In today's global business environment, companies are in constant search of growth opportunities.
A local or national business may have intentions to remain in its home market, believing it will be more manageable. However, thanks to globalization, as well as the Internet and social media, many local brands have been lured to expand beyond their borders. For other businesses, expanding outside of their home country is a must if the market is no longer large enough to support their vision and goals.
Whether the expansion is a requirement or happenstance, growth into other countries needs to be strategic to be successful.
For instance, some companies risk losing their brand or corporate identity when expanding their global footprint, especially into markets where the consumer culture is different. Language barriers can be a problem. Hiring and retaining good talent is also important when setting up shop in another country.
Just as there are different types of companies and markets, there are different types of growth.
Traditionally, companies have internationalized for two main reasons – for market growth or to seek resources. The global competitive landscape has changed to where now, more companies are internationalizing for knowledge appropriation – not only to acquire market knowledge, but also to learn from best practices dispersed throughout the world, then use these insights as a source of ongoing strategic renewal.
Global strategic audits are a valuable tool for corporations of all sizes, helping to identify and leverage untapped sources of knowledge and internal resources. A comprehensive audit includes assessing advantages that the company may have overlooked in order to build a knowledge-sharing architecture as an engine for sustainable competitive advantage. Those advantages might be:
Global strategic audits will uncover whether or not the company has a functioning and dynamic knowledge-sharing architecture. They can expose lost opportunities. And they can help companies sense, meld and redeploy valuable market, technological, and practical knowledge resulting from an operating presence that is global and at the same time deeply entrenched in local contexts. The global firm can thus learn and reinvigorate itself utilizing the full promise and knowledge appropriation strength of its global footprint.
Audits can further help companies discover:
Expanding into global markets is often done in a short-term gain approach to market expansion, leaving the firm with a global footprint but without a knowledge-sharing system in place enabling the full benefit of this investment to be realized. It's important to develop a strategy to capitalize on the full promise of having a global presence. A global strategic audit helps make this happen.