Global

Image courtesy of Flickr user Electrolux Design Lab.

Should You Have a Global Strategy?

Senior executives weighing strategies appropriate for today’s global economy will hear contradictory advice. Some say you need to move quickly, before competitors, to establish a worldwide presence; others cite data showing that this approach is often less profitable. The reality is that neither approach is appropriate for every circumstance. Therefore, executives need to understand when to pursue one route and when to pursue the other.

Image courtesy of KONE Corp.

The Art of Piloting New Initiatives

Successful multinationals get that way by finding better ways to leverage operational improvements across the entire company. But developing such superior processes is not easy. New operational ideas fail for many reasons. One of the most common is not that the idea was bad, but that the developers set up a pilot that failed to persuade managers in the units that the process was an improvement. Successful pilots share three qualities: credibility, replicability and feasibility.

Image courtesy of Flickr user gak.

Flat World, Hard Boundaries – How To Lead Across Them

While technological innovations have revolutionized the workplace, it is ironic that relational boundaries — obstacles to productive human interactions — remain largely unchanged. This article identifies five types of such boundaries, and suggests that all five of them may be overcome when collaborative and creative leaders engage in six boundary spanning practices: buffering, reflecting, connecting, mobilizing, weaving and transforming.

Image courtesy of Nestle.

On the Rocky Road to Strong Global Culture

Companies often approach the process of developing a global culture as a one-way process dominated by corporate headquarters, exemplified by common terms such as “cultural transfer” “and “culture dissemination.” Also, core values often originate at corporate headquarters and fail to reflect and incorporate diverse cultural influences. This approach breeds skepticism about global culture among overseas employees, who may perceive headquarters’ core values as ethnocentric and parochial.

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Esther Duflo on Ending Poverty

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One of the most interesting (and, alas, least-known) parts of the MIT is the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, housed just upstairs from our offices. Its mission is precise and eminently useful: "reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence."

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The Practice of Global Product Development

Best practice in product development (PD) is migrating from local collaboration to global collaboration. Global product development (GPD) represents a transformation for business, and it applies to a range of industries. The objective of this article is to present frameworks that can help companies address strategic and tactical issues when considering GPD. The concepts have been developed through discussions with more than 100 companies in 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

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Debating Offshoring’s Impact

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Too often, discussions of contemporary economic issues end up either overly simplified for popular consumption -- or too jargony and technical to be followed by anyone but economists. A new book, Offshoring of American Jobs: What Response from U.S.

Courtesy of SAP.

How to Manage Virtual Teams

Based on an investigation of the performance of 80 software development projects with varying levels of dispersion — members in different cities, countries or continents — this article asserts that virtual teams offer tremendous opportunities despite their greater managerial challenges.

In fact, dispersed teams outperformed their colocated counterparts when they had the appropriate processes in place. Those processes can be classified in two categories: task-related and socio-emotional.

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Learning from emerging markets

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Looking for new strategies for doing business in the recession? Consider strategies employed by companies from emerging markets — where economic volatility and constraints on consumer disposable income are commonplace.

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Networks of innovation

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Two innovation experts see great potential in “creation networks” that include companies from a variety of regions with specialized technical expertise.

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Confidence, Tricked

Since 2007, as banks took successive writedowns related to deteriorating mortgage-backed securities, the conventional wisdom was that we were facing a crisis of bank solvency triggered by falling housing prices and magnified by leverage.

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Rethinking Procurement in the Era of Globalization

What used to be a matter of finding and purchasing goods and services at the most favorable price has changed. At some companies, procurement has become closely intertwined with strategic decision making and board policy at the highest levels of the organization.

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The Beneficent Dragon

Many pundits characterize the Chinese economy, now the world’s fourth largest, as a juggernaut that threatens America’s economic leadership. After all, China’s GDP growth in recent years has been three to four times our own, and its share of global exports has skyrocketed.

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How to Win in Emerging Markets

Though competitive barriers in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are many, a look at the companies that are thriving there reveals some secrets that make success more likely.

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