A Shifting World and New Rules Advantages

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

The business world is shifting and it’s wise to understand and take advantage of the new rules.


When I became the global marketing and brand leader for Deloitte, I was sure of only two things: there was much that I needed to learn quickly, and I could minimize typical learning curve mistakes by following the conventional wisdom – Think Global, Act Local.

Eight years and 3 million air miles later I was still sure of two things. First, I could never learn enough. Second, conventional wisdom no longer goes far enough. These conclusions reflect a fundamental shift in how I think about building and operating global businesses.

The change didn’t happen overnight. It was a process accelerated when I moved from my native Madrid to live in New York City, a place that in many ways is a microcosm of our exciting, tumultuous and diverse world.

The relocation jolted my perception that operating a business across many countries required only an overall strategy, some acknowledgement of local differences and world-class logistics. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, when I arrived at Deloitte almost a decade ago, the brand was willing to challenge other industry giants to achieve the market recognition that we deserved. That goal became my mission.

I am proud to say that today, Deloitte is one of the pre-eminent global professional services networks, having outperformed competitors for the first time by both revenue and size during fiscal year 2010.

As a result of this experience, and after advising CEOs in many companies around the world, I have since altered my view of Think Global, Act Local to a new approach,

Think Holistic, Act Personal (THAP), which I believe has enabled businesses to better operate, communicate and work together productively across borders.

I invite you to learn more about Think Holistic, Act Personal in series of articles I am authoring. Though it may sound simplistic on paper, I can assure you that implementing it requires discipline and commitment.

To begin with, it requires the will to lead and step ahead. Once it works – and it does work – everyone feels like a respected, contributing member of the organization and the approach becomes self-reinforcing.

The New Reality

Certainty is a thing of the past. Companies no longer have the luxury of assuming that they can survive glitches in the market with a few last-minute tweaks: markets are now too changeable from too many angles for that to be a sustainable approach.

It is not enough to simply develop an ad hoc, last minute response as changes occur; strong companies have a mindset and approach that anticipate change and have systems in place that can deal with any changes quickly and efficiently.

Next page- Change comes from so many different directions and Think Holistically, Act Personally