that at least two I2C frames are captured to make most of I2C signals.

The application makes each of the I2C electrical measurements in every possible I2C protocol state and displays the min, max and mean values. If mean value is within the limit specified, application shows ‘Pass’. But in case, if the mean value is pass but either the min or max values exceed the limits, applications shows ‘pass*’ with asterisk.

PGY-I2C makes all these measurements in an instant of time addressing all the challenges of I2C electrical measurements, giving accurate and reliable measurements.

The ‘Detail View’ in the Analyze pane offers protocol information and measurement for each I2C Packet. This would help in debugging I2C bus in a system. In a master-slave I2C bus, different ICs would communicate. There is possibility of interoperability issues between IC s using I2C Bus. This problem could be due following reasons.

• Problems due to signal integrity in PCB

• EMI/EMC issues

• Not strict compliance to electrical characteristics of I2C Standard specification

The ‘Detail view’ would help in isolating interoperability issues by providing physical layer waveform, electrical measurements for each I2C message/frame and protocol decode.

Detail view contains following information:

• Waveform plot of the acquired data

• Protocol Decode in I2C packet/frame or I2C message format

• Electrical measurements for each I2C message or I2C packet/frame

• Selected I2C message or packet/frame waveform plot with protocol decoded data overlapped on the waveform

• Utility features such as cursors, cursor time readout, zoom, undo, fit to screen and pan

Other products

• HDMI1.4 Protocol Test and Analysis Software

• MHL Protocol Compliance Test Software

• MIPI-MPHY-UniPRO Protocol Decode Software

• MIPI-MPHY-LLI Protocol Decode Software

• SPI Electrical validation and Protocol Analysis Software

• UART/RS232 Protocol Decode Solution

• FlexRay Protocol and SI Analysis Software

• I2S Electrical, Audio, and Protocol Testing Software

• USB2.0 Protocol Decode Software