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Think Global, Act Local

01-Apr-2013

Article Title or Author: Hussam Khattab

Think Global, Act Local
By Hussam Khattab
MBA Management

Stable environment no longer exists! We live in dynamic and changing world, where surrounding conditions are not constant. Scarcity of resources and individuals’ behavior are affecting every single person on Earth. The question that keeps knocking our minds’ doors is: How shall we live in such world? How shall we excel in such environment? Well, part of the answer lies in the slogan; Think Global, Act Local.

The first use of this phrase was in late 1960s, when environmental agencies and organizations started to invite people to consider the health of the entire planet because individualism is not the right life style which guarantees a better future. The driver behind this was the shocking statistics about pollution and the anticipated future if people adopt the current life style for the coming decades. This call was the ring bell that awakened many people and led them to change their behaviors. However, after more than 40 years and by taking into consideration the most recent statistics about Earth’s health, unfortunately, the planet is still not safe and threats are increasing day by day.

By reading the slogan “Think Global, Act Local” and thinking about the hidden ideas behind it, one can take it into many dimensions other than the environmental side, because it urges people to have a holistic view for the entire surroundings and pushes them for perceiving inputs in a way that boosts their thoughts, dreams, actions and future. Living individually and ignoring the status quo of the global conditions will not serve one’s future and planet future as well. Other dimensions mainly include personal, business and national levels. Details of these dimensions are the following:

Personal Level:
One can live years without considering the global environment, but, his achievements will be limited and will not grant him the optimum success. Living isolated from the external environment and forgetting the international inputs will negatively affect the overall picture for individual’s success. Tremendous ideas keep flowing from different countries and diverse communities, and person’s success will depend on his ability to grasp the related initiatives and overlooking the unrelated ones.

Individual can come up with different initiatives, and may start acting in his local community. However, the successful recipe for an effective initiative will take place by thinking globally and by perceiving the current efforts exerted at national and international levels. Then, the implementation phase will come with all its implications. These efforts may include personal skills development, knowledge management, career development and global projects in different fields. One’s role will be in matching his ambitions, dreams and thoughts with the global inputs and needs. For example, creativity and innovation are no longer bounded to a country level, and they are limitless nowadays, which leaves an opportunity for everyone to think big, absorb global inputs and take his ideas into action locally. One needs to refine his talents continuously and improve his potentials in order to empower his sensing skills for any possible opportunity. Moreover, by perceiving the global inputs and local circumstances, initiator can adopt more influential and effective actions, which can have remarkable results in local communities.

Business level:
Nowadays, corporations are operating in complex environments, where dependencies and interconnections are many. External and internal factors are affecting every corporate, which may threaten its existence if these factors are not managed properly. Every organization has external and internal environments, and they are interacting with each other, in a way that forms strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. External factors mainly include political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal ones. Under each one of them falls many examples which are applicable at local and global levels.

Communications and media revolutions increased the importance of the slogan “Think Global, Act Local” due to the fact that this revolution amplified the flow of opportunities and threats.

Decades ago, organizations were mainly concerned in local markets. But, by time, situation has been changing and the organizations found themselves insecure to global markets threats such as fluctuating exchange rates, issuance of new regulations and political instability in the geographical area where they operate. On the other hand, many opportunities floated to the surface too such as new emerging markets and different life styles in various societies.

Organizations ought to translate these factors into effective and efficient actions, starting from local markets and ending by different global ones. Considering the global factors will assist organizations to develop solutions that meet targeted audience needs. However, determining the scope of operation has a role in empowering organizations’ position in the market. This does not contradict with the fact that organizations have to possess enough flexibility and resilience to respond to any emerging factors, whatsoever the source is. Entities which own enough sensing capabilities and flexibility to change are the most candidates to win and to excel in the market.

National level:
Countries and nations relatively resemble large corporations. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats exist for every country. However, PESTEL factors (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal) are critical, and have to be considered because they have a role in determining the overall direction and strategy. Every nation shall grasp the global factors, perceive them and develop action plans accordingly in order to fit its mission and vision. The action plans maybe targeted toward developing people’s potentials and the way of employing its resources, which in turn will help it excel in a world of scarce resources and dynamic conditions.

“Think Global, Act Local” slogan is appropriate for every nation. For example, pollution statistics may be lowered within the country bounds if effective practices take place. Having adopted these procedures in the country itself will contribute to lowering the global pollution rates and guaranteeing a better health and future for the planet.

The shocking implications of the current nations’ struggles invite everyone to reconsider this slogan trying to pave the right way for success and peace. However, to avoid having extra optimism and idealism and to be more realistic, nations shall follow this slogan by taking into consideration their peoples’ interests and the future of the country itself comparing to others. This has no chance to be achieved without sensing the global changes and inputs and disseminating awareness among citizens about the current challenges and future outlook.

Nations have the right to dream, and every single nation may work separately to evolve and prosper.

The importance of this slogan comes when each individual’s effort is linked to other efforts in the globe. Some may consider relations among nations competitive while others may find it complementary. Well, what counts most is their respect to the value of human life and the value of their dreams. Thus, thinking globally will grant every nation the space to own optimistic and challenging aspirations, and acting locally will urge nations’ leaders to respect the individual interests and rights.

Although “Think Global Act Local” slogan has been initiated to improve the environmental status for the planet, it would be beneficial to implement it at every possible level. But, it is essential to realize the dependencies and the inter-relations within various environments and societies because the planet has become related and connected like never before, and the main players which are humans have developed enough to exert much effective roles. The role or regulations and policies will be represented in finding environment that facilitates perceiving the global factors and acting locally. Moreover, people shall be addressed in order to encourage them to adopt this slogan as a life style that will boost individual and collective performance as well.

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