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HOW INNOVATION BENEFITS FROM GLOBALISATION

Posted by Tina Catling 1 March 2017 Innovation Consultancy

Commentators have been discussing globalisation for decades, even centuries, though it is generally understood to have intensified with the increase in internet use, ease of travel and the proliferation of cross border social processes. With the global economy and marketplace continuing to move towards ever closer integration and connectivity, that this presents some challenges for many organisations is clear. And yet, despite these difficulties, innovators are generally renowned for their support of globalisation, interconnectedness, and cooperation.

As speculation grows about whether globalisation is under threat, here are a number of ways innovation benefits from globalisation. 

GLOBALISATION UNDER THREAT?

There has been much talk in recent months of how globalisation itself is under threat, as an organisational system and as an ideology. Just last week food giant Mondelez International told the Financial Times (FT) that the “backlash against globalisation” presents one of the biggest challenges to multinational companies. Irene Rosenfeld, chairwoman and chief executive of Mondelez, told FT that ‘slower economic growth, currency and commodity volatility, and “market shocks”’ were all contributing to increased risks for organisations with a global outlook, with many sitting tight to ‘wait and see’ what the coming months will hold. 

Likewise, the threat to globalisation is not just economic. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg told the BBC that organisations needed to work together to protect some of the values inherent in globalisation that allow many organisations to function transnationally, from the free flow of information to intercultural understanding and collaborative research and development.

HOW DOES INNOVATION BENEFIT? 

EXCHANGE OF IDEAS

Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of globalisation to innovation is that it can facilitate the exchange of ideas. Whether this comes from the unconscious interaction of people from different organisational and cultural backgrounds, or through the conscious decision to learn from the practices of others, innovation is always richer for such exchanges.

A recent article from VentureBeat which explored 10 ways organisations are inspiring innovation pointed to the popularity of ‘innovation excursions.’ These excursions see ‘corporate leaders take tours of startups and businesses that they think are leading the way in a particular market or category’, and are designed to allow large organisations to seek out ideas which can be applied to their own business challenges.

Offering the possibility to accelerate education among senior leaders, identify potential new partners and spur new programs, the ability to learn from small, agile businesses from around the world is highly valuable for those organisations who can find innovation more difficult because of their size and aversion to risk.

YOU CAN LEARN FROM COMPETITION

One of the biggest challenges often cited for organisations participating in a globalised market place is the increased competition from all corners of the world. And yet, taking an alternative look at competition, it could be argued that this need to stand out from the crowd and be as efficient and streamlined as possible could in fact be the impetus for originality and innovation.

IT trend and insight commentators CIO suggests that rather than seeing competition as the basic struggle between multiple organisations for their share of the market, competition as a result of globalisation should be seen as a metaphorical Darwinian struggle for existence, in which ‘industries are looking less to their neighbours and more toward unrelated industries for innovation insights.’ Arguing that ‘disruptive innovation can be identified when best practices no longer produce predictable results’, CIO suggests that innovators are always on the lookout for tomorrow’s game-changer and continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.

By looking to others who are succeeding all over the world, across industry, language and geographical boundaries, innovators are constantly learning from their international counterparts. As the world watches with bated breath to see whether the globalisation model will continue to be favoured, innovators will be working hard to continue reaping the rewards a global outlook can bring.  

 

 

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