The Challenge of Going Global

Global companies often struggle with the challenge of deploying technology solutions and process automation in regions that perceive the demanded changes as “corporate mandated” and specific to the location of the company’s corporate offices. How often do we hear the sentiment expressed that this is just another corporate initiative that has nothing to do with how we do business in the region? Consequently, many system initiatives fail miserably when the regions are asked to adopt it. Projected ROI is not realized, organizational ineffectiveness continues, and careers are adversely impacted – despite the well intentioned deployment.

Over the last several years I have had the opportunity to work with many world-leading companies that have deployed solutions throughout the various world regions – to local end user populations with very distinct processes, business cultures, and language requirements. In working with these companies one of the first thing we have done is assess the company culture to determine if the organization is truly ready to deploy a global system that will be adopted as envisioned. After all – “if you build it they will come” only works in the movies.

In response to this problem, countless books, articles and white papers have been written and an equally large amount of seminars and workshops delivered. So why not (I ask myself) a blog on lessons learned over my years working with companies that have ventured into the world of global system deployment? Lessons learned from working with executives, project team members and system end users – both at Corporate as well as in the regions. A blog that discusses how to create a more effective deployment atmosphere and culture during system definition and implementation and prepare the ground properly to ensure that the actual system deployment is positive and yields the desired response at the Corporate and Regional level.
So, from scheduling calls and engaging virtual teams, to walking the fine line between localizations and standardization; from ensuring representation and commitment at the regional level, to overcoming project stereotypes and misconceptions across the board; from defining deployment strategies and managing system rollout tasks – stay tuned. Practical tips and suggestions I have learned (sometimes through my own mistakes) over the past decade as I have worked with well intentioned, conscientious and highly motivated colleagues thrown into the deep end and asked to swim.

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