Monday, September 13, 2010

"Think Local, Act Global" or ... whatever!

I wrote this post in my old blog 3+ years ago (June 19, 2007). Read it and see to what extent it remains current. IMO, it's even more current and relevant today than in June 2007!

Dynamics: "Think Local, Act Global" or ... whatever!

The management/business mantra used to be "Think Global", then it evolved to "Think Global, Act Local", then we sort of lost .. direction (somewhat like the people in the TV series). "Think Local, Act Global", or whatever!

Maybe "Think localglobal and act global-local"?

I kind of like the "global-ethnic" idea/strategy among others. Ie create and market a "product" which has 50% specific and identifiable and globally attractive "couleur local" and 50% global elements. Or, alternatively, is 50% "exotic" (to the local consumer) and 50% "known" and "familiar": Balance the foreign/xenon and the familiar/standard.

It's like the debate as to whether people are "all the same" or "each is unique". In my mind, each person is both unique and just like all other humans.

Some multinational business strategists call it "having local relevance". Hm!

But how on Earth can a company, even the most "global" or "multi-national" be relevant (and en plus, a "good neighbor", but that is a Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issue) in the 100, 150 or 200 national markets it operates in? Or does this apply mostly to "large" or otherwise "key" market? Eg China, India, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, USA, Brazil, South Africa, etc? "Relevant" to the national pop culture?

Assuming there is a unified "national pop culture" that is, instead of an amalgam of various ones!

Are some societies or national pop cultures more "global" than others?

Which country, economy, society, pop culture is the most "global" these days? The US, the UK, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Monaco, Canada? Or should one better use the notion of "cosmopolitan"?

Or should one look at locations/regions (pockets of cosmopolitanism or globalism) rather than cosmopolitan/global countries/nations? Eg CA or LA, NYC, London, Paris, Southern France, Mykonos, Ibiza, Cancun, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Italian or Spanish or English football league, the NBA, Geneva, DC, Brussels, Singapore, Hong Kong, some areas in India and China, Berlin, etc?

Like Athens was in the 5th century BC, or Carthage (until the Romans literally levelled it), or Alexandria (after the death of Alexander), or Minoan Crete until the Thira volcano's tsunami, or Cairo, or Babylon, or Rome ("when in Rome"), or Constantinople (for at least 1000 years), or Florence in the 15th plus, or Paris in parts of the 20th century (for artists), etc?

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