Global Processes/Local Issues LO19812

Marilee Taussig (
Wed, 11 Nov 1998 21:58:58 -0500

Replying to LO19760 --

I think Jerry Porras and James Collins hit the nail on the head in their
book, "Built to Last" when they say "Preserve the Core, Stimulate
Progress" --be clear about what is central and flexible about all else.

Also, highly recommended is any of Fons Trompenaars or Charles
Hampden-Turners's books. They are world-class thinkers on the issues of
helping a company distill what is universal about their corporate culture
as well as understanding how that universal finds different linkages in
each geography. I prefer " Seven Cultures of Capitalism" and "Maps of the
Mind" by Hampden-Turner, but "Riding the Waves of Culture" by Trompenaars
is perhaps a more accessible introduction to the intertwined issues of
corporate and geographic culture. The essence of their message, and
Collins' and Porras', which I would paraphrase as:

Know what is essential to your enterprise, communicate that message at the
highest, most principled level. Keep it central in the awareness and
focus of the corporate culture in both formal and informal ways. But put
the flesh on the bones, that is, to figure how what is the culturally
appropriate application of those core values at the local level, where the
"insiders" of the local culture can translate between corporate and local
culture. For example, trust -- recently defined by Chris Galvin of
Motorola as the core value at the heart of Motorola -- has an inifinite
number of cultural incarnations. Often the exact same action which can
create trust in one culture can destroy it in another. As the
anthropologists say, 'Context is everything.'"

Marilee Taussig
610-892-7278 wrote:

> I need help answering the question "What is the best way to structure a
> global services organization to insure global processes with consideration
> to local (national) issues and to enhance learning?". This company has
> over 60,000 employess and is located in over 30 countries. The issue is
> balancing the need to provide a consistent look to global customers while
> maintaining a local touch in each geography.


Marilee Taussig <>

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