Global Strategy & Organization : First course in my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project

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It was my first course towards understanding a global organization. This course has given me lot of interesting ways to prepare myself thinking like a global strategist. Even though this course was slightly old, it did not lost its charm. Thank you Professor. Donald Lessard. I have used the tools & guidelines extensively in some of the my work at later dates.

Since it was an OCW course, it has certain limits in assessing the reading materials. Every lecture in this course requires study of cases, most of which were not available free of cost. To compensate this, I have tried something more interesting to continue my learning curve. Instead of cases, I have chosen Business News and Annual reports as an alternative to case studies. I have read previous 5-6 years annual reports of companies described in this course. Apart from this, I have also developed habit of reading business newspaper from 8 different parts of the world regularly, which I still do without missing any single day. By going through all these news, special reports and market reactions, I have started to think like a global strategist. Today, even by just reading a headline, I can guess, what must be going inside the minds of executives of the company, what market reactions can be, how companies may react, what can be their marketing & sales strategies etc.

Business Newspaper and Company reports readings as a replacement of Case studies

My first annual report was in the year 2007, when I was studying Bachelor’s in Chemical engineering. Since that time, I have studied lot of Annual reports in Chemical engineering sector to know more about the what work companies are doing in their area. Later, I have also prepared cases for a competition and participated in some competition. This gave me very much awareness of how this things are prepared.

With no having access to case studies, I started to read annual reports of different companies listed in the course. Some of them were P&G, La Frage, Lenovo, Cemex etc. It took only 20 minutes to study one lecture notes but many hours to grasp the depth of each of the companies strategy. Not just the current year, I have studied about past 5 years annual reports to know what were the plan of companies, where they were thinking to head and what outcomes it has brought into the organizational performance. For some of the companies, I have also studied the annual reports of their competitors. It gave insights about the competitive market situation, common difficulties of the market and how different ways companies are trying to cope up with the situations.

Although, annual reports provided lot of good information but still they are just released once in a year summarizing most of the information. Markets in the world are more complex, interconnected and even a small incident (or even rumours) can change the prices without any predictions. To get things in more real terms, I have started to read Business Newspapers on a daily basis.

To know more about the fluctuations in the global market, I have started to read business news across the world from daily basis. My list included The New York Times, Russia Today, The China Daily, Deutche Welle, Arab News, BBC Mundo, The Economic Times of India. Recently added Reuters-Africa, The Japan Today to this lists. During weekends, I was studying specialized edition of Financial Times (Beyond Bricks) and The Economist.

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