Glocalisation: the art of thinking globally and acting locally

26 August 2014 by Mark Williams

“Globalisation” is a term we welcomed a while ago and has been integrated in our daily business operations. If we take a look at the definition, globalisation is the process of increased integration and co-operation of different national economies. It involves national economies becoming increasingly inter-related and integrated.

Our world seems to be shrinking and growing all at the same time, where everyone tends to get involved in the international landscape, and yet specialise locally. This paradox especially applies when it comes to businesses.

With technology at its best, we can speak to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses, no matter the industry, sector or size.  It means we can feel closer to our clients, colleagues and associates at all times. We can unite people who are thousands of miles away, which translates into huge benefits to businesses in terms of sharing ideas and opportunities that bloom into the infinitely possible.

But globalisation also implies we have to deal with vastly different cultures. We’re subject to work within different time frames (our UK end of day 5 pm is morning coffee time in the US, for instance). We have to deal with different political and economic climates, and these are much trickier to take hold of. Without meaning to, we can do something which has a very negative impact on our long term business, but yet we don’t want to be sitting on our hands, denying creative impulses nor become neurotic. So how can we reach the perfect approach?

Ask questions. Listen. Then decide which the best response is. And if you don’t know… ask again. The beauty of globalisation is getting the right information no matter where your business is based. So ask, be interested and assume nothing. It’s only by doing this that we can effectively work in a global world. And not only that, the possibilities both in and beyond business are vast if we simply listen and talk about the differences we face.

Globalisation is perhaps best thought of as a process that results in some significant changes for markets and businesses to address. For instance, the expansion of trade in goods and services between countries, the internationalisation of products and services and the development of global brands.

A new term has arisen recently: “Glocalisation”. In a global market, a product or service is more likely to succeed when it is customised for the locality or culture in which it is sold. With businesses of all sizes looking for growth, their gaze turns to ecommerce or direct-to-consumer business as the obvious route to expansion and growth. But whether you choose to do this locally or internationally, your customers today want to visit a website and have their experience tailored to suit them – it makes it easier, more personal, more engaging, and they will return time and time again.

A key result of globalisation is the increasing inter-dependence of economies. For example:

  • Most of the world’s countries are dependent on each other for their macroeconomic health
  • Many of the newly industrialising countries are winning a growing share of world trade and their economies are growing faster than in richer developed nations
  • All countries have been affected by the credit crunch and decline in world trade, but many emerging market countries have slowed down rather than fall into a full-blown recession

What do you think about the terms described above? Do you think “Globalisation” is beneficial for your business, or are you a firm believer in local specialisation? We’d love to hear your comments!

 

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Dannie-Lu Carr, founder of Flaming Poppy.

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