Given my long association with IBM, the close relationships I have enjoyed with a number of our clients, and my recent involvement with Citigroup, it is not surprising that I am very interested in exploring what it takes for an organization to thrive in our increasingly global and highly diverse world. Perhaps my personal multi-cultural background is also part of the reason I am so attracted to the subject.
Managing a large, global organization is indeed very difficult, especially in our unpredictable, emergent, fast changing and intensely competitive market environment. While some might thus conclude that the answer is for a company to resist doing business around the world, the reality is that managing a business, any business, is a very tough job fraught with perils, as evidenced by the high mortality rates of companies from start-ups to those in the Fortune 500.
Are there any basic principles that might serve as guidelines in the management of globally integrated companies? Based on my personal experiences, I think there are a few, that if carefully applied might prove useful. Let me share my thoughts on the subject.