Next Global Stage, The: Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World (paperback)
©2005 |FT Press | Available
©2005 |FT Press | Available
Harvard Business Review's Review of The Next Global Stage
The Next Global Stage:Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World
(Wharton School Publishing, 2005)
In the early 1900s, German physicist Werner Heisenberg laid the foundations for quantum mechanics, a set of rules showing that at the subatomic level Newtonian physics was irrelevant. Just as quantum mechanics upstaged Newton, says strategist Kenichi Ohmae, a radical new model is upending old notions about the global economy. In this sprawling book, Ohmae warns that governments, businesses, and leaders that cling to their Newtonian approaches will become irrelevant themselves.
The heart of Ohmae's thesis will be familiar to readers of his previous books, including The Borderless World (1990) and The Invisible Continent (2000): In the new global economy, the nation-state, and the protectionist economic thinking that goes with it, is obsolete. Nation-states have borders, armies, flags, currencies, and a development-stifling instinct to protect their economies from the outside world. As global economic players, they're being displaced by "region states"-borderless centers of vibrant economic activity that welcome global trade and investment, like the Shutoken metropolitan area of Japan and Guangzhou in China.
If the rules of the old economy no longer apply, Ohmae ventures, then neither do the old rules of business. Fair enough. The problem is, he says, no one knows, or can know, what the new rules are: "By the time any rule book or user's manual appears...the 'new rules' will already be obsolete." What business leaders can be sure of, Ohmae argues, is that massive change without requires massive change within. That means wall-to-wall rethinking of corporate mission, strategy, and organization. Companies must cut loose from their "ancestry" and, for instance, compete by selling the very products that threaten them. Clinging to the core, as Kodak did in the face of predation by digital-camera makers, is a recipe for failure in this new age.
Companies must cast off their sentimental attachment to the nation-states where they're headquartered and jettison their hierarchies and old approaches to markets. Their leaders must become visionary facilitators without preconceived attitudes about their roles-ready to embrace even the idea that the best leader may be a team, not an individual. There can be no half measures in this radical transformation, Ohmae says, no testing the waters before taking the plunge.
It's a strong prescription. Unfortunately, this lively book can't, by its own admission, give business readers what they want most: practical advice for competing in the global economy. But it does remind executives to pry their gaze from the present and set it firmly on the future. As Heisenberg well understood, the more doggedly you map where a moving target is, the less you know about where it's headed.
The future takes shape! Preview tomorrow's global economy... and the new rules for politics, business, and personal success.
I. THE STAGE.
1. The World Tour.
The Curtain Rises.
The World as a Stage.
A Speedy Global Tour.
Meanwhile in Ireland.
Finland: In from the Cold.
What Is the Global Economy?
Measured in Multiples.
2. Opening Night.
The World AG.
Leading the Dinosaur.
The View From the Hotel: Detroit.
Busting the Budget.
Gates to the Future.
14 AG: China.
Putting an “e” in Christmas.
3. The End of Economics.
Economic Theories That Once Fitted the Times.
New Fundamentals Require New Thinking.
Turning the Taps On and Off.
Deflation and the GDP Deflator.
Interests Rates and Nest Eggs.
Can Physics Help?
A Complex World.
The Curve Ball.
The Power of Politics.
The Difficulty of Changing Habits.
Uncle Sam Goes Global.
The New Economic Paradigm.
II. STAGE DIRECTIONS.
Finding Your Bearings on the Global Stage.
How Nation-States Retard Economic Development.
The Nation-State Fetish.
The Rise of the Region.
Defining the Region-State.
Carried Away in China.
Not All Regions Are Created Equal.
Size and Scale Matter, But Not in a Traditional Way.
Regions Are Gaining Their Deserved Recognition.
What a Successful Region Has to Do.
The Will to Succeed.
Free Trade Area or Fortress?
5. Platforms for Progress.
Developing Technology Platforms.
Language as Platform.
The Platform Profusion.
6. Out and About.
Technology: The Fairy Godmother.
BPO: India as a Launch Pad.
More Than a One-Country Wonder.
BPO as a Platform.
Home Sweet Home.
Myths and Half-Truths.
The View from India.
Reaping the Benefits.
BPO in a Borderless World.
7. Breaking the Chains.
The Portal Revolution.
Have You Been Googled Recently?
Paying the Bill: The Payment Revolution.
On the Rails.
Delivery: The Logistics Revolution.
The Arrival of the Micro Tag.
Cool Chains and Fresh Food.
Using Logistics to Solve Bigger Problems.
III. THE SCRIPT.
8. Reinventing Government.
Downsizing and Resizing.
A Vision for Change.
The Japanese Vision.
Mapping the Future.
Visions Versus Mirages.
Closing Down Distance.
A New Role for Government.
China: Governing the Ungovernable.
Malaysia’s Corridors of Power.
Singapore’s Appetite for Reinvention.
The Craic of the Irish.
9. The Futures Market.
The Technological Future.
Technological Progress Means Death Is a Fact of Business Life.
The Rise of VoIP and Its Impact on Telecoms.
Join the March Early.
The Personal Future.
Value Information and Innovation.
The Corporate Future.
The Homeless Corporation.
The Adaptive Corporation.
10. The Next Stage.
The Regional Future.
Vancouver and British Columbia.
The Baltic Corner.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Khabarovsk, Maritime (Primorye) Province and Sakhalin Island, Russia.
São Paulo, Brazil.
Reopening the Mind of the Strategist.
Beyond the Daydream.
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Kenichi Ohmae, one of world's leading business and corporate strategists, has written over 100 books, including The Mind of the Strategist, The Borderless World, The End of the Nation State, and The Invisible Continent. After earning a doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT and working as a senior design engineer for Hitachi, he joined McKinsey & Company, rising to senior partner where he led the firm's Japan and Asia Pacific operations. Ohmae currently manages a number of companies that he founded, including Business Breakthrough (a distance learning platform for management education), EveryD.com (a click-and-mortar grocery delivery platform), and Dalian Neusoft Information Services (a BPO platform for data entry in double-bite languages). He is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at UCLA, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Korea University and Professor Emeritus at Ewha Women's University in Korea, Trustee and Adjunct Professor of Bond University in Australia, as well as Dean of Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Management of BBT University in Japan. In September 2002, he was named the advisor of Liaoning Province and Tianjin City in China.
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