With an endless news cycle, a continuous flow of global trade, protectionist laws, and committed geopolitical powers, global politics and global business is being shaped from many directions and far beyond a nation’s borders and a company’s boardroom. Decisions made in Beijing now affect events in Brussels which in turn compels policy in Ottawa and then again impacting Santiago.
The ability to manage this dynamic, globalized political environment, particularly at the intersection of public policy global business, coupled with an underlying cultural phenomenon rejecting the establishment, this new environment is more challenging for business leaders and global companies.
The pace involved in addressing global business challenges has increased as well as, with the scale of the problems expanding to an ever-growing globally diverse network of stakeholders. Disenfranchised and left-behind voters around the world have spoken and demanded a greater share of the profits. The traditional capitalist ideal of being responsible solely to shareholders in under threat and business going forward will involve numerous stakeholders, including governments, media, bloggers, consumers, non-governmental organizations, investors, employees, and citizens.
For future business leaders, simply put, there are a lot more people that will hold you accountable and want a say in the process. Having a genius marketing plan and solid accounting skills won’t be enough.
The time is now for MBA programs to recognize this challenging global public affairs environment. It is critical that classes utilize case studies that explore the nexus between multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, government officials, institutions, investors, and recent elections.
World-class business leaders will need to excel with a foundation of fundamental business management skills, but they must be equally deft at grasping the intersection of history, politics, geography, culture, and economics to manage this new global business paradigm.
MBA programs must prepare future business leaders with the hard and soft skills to understand and engage global problems, comprehend economic development challenges and opportunities, and connect how these issues spread in a globally interconnected marketplace all influencing and disrupting global politics and global business like never before.
Marc A. Ross is the founder of Caracal Global and specializes in thought leader strategy for executives working at the intersection of globalization and politics.