Don´t be taken by surprise!
Geo-politics for managers in the global marketplace
The basic premise of don’t be taken by surprise! is that Senior Executives do not know as much as they could about many of the political and geo-political issues at play in countries that they are currently or planning to do business in and that faced with overwhelming global complexity they rely on oversimplified frameworks to make decisions and complex matrix organizations to make things happen.
To make matters more complicated, modern matrix organizations no longer have Sr. Managers in place at the country level who can reliably inform Sr. Management at headquarters and also act as corporate ambassador at the national level. Even when companies do have a local representative, many of these people are on rotational international assignments and sometimes do not find the time to learn the local languages or dig deeply into the country’s history and political situation.
For Sr. Executives and Board Members of firms pursuing international expansion, don’t be taken by surprise! Will provide a framework with which they can approach global complexity at a deeper level.
As the world gradually shifts to a multi-polar and less stable geo-political structure, only those firms which acquire a better capability to foresee and prepare for change will prevail over the long term. Firms with such capabilities, moreover, will be in a position to make a positive impact on the world as it develops.
- Mike Rosenberg is Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at IESE Business School. He teaches long-term strategy, scenario planning and analysis of business problems in IESE's MBA, Global Executive MBA and executive education programs. Prof. Rosenberg's research is concerned with how long-term technological and socio-economic trends affect the business climate. He has a particular interest in the potential of alternative energy sources to change the competitive dynamics of a number of industries, including the automotive sector. Prior to joining the faculty, Rosenberg worked as a management consultant in the international automotive industry for Heidrick & Struggles, A.T. Kearney and Arthur D. Little.