Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Globalization 3.0: Opportunities and Challenges

Yesterday, I gave a talk to a group of Boston University alumni in New York on the topic of Globalization 3.0. This presentation frames some of the challenges that companies face as they recognize how best to exploit the opportunities of global collaboration that go beyond narrowly defined mechanisms of offshoring and outsourcing.
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Would appreciate any comments and feedback on this overview presentation.

1 comment:

Avneet said...

Great presentation, Venkat. If there were a way to capture your "speaker notes" as well, it would be even better . . . maybe I'm getting greedy now!

Some further thoughts (in no particular order):
1. In my consulting days, I would sometimes used a crude "globalization metric" = ratio of "offshore" to total employees (sometimes relative to peers). For many leaders, that ratio was in the 10-30%+ range. As of the last time I checked, there wasn't any company where that metric was >50% (except of course the "native offshore" providers like Infosys)
2. Over the years, I had the good fortune of working for most of the leading "globalization companies" (including 6 of the 14 Early Experimenters on slide 35) . . . I find that while their globalization % is increasing, I'd still place them somewhere in the Globalization "2.0 to 2.5" state. That's because they still have a clear notion of "headquarters" or "onshore" versus "region" or "offshore". I am actually starting to get intrigued by some "older" global companies such as Siemens, Unilever, etc . . . perhaps GE is in the same category where I believe major/ strategic decisions are being made in dispersed locations. Hence they may be closer to Globalization 3.0 . . or at least 2.5 . . . at least notionally similar to the "center-less" network depicted on your slide 16. But I don't know any of these companies well enough to comment. Perhaps you or another reader can add something here.
3. There are entire industries (energy, healthcare etc) which are still in a 1.0 mind-set, and may remain there for another decade or more!
4. Globalization remains a game of scale . . . so there aren't very many good opportunities for smaller companies to tap into this trend . . . so far! The desire is certainly there. I've had many CEOs and sr. executives asking if they could offshore a 15-person A/P group or a 5-person HRIS dept! But so far there doesn't seem to be a good solution.
5. I suspect that crowd-sourcing/ home-sourcing etc will grow faster than people expect and emerge as another mainstream sourcing dimension (thought I won't call it a threat to globalization). Again - no data to back this up, but for my own tiny 3-person company, I use 3 home-based "contractors". . . despite being very familiar with the workings of "traditional" offshoring!

Thanks for sharing. Happy to continue the dialog offline if you like. My email is avneet dot jolly at insightory dot com.