Global

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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.

Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, President and CEO of Statkraft

The Power to Adapt: Building One of the World’s Largest Renewables Power Producers

The ability to create strategies and adapt to changing conditions quickly is critical for maintaining a competitive edge, says Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, the CEO of Statkraft, one of the largest power producers in the world. Building the organizational structures to support that demands shared values and solid management.

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How Gap Inc. Engaged With its Stakeholders

Back when protesters were targeting the company, the Gap realized that it needed to overhaul the way it interacted with its critics. So the company launched a strategy of stakeholder engagement.

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Why CRM Fails — and How to Fix It

Customer relationship marketing was supposed to be a “new paradigm” that yieldied more loyal customers and more profit for companies. It hasn’t. Researchers from Cranfield School of Management write that the problem is fundamental: “Most senior management teams have an unbalanced approach to managing marketing investments, and this is particularly evident in the case of CRM.” Their suggestion: successful CRM investment begins with new capabilities to improve customer relationships and then backfills the capital investment as needed.

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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.

Are You Giving Globalization the Right Amount of Attention?

Too little — or too much — attention from head office executives can cause problems in a company’s global operations. Research with senior executives in 135 multinational companies found that management of executive attention can have a significant impact on the performance of global companies and that relatively few companies seemed to optimize global attention. Most seemed to either spend too little or too much time and mental effort on global issues.

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.

Esther Duflo on Ending Poverty

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Esther Duflo, a founder and director of MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Her ideas on how to end poverty by transforming how rich nations manage development policies are provocative and practical.

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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.

Image courtesy of the World Economic Forum.

Innovation From the Inside Out

Nurturing a new and lasting idea doesn’t result from analyzing market data. Aspiring creators must act on what nonprofits already know: you get the best answers by burying yourself in the questions. The authors explore the efforts of companies such as Grameen Bank and Hindustan Unilever Ltd., the Indian subsidiary of the Dutch consumer products multinational Unilever N.V. They are engaged in serving the multitrillion-dollar consumer market at the “base of the economic pyramid” or BoP — the four billion people with annual per capita incomes below $1,500.

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.

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.

How to Retain Talent in India

Research shows that attention to pay and benefits is necessary but not sufficient to retain talent. So why do so many corporate leaders continue to use compensation as their primary retention tool? And what should they do instead to keep their best people, particularly in emerging markets such as India, where both local and global employers are clawing for talent?

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