14 February 2011

My dear Porter, I suppose we have to rethink our strategies when in Crisis! No more "Think globally, Act locally" but viceversa!

'Think globally, Act Locally' is one of the phrases that dominate all International Business Strategy books worldwide. It refers to a global strategy of organizations, wanting to explore different markets (countries) and selling their products/services to the locals of that country.

But when it comes to periods of economic recession is this phrase correct or misleads us?

According to the Harvard Business Review
"The variance of GDP growth rates across countries is at its lowest point in 30 years; never in recent history have economies been so closely in step with each other. This increases the odds of a synchronized global recession, which means that companies will have nowhere to turn to shift supply.
How can your company make it through the difficult times ahead?"

Maybe the answer lies in the same problematic phrase of our youth (and our books):
The "Think globally, Act locally" maybe must change vice versa to  "Think locally, Act globally"

When a market or a country (like Greece right now) faces a economic recession, and companies may experience a drop in regional demand, they may have to map out alternative markets that could absorb their additional supply. 

"Think locally, Act Globally" actually means using local resources for designing and manufacturing products for the global environment! 
This is, I guess, the only way for a company based in a country under economic crisis to gain a unique selling proposition and competitive advantage: through uniqueness of offerings.
Some examples of local resources that can be successful in international markets (through successful innovation in marketing of course), are:
  • Greek fruits and vegetables that are of fine quality
  • Products made from unique ingridients (like Mastic)
  • Greek Gastronomy and wines
  • Marbles and minery products
The above list can be unlimited when we realise that Greece has so many unique offerings!!!
When designing and manufacturing those unique products we must turn to the global environment. Of course we have to tagret them carefully but we have to do it!No company can survive when depends to a domestic market that faces very low demand. In such times, companies must expand their vision to serve international markets. Exporting is a means to increase a company’s overall market size.

Under this assumption, the major focus of the export strategy would be to enhance the product diversification through uniqueness and sell them to targeted international markets, increasing both the volume of exports and profits.
So, my dear Porter, I suppose we have to rethink our strategies when it comes to crisis!
Maybe "Think locally, Act globally" is one answer (if not the only one)!


  1. this is a good point. rethink is a must these days. but, for some people in Greece it's just "think before you act"; we need to start from the basics… the High Times is over. people find it difficult to adapt and your role is to make it SS* for them so they get it. for some issues is better to be proactive than just active. those locals are crazy

    *stupid simple