It is true that in order to be successful in tomorrow’s world, one will have to understand the complexities of the global economy. Not only has the competitive landscape become far larger and more detailed, differentiation and specialization have created a world market that has never before existed. In addition to the growth of multinationals operating across global locations are new business models such as the peer to peer collaborative economy, which has not only created some of the new largest companies in the world like Uber, it has created a new type of worker and customer through the technology driven, sharing economy (Kostakis & Bauwens, 2014).
In order to gain such understanding as one needs to manage the complexity there are several avenues, and taking only one is not sufficient. First, there is a need to understand complexity itself; next, there is a need not only to know as much as possible about the world, but also to recognize that it is always dynamic and in a state of change; third, a structured program of study with regard to business in the global environment guided by expertise can be a critical support towards excellence in future endeavors; and lastly there is a need to travel and experience all that the world market has to offer, to better understand the same situation in different contexts just as much as different situations in the same contexts. In this manner one can begin to develop the muscles which must be flexed in order to keep up with today’s rapid change and global complexity in business.
The virtual world has expanded even the idea of culture. Multiculturalism has long been accepted as important, but multiculturalism is changing. Today, not only do we have our cultures of origin and residence, we also have cultured defined by communities of interest which overlap and leap borders and boundaries. Technology itself has led to the development of many subcultures.
I have already started to gain such understanding by participating in the global economy. This is a social world, as well as one where financial transactions occur. In social media such as Facebook, for example, one must know the basic etiquette, no matter what country one is from; my newsfeed regularly includes first hand reports from friends and family from around the world. Using sites like EBay and Alibaba I am able to save money by buying products directly, thereby avoiding a Western distributor or broker which adds to the price. I am building my own better value and supply chains. This is the power of the new global economy.
One does not have to understand complexity of the global economy but one must learn how to move within it. The opportunities of the future lay in a number of new spaces- former developing countries with rapidly increasing incomes, virtual space and virtual currency are just a few of these. No longer is global business a technical problem of currency exchange and balance of trade. The new philosophies of the information age have made it possible for anyone in the world to become an entrepreneur, and it has enabled us all to do business without regard to location. In order to become successful in this context I must do more than actively participate in this new culture and economy. Real context is provided in theory, case studies and other structured inquiries. The application of lean and agile philosophies, for example, is critical in a world where consumers value efficiencies which translate into lower prices and higher satisfaction. Determining whether customers are satisfied, or what would satisfy them, today involves the use of big data and other technological concepts which require acquiring skills and know how. These are exciting to me, and I am ready to begin.
- Kostakis, V., & Bauwens, M. (2014). Network society and future scenarios for a collaborative economy. Palgrave Macmillan.