Perhaps the essence of globalization can be summed up in one sentence uttered by Ronald Reagan in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate by the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Globalization is about demolishing barriers—physical, geographic, political, cultural, economic, social, legal, religious, etc.—to enable collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and the conduct of commerce between people, companies or organizations outside local markets. The more barriers an organization overcomes, the more global it becomes. But there is one barrier that still eludes many—oneself!
The majority of companies think that local markets offer plenty of business and safety at home, removing the need to conduct business abroad. After all, international waters are treacherous and they are not for the inexperienced or fainthearted. People believing in that often lack conviction, knowledge and courage to think globally.
In our globalization era, you cannot shut the world out just because your most convenient clientele lives within the boundaries of your own habitat. You don’t necessarily need to sell your products abroad to be or think global. Even small local companies need to consider leveraging global resources if they are to effectively compete against pending threats. How many mom-and-pop shops shut down every year when a Walmart or a Target opens in their neighborhood? Or online retailers cannibalize their sales? Every day big chains and online retailers bring China’s giant manufacturers and their awesome resources to compete with you in your own backyard!
Our Global Vision
At GlobalVision, when we opened our doors for business in 1996, we immediately reached out to global talents to fulfill our needs. Professional translators for the languages that we support are more abundant, and of higher quality, in-country (i.e. in the countries that they translate for) than locally. Also, often labor costs were (and still are) lower outside the USA. Having access to global resources was necessary to help us achieve the expected quality and the financial goals that were critical to cement our success in early years. Within 4 years, we opened 4 divisions around the world and 15 years later they are still helping us deliver quality and profits.
These international bases enabled us to expand our global infrastructure, capitalize on global talents and reduce our cost. They also allowed us to pursue business internationally when and where we saw fit. Even though we did not sell internationally when we got started, we were still a global company from day one!
Every company, large or small, should have a global vision, regardless if it sells overseas or not. If you don’t others that do will quickly command the upper hand. There is global truth in what Jack Welch said when at GE “Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital—the world’s best talents and greatest ideas.”
Globalization is about breaking international barriers. But first and foremost, one should break the barriers within! Have heart. It is not necessarily what you know, but who you know!
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