A Globalization Strategy

The world is not the same. Expanding beyond existing borders requires an understanding of new markets, opportunities, competitors and cultures.

Globalization can offer significant growth opportunities but an organisation must recognise that expanding beyond existing boundaries requires careful planning and a good understanding of the opportunities and risks. The main goal of any international strategy should be to manage the differences that arise at the borders of markets. Yet organisations often fail to consider all of the market differences, focusing instead on the tensions between standardization and localization.

Globalisation threatens the unwary business with not one but two unpleasant shocks. First, there's intensified competition from other global players in the home markets, requiring new competitive responses. Second, there's the need to become established in precisely those new and fast-growing markets that are themselves driving the pace of globalisation. Again, new strategies are called for: what works at home may not work abroad - and what worked yesterday almost certainly won't work tomorrow.

A global strategy needs a strong understanding of the relevance of culture on the products, services and marketing approach and a method of encouraging knowledge transfer between those from new markets and existing teams. 

It may be possible to reduce the risks through global strategic alliances and partnerships but any organisation considering international expansion must take into account the full range of factors:

  • economic factors
  • regulatory changes
  • political effects
  • market characteristics
  • social trends
  • technological change.

They must also overlay these with the cultural and environmental implications of different working practices and behavours.

Globalisation might be getting easier because of improvements in communications and technology but that doesn't eliminate the need to spend time and energy planning how to manage the human factors.

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