Thursday, September 19, 2013
The Elemental, Tacit Issues of Emerging Markets
There are elemental, tacit points that Rich Lesser, CEO of Boston Consulting Group, relates vis-a-vis emerging markets. The overarching one is that global business is a vast forest and top leaders need to segment clusters of trees and focus their strategies accordingly. Which opportunities do they want to pursue, and what talent do they need to execute on their strategies? How well do they groom talent from their own backyard, that is, a developed country, and how can they build requisite knowledge and skills in the local talent pool, that is, the emerging market? Where and how specifically can they generate revenues?
I have lived abroad, and consulted across countries, and I can vouch for the opportunities and the challenges that Lesser speaks of. There are sociopolitical matters, however, that he merely hints at. Sure, there are explicit descriptions about how business is done in a particular country, as I was discussing this morning with two business friends in Dubai. But as one of them reminded us, It's more a matter of whom you know, and less a matter of what you can do. In the Middle East, we call it wasta, and developing business relationships and carving out measures of success often hinge on wasta.