Increasingly we are facing challenges of internationalization, and this impacts us as customers, citizens, business owners, or employees.
I recently took a photo of globalization from the window of my fourth-floor office at Jönköping International Business School. Don’t mind the quality of lighting—it’s just a typical early Småland day filled with clouds!
If you look carefully, you will see a lot of tractors on the road. These are Swedish farmers in protest, sending the message “Köp svensk mat” or “Buy Swedish food.” This is not a problem that a Swedish farmer would face 50 years ago. Some of these farmers live on the very same piece of land owned by their family for generations. They are not interested in globalization, but globalization has found them on their own land. Globalization drives them to action in this protest, requiring them to reinvent their business and their lives.
The British electronic band Faithless, in their 2004 song “Mass destruction,” portrayed globalization as a problem, to put it mildly. Their lyrics referred to globalization with words like “long range weapon,” “suicide bomber,” “dis-information” and “racism.” The song calls for action since “…inaction is a weapon of mass destruction.”
My view is that an important element in taking action about globalization is to foster a dialog between academics, entrepreneurs, practitioners, students and governmental bodies. In this regard, Jönköping International Business school will soon initiate a round of meetings with a group of a local companies as part of the Leadership in Småland project. This effort envisions empowering business people with knowledge and skills for leadership in a globalized business world. The project focuses on teaching innovation, change, and renewal, and in one specific unit, it concentrates on identifying and understanding the challenges that international organizations face, developing action plans to address these challenges, as well as implementing them.
In a series of a meetings over several months with peers, professionals and academics, we will be discussing the impact of globalization on our local businesses and working together to develop processes and ideas to support these organizations wherever they are on the journey to deal with globalization. I’ll keep you posted on the results.
Want to know more? Interested in joining? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org