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Globalization—Imposing Our Standards

by David Brock on April 24th, 2008

We work with many organizations in globalization. One of the most common things we encounter is the tendency for the organization to impose its standards and norms on its customers and partners in other regions. American companies want to impose the American ways of doing business wherever they are–Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa. Likewise, companies in other regions do the same thing in entering new geographies.

This is a sure formula for failure. To be successful, we need to understand the norms and standards of the region or country and adapt for success. This does not mean sacrificing an organization’s value system, ethics. or other important things. It does mean being open to different ways of doing things and recognizing that nothing is black and white.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article on the experience of one venture capital organization in doing business in China. It provides good lessons for any organization seeking to move into new geographies. The article is: Building Trust, Chinese Style.
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