Global Leadership Blog
Global Business

Don’t Go Global

If your business is considering going global, it is easy to have “stars in your eyes” about what that expansion can mean: lucrative profits, a more prominent image, the prestige of being “multinational.” I am here to tell you, those positive outcomes won’t happen without thorough, deliberate planning.

Don’t go global if…

IF Your Management Team Hasn’t Traveled

If your management team has not traveled to the locations where you have market opportunities, your decision to “go global” is premature. It is critical that executive and management teams are briefed not only on the market potential but also on the reality of life in the country where you plan to expand. They need to see it, touch it, feel it to internalize a deeper level of knowledge. They need to explore a dimension beyond “number crunching” and the analysis that brought this country onto the radar screen to begin with. They need to hear what the people in the country think about your product. You need to know if you have allies, foes, or neutral parties.

Don’t go global if…

If People Aren’t Connected

One of the more daunting challenges of a global expansion is the creation of an “us” out of an “us” and a “them.” When you speak different languages, have different customs, and span multiple time zones, what can bring you together? When I recommended “decorating with geographical themes,” I wasn’t intending to imply that a map on the wall would make everyone globally savvy immediately. However, I travel frequently and continue to be mystified that global organizations don’t even have different clocks on the wall to represent what time it is in their various offices.

Recognize the value of people meeting one another face to face. As Alex “Sandy” Pentland stated in this post, “35% of the variation in a team’s performance can be accounted for simply by the number of face-to-face exchanges among team members.” I also recommend taking a note from Dr. Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto: find a way to create an “activation phenomenon” in your new global organization. (The “activation phenomenon” means a team feels more interdependent and connected, and therefore more jointly responsible for outcomes.) Dr. Gawande includes in his checklist for successful surgery making sure every member of the surgical team introduces themselves in order to know each other by name. He notes, “When introductions were made before a surgery, the average number of complications dipped by 35 percent.”

Don’t go global if…

If You Aren’t Willing to Invest

Once the decision has been made, your organization must strategize. John M Hamalian, speaking of effective strategies, said, “A good strategy will both zoom out to the big picture and zoom in to the specifics needed to achieve it. A strategy skewed too far to either side will be unbalanced.” Appoint a team to be responsible for balancing the ambitious goals of your global expansion with the fact that someone (or many “someones”) in the process has to be fastidious about the details.

It is tempting to say “we need to commit our funding to expenses like buildings, land, and equipment.” Don’t leave training out of your budget. An investment in training now can reap big benefits later. Consider the power of a relatively small investment in components like materials, trainer fees, and training facilities to exponentially increase profits through improved communication leading to optimal productivity and efficiency.

IF you go global without taking these steps, you may find yourself and your organization on a “return trip.” Many organizations have abandoned the effort after spending valuable organizational resources. (This article profiles some notable failures of American businesses overseas.)

Don’t be one of those failures. Get past “Don’t go global if” and work toward “Go global when.”

I make it possible for organizations to prepare for successful global expansion. An important part of this program is the creation of a “Global Expansion Toolkit” that your organization can use during the planning, implementation, and evaluation phases of your expansion. Visit my website at for details.

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson


What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you place an order, subscribe to our newsletter, respond to a survey or fill out a form.
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Like most websites, we use cookies and/or web beacons to enhance your experience, gather general visitor information, and track visits to our website. Please refer to the ‘do we use cookies?’ section below for information about cookies and how we use them.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:


. To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
. To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
. To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
. To process transactions . Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.
. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature
. To send periodic emails


The email address you provide for order processing, may be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order, in addition to receiving occasional company news, updates, related product or service information, etc.

Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or access your personal information.
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.

We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the telephone.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us via moc.l1558711096iamg@1558711096CLLgn1558711096itlus1558711096noCno1558711096smaL1558711096.