Global Leadership – Nu Leadership Series

Do leaders really understand the global customer? Do we really understand the attributes of an international community? Clearly, if 21st century organizations want to survive, they must be able to answer those questions. Large organizations are continuing to grow their business globally so that they can gain more customers and increase their profits. When these companies go global, many of them are creating multi-talented, cross cultural teams.

Unfortunately, this is no easy task. Drucker, a management guru, argued leaders must understand the needs of customers while optimizing the efficiency of the whole supply chain. Therefore, leaders cannot afford to neglect any component in the socio-technical system. Going global isn’t easy.

Galbraith, author of Designing Organizations, discusses four barriers that prevent businesses for going global: (a) complexity of doing business in many countries, (b) the difficulty of recreating competitive advantages, (c) the issues of increasing geopolitical uncertainty, and (d) problems with sacrificing global customers. In fact, today customers are more powerful because they have both influence and more information.

For most large organizations, the rigidity of organization structure prevents global success and creates stiff bureaucracy. Senge, a management consultant, suggests that many businesses suffer a narrowness of focus. Therefore, going global needs more flexibility.

Drucker, P. (1964). Managing for Results. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.
Gailbraith, J. (2000). Designing the Global Corporation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Nadler, D. and Tushman, M. (1997). Competing by Design. New York: Oxford University Press.

Senge, P. (1990). The Fifth Discipline. New York: DoubleDay.
© 2008 by Daryl D. Green