A Guide to Globalization for the 21ST Century Leader – Ryan Ayers

mickyates Globalization, ideas, Innovation, Leader, leadership 0 Comments


It’s not easy to get a business off the ground, let alone bring it to thriving and on the brink of expansion. These days, expansion often involves globalization: expanding your business to the international market. While this step may seem daunting, it’s often necessary for continued growth and prosperity. In fact, 80% of business executives agree that businesses need to expand internationally for continued growth. Expanding into the global market will not only help you scale up, but can also provide additional markets in case others should stagnate.

Don’t Leap Before You Look

Just because globalization is a smart move for businesses who are ready to grow quickly, it’s important to wait until your company is ready to make the move. You and your team need to have the skills and confidence to pull off a successful international launch. Don’t just move forward with globalization for money’s sake—your team will suffer if you try to attempt an international expansion before you’re ready. Calculate the risks and rewards and have a plan in place should it all go wrong. You don’t want to hinge your company’s entire future on expanding to international markets. At a minimum, you’ll need to be able to finance the expansion, hire staff, and ensure your core culture and values can be moved internationally.

Consider What You’re Offering—and How You Offer It

Not all products and services have universal global appeal. It’s very important to consider whether your service or product will be well-received in the markets you’re considering. Understanding the cultural views and tastes of your international clients is important, especially when it comes to communication. Your marketing strategy should cater to the preferences of each market for best results.

Test it Out

Once you’ve done the necessary research and determined that expanding is a good next step, you’ll want to make a very small test operation to make sure that expanding into the market is a viable option. Once this test is complete, you’ll expand the operation a bit more, creating essentially a small business offshoot of your main operation. This will help you determine the success of the expansion, and you’ll want to set a firm date for reevaluation to consider withdrawing from the market, or continuing the expansion. Whether the test was a success depends on your expectations, as well as the nature of your business.

The Digital Demands of Globalization

Becoming an international business means using technology for even more than you do in domestic operations. You’ll need to use technology to lead from afar, and putting together a plan to accomplish this effectively will make the transition go more smoothly.

Data security is also an immense consideration in globalization, since data breaches show no signs of decreasing in the near future. In fact, 78% of US. CEOs are worried about data breaches, due to the typical cost of an IT incident and the impact a breach can have on a company’s reputation. Ongoing training is an important factor in preventing breaches, since many incidents are linked to human error. Aside from setting up a solid cybersecurity system that utilizes encryption, you should very clearly create policies for issues such as how the organization should respond to a breach and how mobile devices should be used and managed to prevent unauthorized access to data and trade secrets.

A Digital Department

If you’re considering expansion, but you don’t have a digital department yet, it may be an option worth looking into. A digital team works to provide the company and customers with a better experience through digital solutions. There are many ways to organize a company when it comes to digital strategy, but many models of innovation. A hybrid model of organizing digital goals is the most productive model, as it allows for all departments to be connected to a central digital departments, but allows for innovation within other areas of the company. Hybrid models are difficult to set up and maintain, but can be very successful in companies that practice organizational leadership. If you are interested in expanding your market internationally, a digital team will be a necessary part of your company’s growth.


Professionalisation of the banking profession – Jim Baxter

mickyates Ethics, ideas, Leader, leadership, Leeds University, Personal development, University 0 Comments

From the University of Leeds Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied (IDEA), Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Recently our report on professionalism in UK banking was published. The report is the culmination of a research project commissioned by the Banking Standards Board which took around six months to complete.

In the course of the research, and particularly the 54 interviews which we carried out with a range of banks, building societies, banking and non-banking professional bodies and other financial stakeholders, we had the opportunity to take a close look at an industry at a critical stage of its history. The banking sector in the UK is in the process of trying to answer some difficult questions, and our research plays a small part in that wider process.

The particular questions which the research addresses are about professions and professionalisation. These distinct but closely related terms are at the heart of a particular approach to raising standards whose potential in the banking sector we were trying to assess. These issues are at the heart of much of our other research, our teaching, and our consultancy activities. We were therefore able to bring to the research many of the ideas developed through our other work , and in turn the research has influenced our broader thinking on these issues.

Our headline finding is that the potential exists for professional bodies to play a significant role in raising levels of competence and ethical behaviour in the sector. However, we also identified five important and substantial cross-sector challenges that need to be addressed if this potential is to be fulfilled. In other words, we gave a cautious thumbs-up to the idea that professionalisation can be an effective driver of standards in banking. ‘Professionalisation’ is the term we used in the research to cover all of the things that established, robust professional bodies do in sectors like medicine, law and accountancy, such as providing gold standard qualifications, disciplining members and overseeing continuing professional development. But it also includes more abstract ideas such as acknowledging an overriding duty to the public interest, fostering good judgment and ‘big picture’ thinking, and firms and professional bodies seeing themselves as partners in a ‘community of interest’.

Does that mean we think banking is a profession? There is an ongoing debate about this. Certainly, many banking activities (at least in retail banking) exhibit an asymmetry of knowledge between the banker and the customer/client, and a consequent need for a relationship of trust, often thought to be characteristic of the work of a profession. Another characteristic of a profession is the potential for impact on the public and the need for the professional to consider the public interest when making decisions. If it was not clear before the crisis of 2008 that this applies to banking, it surely is now.

The arguments usually presented against banking being a profession are 1) the diversity of banking work and 2) the lack of a central relationship between professional and client. It is true that what we call banking now covers an extraordinarily diverse range of activities, from a call centre operative advising customers on personal loans to an investment banker making complex decisions about how to invest large sums of money. However, banking may in this respect be like engineering or medicine, where diverse branches grow from a common trunk. Most of the interviewees in our research agreed that there is a shared set of knowledge, skills and perhaps also values which all bankers ought to share. Many also lamented that, as they saw it, bankers did not in fact share these things, and saw a role for professional bodies in rectifying this problem.

As to the relationship between professional and client, it is true that for many of us our primary relationship is now with an organisation rather than an individual, and interactions are more likely to be with an anonymous call centre operative or an automated online system than in person with a bank employee who is known to us and who takes a personal interest in us. Nonetheless, firstly, it is still not true that all interactions are like this. The professional-client relationship is still a feature of many business banking interactions, for example, as well as in private banking. Secondly, it may be that a richer ethical understanding of the relationship between bank employees and customers, informed by ideas from professional ethics, would be desirable even in less traditional banking transactions. Think of the difference between a loans adviser who thinks of herself as a professional, with a primary duty to act in the customer’s best interests, and one who thinks of herself as a salesperson with a primary duty to deliver a profit.

Ultimately, it may be that the effectiveness of professionalisation does not in fact depend upon the status of the industry as a profession, which is a concept with very fuzzy boundaries in any case. Rather than worrying about whether banking is a profession we should perhaps focus on which elements of professionalisation – structures and institutions, but also approaches and ways of thinking – are likely to be effective in banking. Ultimately I think it will turn out that many of them are.

Download the full report here

Contact the IDEA Centre for more information

Jim Baxter is a Professional Ethics Development Officer at the University of Leeds, which involves knowledge transfer work with businesses and other organisations, as well as some teaching and curriculum development in the University.