A Shifting World and New Rules Advantages

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

Luis Gallardo
Luis Gallardo
Luis Gallardo is a global brand and marketing leader and expert in the areas of strategic brand management, brand engagement, brand expression, marketing, communications, business development, and reputation management. Former managing director of global brand & marketing at Deloitte, Luis provided leadership to Deloitte's member firm network of more than three thousand marketing and communications professionals. Author of the book: Brands & Rousers, The Holistic System to Foster High-Performing Businesses, Brands and Careers. Luis is the founder of Thap Group, a multinational consultancy focused on brand, marketing and communications strategy, and he sits on the advisory board of several high-growth organizations.

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