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World View: Global Strategies for the New Economy (Harvard Business Review Book) First Edition Edition
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Emerging Markets [eg Prahalad and Lieberthal on "The End of Corporate Imperialism"]
Europe and Asia [eg Williamson on "Asia's New Competitive Game"]
Corporate Strategies [eg Porter on "Clusters and the New Economics of Competition]
Leadership [three interviews: Victor Fung, Robert B. Shapiro, and John Browne]
Garten then provides Executive Summaries and About the Contributors, both sections giving the reader a frame-of-reference within which to evaluate the specific essays and their respective authors. Garten is eminently well-qualified. You are urged to check out another of his books, The Mind of the C.E.O., in which he shares what he learned from interviews with 40 CEOs of major global corporations.
In the Introduction, Garten identifies several "common themes" revealed throughout the sixteen essays: operating in a global market requires CEOs to rethink everything about their strategies -- even what strategy means in an environment which is changing so fast and is so brutally competitive; the best strategies require organizations that are set up for gathering massive amounts of information and processing it effectively; companies that succeed on a global scale are constant innovators; great global companies create a culture conducive to extensive internal and external collaboration; and finally, virtually all of the authors agree that change is brining unprecedented opportunity to capture markets and enhance shareholder value.Read more ›
As with several of the collections, the really interesting thing is what is not covered. To an observer, three of the things that are really uncertain in the global economy, with large potential implications for global strategy, are financial instability, the growth of consumer dissent and activism and the pressure to build environmental sustainability. The first two topics do not appear at all and the third is represented only by an interview with the CEO of a company that has since changed its name, apparently as a direct of result of customer backlash to its chosen path to sustainability.
The impression is of a book that represents a somewhat complacent corporate conventional wisdom, in which change will occur in ways that we understand and can, within limits, control and more radical possibilities are comfortably not in contemplation. The failure of the Kyoto conference has amply demonstrated this lack of vision. As AtKisson and Hawken have pointed out, the obvious response to the problem of global warming is a large - and, in even the medium term, potentially enormously profitable for someone - thrust to bring on the hydrogen economy. Yet, as far as one can determine from the reports, this solution was not even seriously raised, let alone debated.
A true 'world view' is likely to see strategies that are much more radical and much less comfortable for conservative business, than this collection seems to suggest.