Global Developments are Vital Even to Domestically-Oriented Businesses
Will Your Company Swim or Flounder in the Global Fish Tank?
“Going Global” extends well beyond mastering the traditional, transactional core business functions of exporting, importing, customs, logistics and foreign exchange.
Almost every business operates in a global context. Even those companies whose market place is largely domestic cannot escape international influences and impacts. Global knowledge networks will ensure that they anticipate and profit from developments that originate elsewhere.
Today’s and tomorrow’s management must have an international perspective, ensure it has functioning global antennas and international knowledge networks, and that it is truly on top of relevant global developments and the opportunities and risks they present.
- Corporate strategies need to view the international scene using an integrated “whole of the business” perspective.
- Borderless business intelligence is a competitive necessity in a world where ideas flow freely.
- Cost competitiveness – in both manufacturing and services – is driven by extended global supply chains. Success depends on much more than just finding the lowest cost sources, however.
- The profile of the workforce in Canada is more and more international, as immigrants begin to represent the entire net increase in North America’s talent pool.
- Culturally different situations prompt legitimate fear of the unknown. Key responses are reliable and accessible to international information sources and learned cross-cultural instincts.
- Governments are consequential players in business – often to a greater degree than in Canada. They can also play quite different roles – witness the US.
- Risks need to be evaluated and value-judgments taken in contexts different from Canada, for example whether licensing, a joint-venture, or wholly-owned subsidiary is the best entry vehicle.
- Addressing currency risks requires strategies beyond hedging.
- The international protection of intellectual property involves much more than just patenting.
- Environmental issues know no political boundaries. Almost all policies and regulations therefore inherently involve important trans-boundary considerations.
- Who are the friends and allies a Canadian company can trust in foreign market places?
- Will being “Canadian” – proudly sporting the maple leaf – help or hinder a company internationally?
- Tempting investment incentives and economics can induce companies to relocate or expand elsewhere, often without much of a thought however of why governments offer such bribes and how non-cost considerations may be just as important.
- Identify the full range of international considerations affecting your business in order to ensure they are reflected and integrated into company strategies and operations
- Audit and inventory your business’s existing international capacity, which can frequently reveal latent and under-utilized human resources and networks
- Develop global business intelligence strategies that will provide competitive advantage and map the associated knowledge networks
- Assess risks that are internationally driven, evaluate and implement mitigation measures, and reflect the consequential risks in your company strategies
- Build your business’s capacity to operate and conduct business internationally and to sensitively address cross-cultural issues
- Access government programs and assistance relevant to the business’s international activities
- Identify sources of financing to support international business that will enhance your competitiveness and reduce corporate exposure