In this chapter, the authors review the changing currents in the stream of the new globalization as the developing riptide in the flows of dissemination, transfer, and exchange of goods and services drags in more areas and enhances business complexity. The tension between local and global priorities impacts all aspects of organizational leadership and talent management, including supervising the supply chain for materials and employees, where organizations must source where the best value for money assets or resources can be obtained globally. In particular, the new digitally connected business environment for global and international organizations continues to evolve. The complex dynamics of migrations, and the globalization of business in an interconnected world of changing climate and shifting spheres of political, military, and economic influence, pose threats as well as opportunities to multitudes of people and organizations, and ultimately the sustainability of the planet.
Globalization encompasses the increasing diffusion of new technologies across the world and the related flow of ideas, goods and services. Changing or reframing and recombining many social and economic concepts are a part of the transactional and transformational dynamics in the globalization process. Such worldwide movements and changes imply and are underpinned by participants’ new learning and unlearning of older ideas, habits, practices and systems. In the changing rhythm of the new globalization we see the altered direction and currents in the flows of dissemination, transfer, and exchange of goods and services derived from such learning within dynamic digitally connected networks. That includes the routine internationalization of business activities and processes, such as the supply chain for materials and employees, where organizations must source where the best value for money assets or resources can be obtained globally. Factors that matter in this context are achieving and sustaining absolute and global standards of excellence and skills rather than relative and national benchmarks.
Thus due in part to digital interconnectivity, but also to improved communication and transportation infrastructures leading to increasing transnational social mobility and migration flows; even competitive advantage, seen as traditionally between individual firms, has now also a nationally competitive thrust (Porter, 1998; la Croix et al., 2002). We suggest that there is a deeper simplicity beneath the surface of complexity exhibited by such dynamic global phenomena, which might be tackled with a careful, reflective, and iterative form of analysis of the three key dynamic leadership fields of the model in Chapter 2: Focus, Will and Capability.
There are also however, various spiralling and intertwining, pre-and post-9/11 and post-2007-issues which amplify the dialectic between national and global, whilst simultaneously reinforcing some counter-translations and contra-indications in the mix at global, national and local levels. For instance, choices made about numbers and types of migrants to allow inside borders, changes emerging in the respective Capabilities, Focus, and Will, as well as modified spheres of influence between China and the USA, and new fiscal instability in the Eurozone.
This process also necessarily entails increased movements of capital and finance as well as the movement of people, and the off-shoring of many jobs towards the emerging economies of the East. As Dharmakirti Joshi, Chief Economist, CRISIL Ltd is quoted as saying “The push factor has been shrinking job opportunities in the west and the pull factor has been opportunities for these professions in the fast growing Indian economy” (International Labour Office, 2011, p. 32). Although this process has been evolving for some time as la Croix et al. comment “After World War II, immigration became an important attenuating force so that economic cycles were once again absorbed by immigration as well as by fertility in the USA” (la Croix et al., 2002, p. 248).
At the time of writing, the latest McKinsey Monthly Newsletter with a banner headlined “The next industrial revolution” begins thus “Economic advances now sweeping through China, India, and other emerging markets dwarf the pace and scale of the Western world’s industrial transformation in the 18th and 19th centuries. As three billion more middle-class consumers join the global economy over the next two decades, the resource landscape will change profoundly: demand for many commodities will soar, and new technologies will be needed to counterbalance critical shortages of food, water, and other resources.” (McKinsey Monthly Newsletter, 2012).The demand side now means that for global companies “half or more of the revenues and profits are likely to be generated beyond their legacy markets” (Pigorini et al., 2012, p. 2)