What Alibaba can learn from Argentina

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Alibaba looks wonderful until you realize it is protected from Amazon in its home market of China.

Is Jack Ma up to the challenge of Jeff Bezos?

Possibly.

But we will really never know.

How to properly manage the balance between protection and competition has been a challenge for governments for centuries.

Leaders know the steps you take to build a modern, world-class economy matters - do you protect it with subsidies and limiting market access or do you challenge it with trade and open market access?

Time and again those nations that challenge their home companies to be competitive globally are the most prosperous and most successful. Germany, the United States, Britain, Japan, and Italy are all prime examples.

In the 1930s, Argentina ranked among the ten richest nations in the world, after the likes of Australia, Britain, and the United States, but ahead of France, Germany, and Italy. With all the benefits of land, natural resources, and immigration, Argentina should have been able to maintain its position on this table and even possibly overtake the United States.

As it now stands, we know how this turned out for each country.

Argentina chose protectionism while the United States chose competition.

China and the leadership of Alibaba should consider Argentina and grasp that what looks good and sensible today, may not last forever.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross is a globalization strategist and communications advisor. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications. He is the founder of Caracal Global.

Take time to get your 50 mission cap

A fifty mission cap was a stiff cloth cap with a visor issued to Allied bomber pilots in World War II when they had completed fifty missions.

After fifty missions, the pilots were known to weather and beat their cap into a more rugged and worn look. Cheating death and pushing the envelope makes one want to display a roughness and not wear a stiffer and newly issued flight cap.

These worn and personalized hats obviously made these pilots more identifiable and therefore more respected by the rookies.

The cap was thus a status symbol.

A symbol that you had the knowledge.

A symbol that you had the experience.

A symbol that you had the professionalism.

Junior pilots were known to work in their caps to look like a fifty mission cap. They too wanted to appear that they had more than they did.

Sure you may have the cap, you can work it in to look like that, but that doesn't mean you have the knowledge, experience, and professionalism.

Not all us can have a fifty mission cap for the simple reason such a cap requires, time, experience, and commitment.

Most of us want the cap as soon as possible.

But why?

The journey is needed. 

Most overnight successes take decades. Most artistry is gained by failure. Most skills are gathered by doing the reps.

Sure the journey has stress. Sure the journey has unknowns. Sure the journey has complications.

But at the end, you're a different person. You get the fifty mission cap. You earned it.

The journey takes you beyond, propels you to achieve more, and contribute to others along the way. 

The journey is needed.

The challenge as entrepreneurs and thought leaders is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.

That's when you want to put the cap on.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross is a globalization strategist and communications advisor. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications. He is the founder of Caracal Global and Brigadoon.

Why you Need a 5 Step Thought Leader Audit

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The Caracal Global Five-Step Thought Leader Audit is an ideal tool to properly analyze your communications and content as well as create a foundation and process for ongoing success.

Step 1: Vision

We start off by asking the client to describe the vision for their communications and how they differentiate themselves from their competition. From there we ask the client to identify their favorite communications projects, media campaigns, and marketing efforts - both internal and external.

Step 2: Personification

After we establish the goals, we go through several exercises where we ask the client to personify their communications or advocacy.

Step 3: Outline Concepts

Caracal Global goes back to the office where we sketch and develop an outline based on a collection of ideas, scraps, aha moments, concepts, theories, and possibilities captured and fosters over our 3-hour conversation.

Step 4: Score + Grade

Utilizing Caracal Global’s unique 100 point scoring system, we audit the client's current state of communications by looking at the four pillars needed to be successful and impactful: social + digital, offline engagement, owned media, and buzzworthy reputation.

Step 5: Present a path forward

Caracal Global presents its audit findings, as well as identifies the most impactful ideas based on the aspirational vision and personality of the client's communications matched against the realities of the client’s current tools, talent stack, staffing, commitment, and budget.

Bloomberg Radio: Sound On: Biden vs. Trump Rhetoric, Tariffs, 2020

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Last Friday, Caracal Global founder Marc A. Ross joined Bloomberg Radio's Sound On program.

Bloomberg Chief Washington Correspondent Kevin Cirilli was the host.

Louise Schiavone, Journalist and Senior Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, Ryan Teague Beckwith, Bloomberg News National Political Correspondent.

David Bahnsen, Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, also joined the program.

Topics:

Biden vs. Trump = Who said it on the campaign trail
US-China trade talks
2020 presidential elections

You can catch the 33-minute episode below.


The new way to win a Nobel Prize

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It used to be that to win a Nobel Prize, it was a lonely and solo pursuit. That's not the case anymore. Over the last 15 years, almost every Nobel Prize won in economics and physics is by groups of people collaborating around the world.

The way great culture and commerce changing work gets done these days is not an individual activity but by group effort where geography or languages do not restrict harnessing skills, insights, and talents.