Let me share a story that happened some years ago. We met a group of Chinese investors. They loved our concept and were willing to implement it in China; opening 100 stores in the first year… Isn’t that great? That is fantastic. Back home, we presented it to our board. The feedback we received was: “Who’s gonna run the show?”
It’s a people-thing. In the end, every business development initiative comes back to people and to change. If you could continue business as usual, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything. So there wouldn’t be a need to develop your business.
Think global. If we don’t think out of the box, we don’t see new opportunities, in the above story the new market China. We are not yet there. We don’t have a team to enter the market, identify appropriate locations, manage the building and get the business running. Is this reason enough to stop thinking about it? – Short period of silence… Now you need somebody to shout out “No!”
Act local. Let’s pretend somebody did you the favor. Now keep on going. As we don’t have the team yet to enter a new market, we have to build it up. Find the people – this can be existing members of your organization or external – who are willing to go on a new endeavor. It is more important that they are keen on doing something new rather than that they have 10+ years experience in entering new markets. Set up the team and offer all support they need. Stay to your word.
This is a transformation. For sure entering a new market – and doing business on a different continent with an expansion speed beyond everything that is known in your business – what else can it be than a major transformation? And thinking about a new opportunity in this way “Let’s set up a team and support them as much as possible.” In contrast to the implicit No of “Who’s gonna run the show?” This is a transformation, too.
Change comes in different flavors and for different reasons. The flavors can be anything from changing the work environment, changing behavior, changing skills to changing doctrine and changing personality. I first discovered them in the book “Führungsstark im Wandel” by Alexander Groth.
In the end it is always the Think global – act local principle. First you have to think, then you have to act.