Are You Paying Attention to the Signs?

This article is an introduction to a new blog series around “Globalization: The Leadership Challenge Ahead” the topic of my presentation at the Colleyville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on January 6, 2011 to kick-off the new year.

To put things into the proper context, globalization is fast becoming a business imperative for survival and growth, whether you recognize it or not. This is true for both solo entrepreneurs and small local businesses, as well as large multi-national corporations.

Are you paying attention to the signs?

Although the latest economic reports are mixed, some financial experts believe we are entering a new decade of prosperity. Paul Zane Pilzer, noted economist and trend predictor seems to think so. He’s forecasting that the economy will create 10 million new millionaires by 2016. (I plan to send Paul an email and ask him to add me to the list). A large part of this new economic growth is expected to be fueled by the next trillion dollar industry – the Wellness industry.

However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. There’s still a lot of work ahead to repair the U.S. economy after a decade of economic despair, reduce our record level $14 trillion national debt, and improve our competitive position in the global economy.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, I know what you are thinking when you hear the word globalization. “I’m a small local business owner with no plans to expand internationally. So, what does globalization have to do with me?” The short answer is … EVERYTHING! And if you are not paying attention to the signs, you’re putting your business at risk.

The proliferation of the Web has made the world at lot smaller and it’s much easier to conduct business on a global scale today than it was just 10-15 short years ago. By making the world smaller the Web has also enabled global competition to be much more upfront and personal, and much more pervasive. Social media has accelerated this pace by making access to products and services, content and competition appear to be ubiquitous. This is particularly evident if you have an e-commerce business today.

Think of the global economy as a two-way mirror. As you peer through the glass to explore new local, regional and/or international business relationships there are hundreds if not thousands of prospective clients, suppliers and yes, new competitors looking back at you doing the same thing. Therefore, the survivability of your business, large or small, may very well hinge on your leadership ability to reevaluate, adapt and even reinvent your business in real-time in order to effectively manage the complexity of doing business in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.

Consider your current clients, suppliers and partnerships and what changes could be on the horizon as a result of further globalization that would impact these interdependent business relationships. And what course corrections and changes you need to prepare for to stay ahead of the curve and protect your business from new global competition.

In subsequent blog articles, I’ll address some of the major hurdles ahead and the steps you need to take to achieve business success in the ‘New World’ economy, so stay tuned in the next few weeks for more on Globalization: The Leadership Challenge Ahead.

In the meantime, please let me hear from you on how globalization is helping or hurting your business and what steps you have taken to improve your competitive position.

COPYRIGHT © 2011 John Carroll