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“We live in an interconnected world in which a local event can have global consequences.”
Sir Martin Rees, the English Astronomer Royal was commenting as those responsible for the ‘Doomsday Clock’ moved the hands two minutes closer to midnight. The Clock was conceived in 1947 by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and is designed to raise public awareness of the danger posed to the world by potential nuclear events. For the first time climate change has been added to the list, joining risks which include unsecured nuclear weapons, escalating tensions and the rising threat of terrorism.
But Sir Martin’s comments about the interconnectedness of the world could equally apply to many spheres of business. In the past few years we’ve seen how the eruption of a volcano stopped certain foods being flown into the UK and how a tsunami in Japan disrupted manufacturing across the globe. Consumers may be looking towards hyper-localism, adding local meaning to globalised products, but businesses are competing on the world stage and increasingly looking to globalised solutions for local problems.
In an inter-connected world a local event may well have global consequences but conversely in a global environment the only differentiator is increasingly the way in which businesses add innovative local touches. Whether offering locally produced food in a supermarket, offering locally appropriate opening hours for an international organisation or striving to add exceptional levels of customer service which meets your own demographic; in a global marketplace it is those with an innovative culture which steps away from the global norm who are better placed to succeed.