Business people managing medium-size and large operations know that GLOBALIZATION, despite some obvious challenges, has in the main created NEW opportunities—faster flows of technology, ideas and financial capital, to name a few. More fundamentally, however, globalization, has actually changed the nature of international competition, and what it takes to build profitable companies and stable countries.

In the old way of thinking, great companies were those that had easy access to land, labor, natural resources, and location. Many became successful by producing basic commodity products and then reducing costs by building economies of scale, lobbying their governments for special concessions, and keeping wages low! The economies of developing countries in particular tended to be dominated by these commodity products. Dominica and bananas is a classic example. Note that in this dangerous cycle of over-reliance on basic products and cheap labor, even expanding exports, though improving lives marginally, never did result in the transformation of any economy as would be to necessary to substantially reduce the poverty that existed.

In the new way of thinking, a company's success today depends on people—workers, customers, suppliers, partners. Successful companies bring these groups together to focus on the continual innovation required to survive and thrive in the highly competitive global economy. Globalization, impossible to ignore in our inter-connected world, is forging an increased consciousness about the importance of productivity in these new collaborative relationships. Investing in people is no longer a choice for companies; it's an imperative!