Last year during the holiday season I wanted some extra cash. I also wanted to get first-hand experience with retail consumers.

After a few months working at Pier 1, a national retail importer, I was stunned to learn that despite a robust system to collect customer buying habits, all US stores (more than 1,000) receive the same merchandise.

Based on buyer behavior statistics, corporate headquarters knows that the store I worked in does not sell natural fiber seasonal decor. Yet every season they send the story dozens of natural fiber items; every season these items fill end-of-the-season clearance shelves.

A global company, Pier 1 mis-manages the opportunity to think local by stocking items specific to the wants and needs of its customers.

Embracing A Glocal Mindset

Mike Kossler, of the Center for Creative Leadership, says:

“One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is to manage the tension between the need to be globally aware while taking into account local differentiation.”

As professionals in a global economy, each day we balance speaking to a digital worldwide network while resonating with specific local markets. We’ve become accustomed to connecting distant locations by “attending” meetings virtually through technology. Miles disappear when we catch up with colleagues around the globe through social media.

While our daily lives incorporate a global-local culture, often times we loose sight of the need to incorporate glocal strategies for business growth. Start by incorporating these few tips into your business mindset.

Think and Act Local. When developing internal policies and procedures research the global landscape of best practices and proven industry standards. With the big picture overview as a guide, develop specific operations considering the needs and wants of your staff, vendors and clients. Ultimately, the definition of local is not a geographic parameter; instead it is a community mindset. Each company should think and act local in response to its customer base and the business relationships needed to function successfully.

Think and Act Global. All companies, large and small, should be guided by a business vision – a global statement describing how the company will change the world. It is a big picture awareness of “what can be.” In addition to being a vision-driving company, many businesses think global by committing time and resources to a culture of global citizenship and social responsibility.

Be Glocal. Today many business leaders find the either-or approach to local versus global decision making no longer works. The alternative is to adopt an approach that simultaneously considers global and local perspectives. Be glocal by participating in diversity and multi-cultural training.

  • Study world market trends and read local business news.
  • Consider virtual workers.
  • Collaborate with experts – where ever they may live.

What about you? What are your strategies for embracing a glocal mindset? Let us know in the comments below.