As a former zoologist it is only natural that I back Galileo. The world is not flat. Alright, people travel in greater numbers, communication has become much cheaper and pervaisive, distances are more and more virtual and data more readily available and therefore often more transparent. An Indian software engineer can easily take over the work of his American collegue sitting in Bangalore. It is flawed to consider this argument as the world being flat when it comes to management. On the contrary.

Why do I argue that the world is not flat? Because companies, employees and customers are deeply rooted to their home country. Look at these study result Pamkaj Ghemawat, an Indian associated with HBS: 90% of the world people will never leave thecountry were they were born; 2% of all calling telephone minutes are international; 95% of the news people get is from domestic sources.

Of course, I firmly believe in the power of adaptation. Adaptation is very difficult though and rarely voluntary. For a person as well as for a company. Companies, when setting up a greenfield or new markets should emphasize adaptation. Only very large MNC have the luxury, or rather the pockets, to concentrate on globalisation and aggregation of the market.

Adaptation means that you have to consider how best to reduce or exploit the external difference when managing your stakeholders. For example, I do receive some positive discrimination by being Dutch. Quality of my product is inherent to this. Yet I have to adapt to a culture of bad pay masters, people whose time lines are incongruentious with my own linear thinking, and reliable project managers are a rare species. Being part of a MNC I have to train my staff to develop a stronger policy of diversity and inclusion and develop cross cultural communication.

This is an even harder task being based in a smaller or remote location where good staff is extremely scarce at a time where company loyalty is by and large negatively correlated to the economic growth.