Globalization's 21st Century Makeover

Globalization’s 21st Century Makeover explains how “emerging” market companies are rapidly becoming global players—to whit, new owners for Jaguar and Land Rover.

Globalization's 21st Century MakeoverEmerging countries have long been regarded by globalizers as targets for exploitation, but 21st century market forces are turning legacy thinking on its head, which produces disruption and its sibling, opportunity.

The conventional thinking goes that emerging countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) have talented knowledge/human capital resources that can be tapped in outsourcing and offshoring arrangements. Moreover, these workers’ employment in high value knowledge jobs creates a new consumer class among large populations. Emerging countries’ rapidly growing consumer markets stand in sharp contrast to developed countries’, which are flat or shrinking. China and India have been relaxing restrictions on foreign ownership, which has increased FDI, especially in China, enabling foreign companies to invest in and buy BRIC companies.

However, the big story in 2007 was the opposite:


How Social Tagging Changes the Economics of Ecommerce: Customers Help You to Boost Revenue

How Social Tagging Changes the Economics of Ecommerce was a geeky session that explained how a potent mix of “people like me” navigation and digital leverage can drive sales and profits + The secret to emerging markets?

How Social Tagging Changes the Economics of EcommerceThe Global Human Capital Journal’s coverage of the Forrester Consumer Forum 2007 continues with this session on social tagging. Before your eyes glaze over, bear with me and learn how this simple, revolutionary social technology can help your customers to help your business. Forrester’s Sarah Rotman Epps moderated a discussion with Brian Rosenblat, Online Retail Industry Lead, Endeca Technologies and Jay Shaffer, Vice President Marketing, PowerReviews, who represented companies that offer social tagging solutions, and they all shared numerous examples.

This was one of the most “actionable opportunity” sessions of the conference: tagging is a relatively unknown, simple, yet transformational Web 2.0 phenomenon that will gain traction in 2008 and explode in 2009. If you aren’t doing it, you will be at a significant disadvantage to your competitors who do.

The Global Human Capital Journal published the overall conference […]

Technology Conference: Getting Global From Chicago - and Back

Visions for Technology Leadership

going_global_eecAfter Gary Forsee’s luncheon address, a diverse panel of executives took the stage to discuss global technology leadership. Hardik Bhatt, CIO of the City of Chicago, Steve Goldman, Director of Architecture, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Raymond Spencer, CEO of Kanbay International, and David Weick, Global CIO of McDonald’s, shared their visions for Chicago’s global role in the world. Janet Kennedy, Midwest General Manager of Microsoft, gracefully moderated the panel discussion. The Executives’ Club of Chicago’s quarterly Technology Conference took place March 8 at the Chicago Hilton.

“Getting global” can mean many things, and panelists hit the issue from many directions. I’ll venture that, more than anything, it means changing one’s mindset, focus and approach, all of which are difficult to measure. All panelists represented organizations that had had international operations for decades, so how is global different?


The Knowledge Economy: The Ultimate Context for Understanding the Future

The Knowledge Economy, Ultimate Context for Understanding the Future welcomes you to the Post-Industrial World, which turns past assumptions on their heads.

The Knowledge Economy, Ultimate Context for Understanding the FutureThe Knowledge Economy is a post-industrial economy characterized by a highly developed information technology industry along with overproduction and commoditization in industrial and agricultural sectors. Widespread information technology (IT) adoption among producers and consumers enables all market participants to create and share information about all aspects of economic transactions. The creation, packaging and sharing of information is termed “knowledge.” In the Knowledge Economy, information about an underlying good creates most of the good’s differentiated value.

Consumer mobilization and engagement in the Knowledge Economy renders many of the Industrial Economy’s rules invalid. In the Industrial Economy, consumers had little information relative to producers, they were isolated from each other, and they had no collective voice. They were at a disadvantage as market participants. The “second stage” of the Internet, “Web 2.0,” facilitates P2P (peer to peer) information sharing, and its tools are free to use and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Producers […]

The TransAtlantic Partnership and its Implications for U.S. and E.U. Economies

The TransAtlantic Partnership’s Implications for U.S., E.U. Economies summarizes coverage of the EEC International Conference—Talking with the Ambassadors of the World’s Largest Trading Relationship and the CEOs of Four Global Enterprises.

The TransAtlantic Partnership's Implications for U.S., E.U. EconomiesThree eminent diplomatic leaders and CEOs from Baxter, Financial Dynamics, ITW and Philips briefed Midwest executives on the current status and future directions of the world’s largest trading relationship at the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s International Conference November 15. The half-day program featured several presentations, a CEO panel and a media round table. All speakers sought to impress upon the audience the pivotal importance of the transatlantic alliance for the United States and Europe, and most warned chief executives neither to take it for granted nor to be passive in the face of rising protectionism.

The fact that the importance of the E.U.—U.S. alliance had to be emphasized brought into sharp relief the relatively sudden rise of Asia as well as the shift from the Industrial Economy to the Knowledge Economy. Both megatrends pose opportunities and threats for the world’s largest economies and enterprises, and […]

The Silver Lining in India's Infrastructure Gap

The Silver Lining in India’s Infrastructure Gap posits that India’s poor infrastructure face force it to develop more lucrative Knowledge Economy assets.

India is often described as a mixed proposition with respect to its future promise. Although few would question its brilliance as a “burgeoning technology economy,” most people temper this with somber remarks about its lack of “infrastructure.” However, I will argue that India’s limitations with physical infrastructure will actually help India get further ahead than if it didn’t have such problems.

In the popular view (see Indian Raj and its quote of The Houston Chronicle), India’s technology expertise, language skills and legal sensibilities are its trump cards, but this is compromised by its lack of roads, transportation of all kinds, network infrastructure, electricity, and so on. High tech companies have to build their own generators and network infrastructure, and leading providers have created islands of world class capability to assure their global clients that they don’t depend on the country’s infrastructure. China, on the other hand, is generally seen as a paragon of world-class infrastructure, especially physical infrastructure. Woe is India.


Corporate Imperialism, a Vestige of the Industrial Economy

The End of Corporate Imperialism, by C.K. Prahalad and Kenneth Lieberthal, encapsulates the obvious elegantly and factually, and its thesis is far more true today than in 1998, when it was written: “Too often, companies try to impose Western models of commerce on developing countries. They’d do better—and learn more—if they tailored their operations to the unique conditions of emerging markets.” Western MNCs (multinational corporations) perceive the primitive state of consumption in emerging markets, and they too often develop a strategy in which they: 1) focus on the extreme minority of wealthy consumers and/or 2) address the order of magnitude larger middle tier of the market by offering their past-mature products with minor cosmetic changes.

This is another symptom of MNCs’ being stuck between industrial and knowledge economies. As I stated in my Transourcing Point of View, “Enterprises are ambivalent about innovation and product creation because they represent an inherent conflict: the drive to amortize past investments (including process-oriented constraints of marketing, distribution, service, etc.) conflicts with companies’ need to satisfy customers’ wishes for novelty. In practice, this too often leads to vapid product extensions.” The industrial-era enterprise derived its competitiveness largely through production and distribution efficiency, and it marketed […]

Global Inflection Points

At the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Innovation and Technology Forecast in Chicago Tuesday, there was significant discussion about China’s growth and what that would mean for innovation in Illinois. Many speakers also made references to the importance of catering to knowledge workers. Chunka Mui, Dan Ratner, Geoffrey Kasselman and Jerry Mitchell were panelists, and Jerry spends significant time in China. His admiration for what is happening in China was contagious and triggered the train of thought here.


Rare Legal and Business Insight into Offshore Countries and Regions

Rare Legal and Business Insight into Offshore Countries and Regions describes Baker & McKenzie’s excellent webcasts focused on offshore business.

Depending on your business strategy, it may make sense to explore offshoring to several regions of the world to mitigate the risk that your partner might be affected by natural disasters or political upheaval. In fact, many offshore experts recommend a portfolio strategy for risk mitigation or operational effectiveness (follow the sun operations can reduce time to market) while meeting cost objectives.


Rethinking Immigration in the Knowledge Economy

The United States is a unique country in many ways, notably in its collective, pervasive idea of the “immigrant” experience. As everyone learns in Civics class, the majority of Americans immigrated to the U.S. within a relatively compressed time frame in order to gain economic, religious or other freedoms that they did not have at “home.” Moreover, the land was new, with only emerging cultural ideas and structures to impose themselves on the new arrivals. The immigrant experience was pervasive because the number of immigrants compared to the number of U.S.-born citizens was high during the 18th and 19th centuries. The immigration experience was therefore formative in the U.S. culture itself.