Globalization training: back with a vengeance

‘Globalization training’ is back on the agenda  for many of our clients, from companies who have been working globally for some time and who are now looking to become more integrated to the next cohort of, often smaller, organizations, who are’ globalizing’ for the first time.
For the first group, globalization training means learning to work in a much more integrated way. They are introducing virtual teams, matrix working and even a formal matrix structure that ties international operations much more closely together with the intention of sharing costs and resources across the organization.
For these companies working internationally has long been a reality. However, this was often previously coordinated either at a senior level, or through less integrated teams and business functions. Driven partly by the need for cost savings and efficiencies, and partly by the increasing importance of what used to be called ‘developing economies’, they now really need to operate in a seamless and integrated manner across the world.
For organizations that are new to operating globally, or at very least internationally, globalization training often starts with understanding cultural differences. However, they quickly realize that, whilst culture is an initial and obvious difference, some of the other dynamics such as working through technology, and making virtual and matrix teams work, are actually much more challenging.
For both types of organization, globalization is a mindset. Organizations are changing: they have global customers that require seamless service and contact worldwide. They have much more integrated central functions that need to provide services both across geography and in an ever more cost-effective way. They form part of supply chains, both their own and their customers, where geographies become irrelevant but standards must be maintained irrespective of location.
In the most sophisticated companies, globalization training is also recognizing the reality of a power shift towards Asia and other developing markets. Corporate attention inevitably moves towards markets offering growth and opportunity, rather than to those where the market is more mature and offers slow growth. We are already seeing significant organizational focus moving towards Asia in particular.
Each organization has a different emphasis in its globalization training depending on its level of maturity and integration. But for all of these organizations the future is firmly global.

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