I provide more clarity in international complexity in three steps. The objective is always to make organizations better capable to assess international opportunities and threats. The three steps are: understanding world news, comparing world views and developing views on the future.
1. Understanding world news
The first step concerns the understanding of the world news. I enable professionals to read news articles and responses from experts and politicians with special “glasses.” The focus is here on political, economic, social, geographical and historical indicators.
These indicators empower professionals to develop a well-structured perspective on international trends, as well as on the related opportunities and threats (see figure below).
2. Comparing world views
The second step is the comparison of world views. At least one of the following three questions then plays a central role.
- What are the perceptions of a particular international trend within and outside the organization?
- What are the different perspectives on a particular issue?
- Which views on a particular country are most important within and outside the organization?
After establishing which perceptions are common in an organization and the world at large, I can moderate a discussion on how these perceptions affect the decision-making process in an organization.
3. Developing views on the future
The third step revolves around the development of a view on the future. It is based on the factors that play a big part in timely international trends. New factors that could become very influential in the future also play a part.
A central question after writing the future scenarios is how these would affect the critical performance indicators of an organization.
Trade-off between theory and practice
A key starting point in my work is that theory has no value for organizations without a practical angle. Clients can have different definitions of key terms. For example, two organizations may mean something completely different when they speak of ‘political risk’. On the other hand, practical pieces of advice that are based on blurry definitions have little value as well.
That’s why I always seek to achieve the right balance between theoretical and practical angles. Accordingly, I also help my client with reflecting on which aspects of international trends cannot be fully understood. After all, not knowing is also a valuable form of knowledge.
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