Most U.S. based professional service firms are working hard to gain a competitive foothold in the increasingly global economy. Every meeting I attend has some discussion about making breakthrough moves in China or India. But often I feel that the frame of reference is still deeply American. Everyone knows they need a new reference-point, but no one has cracked the code yet.
Take a look at Todd Sattersten's 800-CEO-Read blog post about Eastern Influences on Business, which features three interesting points:
- The conviction that executives should be motivated by a broader purpose than money.
- The idea that companies should take a more holistic approach to business--one that takes into account the needs of shareholders, employees, customers, society, and the environment.
- [The importance of putting] purpose before self . . . that enlightened leaders should master any impulses or emotions that cloud sound judgment. Good leaders are selfless, take initiative, and focus on their duty rather than obsessing over outcomes or financial gain.
These ideas have the potential to change the way we marketers think about pursuing global competitive gains with globally-relevant marketing strategies. But contemplating these new ideas also means we have to envision the potential for (gulp) competitive losses. And that of course makes us tend to stick to what we know best -- an American traditional business mindset.
Can marketers help our tradition-bound and risk-averse colleagues to embrace these powerful new ideals? Would it help a marketer to have the INTENTION to help the firm become more globally relevant? I'm intrigued by the idea that marketers, having a new PURPOSE, can help their firms gain strategic traction where they never could before.