Executives at global companies are satisfied with their organizations’ overall capabilities, but see room to improve in innovation and motivation. Better leaders are the key.
Executives at global companies say their organizations have relatively strong capabilities in some areas that are critical to global operations, such as culturally flexible leaders and helpful processes for entering markets and managing risk, according to a new survey. But the data reveal room for improvement of some crucial capabilities, including high employee motivation, which only about half of executives at global companies say is true of their organizations.
The survey asked executives which regions their organizations operate in, how much of their revenue they earn outside their home countries, and a series of questions about structures, processes, and culture relevant to companies with global reach. In addition to the overall findings on operations, the results highlight some strengths and weaknesses that vary depending on how global a company is. For example, a relatively high share of executives at companies that operate in more than one region and outperform their peers say their organizations’ ability to create networks across the company is a source of competitive advantage, while those at successful global organizations that operate in only one region highlight their relative strength in motivating employees and providing them with a compelling work experience. In addition, executives who report that their companies became global through organic growth (as opposed to M&A) report greater strength in areas where, in our experience, global companies tend to be fairly weak, such as communicating a clear vision across the organization.
Finally, regardless of company types or how well executives think they’re performing now, respondents indicate that developing leaders who are culturally and functionally proficient across regions is a key to more effective multiregional operations. (...)