Keeping your marbles in the game of a global economy is crucial for both companies and customers (see my Part One and Part Two posts). Business globalization is here to stay. Earth is a big world that has gotten much smaller much faster. The sooner organizations and people realize that truth, the better off everyone will be.
Companies that realize how best to capitalize on this reality will infuse every business decision with cultural realities. This means that we don’t just “do business.” Instead, it means that we do business with a good heart and a good attitude. Companies have to think about the “who” and the “where” of their business. As Jeff Immelt (GE CEO) explains, companies absolutely must analyze all aspects of exactly how business will happen in another country and give full consideration and respect to that culture (“After Brexit, Global Is Local” Fortune. August 1, 2016, pp. 71–72):
“We tend to think of globalization as a philosophy, but it is much more about what you do on the ground. Success requires hundreds of little things, and decisions made with a local context. Good global leaders have an appreciation for how people do their work in a local culture. They try to make a team’s work meaningful to their country.” (p. 72)
Just as surely as this is true for companies, it is true for individuals. Each of us as individual workers must reassess everything we do in our career planning, education, training, and professional growth in the light of this new reality. We must be willing to change when change is required. We must be flexible. We must carry a good heart and a good attitude into every moment of our workday.
The world of spitting widgets out of a machine the same way every day for a career is gone forever. The new world is much more exciting and demanding because it is always changing. The people that are willing to embrace that excitement and those demands will flourish. Immelt summarizes:
“The future will be created by leaders who see the world as it is and are willing to drive change. Change will also require simpler organizations and new business models that are leaner, faster, more decentralized.”
Let’s make the changes wherever they are needed—corporately and individually. That is how we will all keep our marbles in the game.