THE GROWING PAINS OF GLOBALIZING HR
It is a more common scenario than you might think. The corporate HR
function of a global organization decided to implement worldwide
leadership training without first understanding the needs of its 15
international operations. The company believed the training was
necessary to help develop a consistent, global management style.
But instead of a smooth rollout, there was intense local resistance
that jeopardized not only the leadership training, but also other
HR initiatives. In the end, the company had to realign its training
goals with those of the local operations, losing valuable time and
training dollars. Such HR growing pains are becoming more
widespread as companies around the world continue the steady and
rapid march toward a truly global economy. Only eight U.S.
industrial businesses are likely to be among the 100 largest in the
world by 2037--a significant drop from 1955, when 75 of the 100
largest worldwide industrial firms were American, and from 1996,
when 24 American companies made the list (see Harvard Business
Review statistics in Global Literacies: Lessons on Business
Leadership and National Cultures by Robert Rosen, Patricia Digh,
Marshall Singer, and Carl Phillips).