At the outset, the concept of “think global, act local” seems like an utter paradox. However, if you want to succeed in the present world which is characterized by damning competition, you must understand the potential of this paradox. Business gurus all over the world have attested to the necessity of this thought process. So deeply has this concept infiltrated into all aspects of business that a new term has been coined for it – Glocal or Glocalization (global + local, of course). The concept has another more profound interpretation – Think holistic, Act personal.
Why do some successful companies fail in new markets?
To put it in the right perspective, think global act local refers to running a business by tailoring global concepts to fit into the mold of local requirements, while at the same time, ensuring that the business has a global appeal. The paradox continues! Several companies, with decades of experience behind them, fail to capitalize on a new market in a new geography. The major reason is that they try to apply their global principles which might not bode well with the sensibilities of the local market. It is very important, therefore, to act in accordance with local interests. When a global company acts locally, it succeeds in establishing local roots and build relations with the local community on a more personal level, which forms the basis of further expansion into the local market.
The birth and spread of the concept
This concept took strong roots ever since the global village model was conceived by business heads and politicos all over the world. The ideology of globalization was conceived in Japan and over the years, Japanese businesses have thrived in the global market by following these principles. However, the concept has caught on with multinational businesses of the western world, which now place a lot of emphasis on adapting their working methodology to meet local requirements. The principle has become a ubiquitous mantra of international business houses.
Why thinking global is incomplete if you cannot act locally
Although it is necessary to think globally, the fact that “global” is a very intangible entity because of the diversity that exists from one place to another has further underlined the need to implement global principles. Acting as per local sensibilities includes understanding the laws of the land, interests of people, psychology of target customers and figuring out ways to establish a stronghold in the market. So, branding strategies have to be formulated keeping all these aspects in mind.
There is another very important aspect to be considered here. Every business, despite functioning with global ideologies, has to depend on local resources to keep the business running. This includes manpower as well as material resources. Even from this angle, it becomes very important for businesses to think on a global level, but act as per local requirements.
So, to survive in the global scenario, your vision should be broad but your focus should be narrow. Then, you have a clear winner.