Resolve to be a Change Agent for Globalization Readiness
Our recent research shows that global digital transformation initiatives and unrelenting competition are two of the most common drivers pushing organizations to invest in globalizing business processes across all teams. However, many firms still lag behind in this area. What keeps them from advancing faster and what can localization teams do to enable their organizations to maneuver more quickly around the roadblocks?
What Blocks Organizations from Reaching Higher Levels of Globalization Readiness More Quickly?
Our rigorous analysis of localization maturity across hundreds of companies over the last 13 years confirms that three roadblocks consistently prevent them from building globally integrated organizations earlier in their evolution:
- Executives don’t prioritize business globalization. Our research shows that many upper managers who lead digital transformation initiatives mistakenly assume that integrating the global piece means simply instructing localization teams to translate content, code, and programs during the execution stage. Thus, they miss significant opportunities including exploiting machine learning to mine words, images, and audio in the preferred languages of prospects, customers, and other stakeholders.
- Middle management performance is not tied to global success. Middle managers tackle many competing priorities because they’re at the level where much of a firm’s work actually gets done. Unless their performance objectives and compensation packages are integrated with globalization goals, they tend to run out of budget, bandwidth, or both before being able to meet globalization commitments.
- Teams have no access to training in how to deliver optimal global support. Similar to internationalization for software coders, business process globalization is not taught in academia. Therefore, managers usually struggle the first time around when attempting to revamp their processes and teams to optimally support local markets.
What Can Your Team Do to Advance Globalization Readiness?
So, how can you and your team act as change agents to enable colleagues in other functions to evolve their business practices to more fully support and please local markets more quickly? Here are three steps you can take to get started:
- If you don’t already have an executive sponsor, recruit one. For your team to be recognized and its input taken seriously company-wide, you must have a globalization champion. It should be someone at a high enough level to remove obstacles and build awareness for local market perspectives.
- Build a business case to evolve your team into a center of excellence for globalization readiness. If you’re chomping at the bit to move forward, but are experiencing bandwidth issues, then it’s time to put together an investment proposal so that your team can provide globalization expertise enterprise-wide.
- Prepare your staff to take on expanded roles and update career paths. Be ready to provide additional training and mentoring to enable all team members to transition smoothly into their strategic roles. Some may require a course in presentation skills or additional coaching to be successful at sharing their expertise with other groups in person or via webinars and portal content. Don’t hesitate to hire talent from the outside or to take on an internal employee with the right competence from another team if you need to ramp up quickly. You can also engage contractors and interns to back-fill positions as current team members take on more strategic roles.
Stepping up to be a change agent in support of globalization readiness enterprise-wide is a big decision. However, with executive sponsorship, a clear mission, and the right investment model other groups will start to seek out your team’s expertise for accelerating their own business process globalization. If you’re looking for help on how to support globalization readiness within your organization or are interested in participating in our newest research stream related to the Globalization Maturity Model, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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