Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Judgment Call: Can You Be A Global Business and Idealistic?

The Problem
Once again I've been asked to contribute to The Financial Times' Judgment Call panel - alongside Harvard Business School's Sebastien S Kresge professor of marketing Rohit Deshpande and the CEO of Polar Mobile Kunal Gupta.
The issue our advice was sought on was: Can you be a global business and idealistic?
This follows from the detention of Google's most senior exec in Brazil when Google refused to take down a YouTube video which allegedly insulted a local politician.

My advice, as regulars here will guess, was that not only should a global business remain idealistic - but that it must.
Here's the full (and only lightly edited for publication) response I supplied:
Organisations have to remain true to their fundamental beliefs - their purpose.
There may be a short term cost or loss from sticking to them but businesses built to succeed in today's Open Economy must take a longer view: Without consistency trust disappears; Without consistency believers stop believing; Without consistency supporters stop supporting.
My Advice: Top
Our connected world demands more than simple customer centricity, it requires customer partnership - and that is driven by belief.
Today's winners are Open Businesses - organisations which use their resources to create networks of people who care about the same things they do and who work with them to achieve shared goals.
This clearly relies on support from outside the org. It's this support, this willingness to participate, that delivers competitive advantage. They participate because they share your beliefs.
That is the bigger picture Google sees - and which no amount of local sabre-rattling is likely to make it relinquish.

This of course speaks to Principle One of the 10 Principles of Open Business - Purpose.
The outing in the FT this morning (October 3, 2012), also marks the first publication in print of the fact of our forthcoming book The 10 Principles of Open Business (see the end of my piece in the pictures accompanying this post). Though I have to say our potential publishers are suggesting that may, in the end, become a sub-heading. Will keep you posted, of course.
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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?