This month's report provides a brief introduction to the important topic of "organizational design", which is concerned with te factors and issues that must be considered, and the rules and processes that must be implemented, with respect to the design, development, implementation and maintenance of a successful and effective organization.
When many folks think of “going global” they focus on exporting and identifying and exploiting opportunities to market and sell their goods and services in foreign markets. However, another important characteristic of a truly global business is its willingness to rely on foreign suppliers. There are a number of legal and regulatory issues to consider and I will soon be participating in an online program for West Legal Ed Center that focuses on one of those issues: importing and customs compliance. During the program I'll provide a brief overview of customs laws and requirements followed by a summary of US Customs “clearance” procedures and import restrictions. I will also introduce other topics covered in the program materials, including import planning, terms and conditions of purchase and compliance activities. For those of you who cannot participate in the program, I've attached a copy of the program materials. You should also refer to Chapters 5, 10 and 26 in my Going Global publication.
While parties to a contract generally assume that the contract will extend for the entire term originally contemplated with no need for modifications, the reality is that change is commonplace and it is often necessary to prepare one or more additional documents that memorialize the evolution of the relationship described in the original contract. This month's edition of Business Counselor Update describes some of the drafting tools that counsel should have available when contracts need to be modified and also includes a sample form of modification agreement.
The traditional process for identifying and executing strategy calls for companies to take their external environment as a “given” and analyze that environment to determine the best way care out a competitive advantage in that environment by following either a “differentiation” or “low cost” strategy. In this report, however, we examine a different approach that argues that organizational strategies can and should vary based on structural conditions, the resources and capabilities of the organization and the organization’s “strategic mind-set” and that companies can develop and implement strategies that actually reshape their external environment in a way that is most favorable to them.
Enterprises operating in developing markets often tend to have simpler organizational structures and focus on a finite set of products and services, at least at the very beginning. In this situation, functional-level strategy is particular important to management and this report provides an introduction to establishing and implementing functional-level strategy, including suggestions regarding the appropriate organizational structure and culture.
Growth is a key goal and objective for emerging companies and management must carefully determine the best way to combine the core competencies within a firm’s functional departments to provide the firm with the best opportunity for achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage in its chosen environment. This report focuses on the process of setting business level-strategy, which includes (1) selecting the domain(s) in which the firm will be competing for scarce resources (e.g., capital, personnel, technology, inputs and customers) and (2) positioning the firm in each chosen domain so that its function-based core competencies are most effectively leveraged to establish a competitive advantage. The overall goal of business-level strategy is to protect the firm’s position in its current domain and, if possible, enlarge the domain in which the firm can operate with a competitive advantage.