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Keeping time on our new global clock

May 20, 2015

Rangu Salgame   

Blog Contributor

It’s a small world. An expression uttered whenever you bump into an old friend in your home town, or in business, when an ex-colleague crops up in a new job. The world is getting ever smaller, and the rise of smartphones and broadband in emerging markets has given rise to a new global clock – one that keeps companies ticking over day and night. With today’s estimated three billion users set to double by 2025, we are more inter-connected than ever before – twenty-four hours a day. This rapid pace of globalisation and the new disruptive technologies fast emerging are leaving some leaders questioning how they should empower their employees and keep time on this new global clock.

Many companies are embracing a truly global way of doing business. Google, for example, runs development centres in London, Tel Aviv, Hyderabad, and San Francisco, to name a few. To stay connected to global growth areas my own company’s senior leadership is spread across four continents: Asia, Americas, Europe and Africa. While crucial to a company’s success, some argue that this globalisation is leading to decentralisation in decision-making.

Here are three effective global strategies that, in my experience, strike the right balance between global scale and tangible local solutions:

  • Plan globally, act locally. Hire the best talent in the world, not the best talent in the region. Hire talent that will fit in with your company’s culture and nurture them to be happy, motivated employees. Don’t let geography separate your employees – encourage global collaboration, interdependency and teamwork. Work with trusted leaders in each market that will be able to effectively implement global visions for their local clients.
  • Stay true to your markets. Empower your teams to understand local business needs and customer demands, so that they can prepare strategically for future opportunities and threats. Understand the challenges your teams are facing and be aware of their successes, extending praise where it’s due.
  • Keep time on your global clock. In the new global economy, the traditional working day is dead. Now, somewhere in the world, a colleague will always be working. Employees should still have down time and a personal life and communications must be carefully managed. Use the myriad of new technology, such as remote collaboration tools, to manage the global clock – and use it to empower your workforce.

Technology has changed the world we live and work in out of almost all recognition. Today’s employees are mobile, flexible and culturally-aware, and management should be re-defined to reflect this, allowing them to collaborate from anywhere, at any time in a nurturing environment. Don’t think of the new global clock as the enemy; embrace this opportunity to work as part of an inter-connected, global team.

Is the new global economy transforming the way you lead your company? Please leave a comment below.