Outreach…The risks of self-centrism…
If you haven’t seen yet Foreign Policy’s “Postcards from Hell 2012” we invite you to do it at: Postcards from Hell 2012. These “postcards” depict the painful reality of sixty countries considered “fragile” or from the point of view of strategic analysis-countries with high levels of risk…these sixty countries represent almost 31 % of the countries in the world.
Countries are not just portions of the map of the world, nor are citizens just numbers, especially if you have decided to expand your business on a global scale, or if you are a government entity or a policymaker engaged in diplomatic activity, or any form of international relations. Even if you have not decided to invest in one of these 60 countries the odds of one of them being a neighbor, an ally or an enemy of the country targeted in your FDI strategy are big.
The idea about the crucial importance of outreach is based on the need to know and understand your partners, competitors and customers… and no it is not simply about strategic marketing…it is about strategic positioning that is not self-centric. The key is to build relationships, networks, and finally induce long-term behavioral change that would reduce risk. If you could reach a point of intersection through outreach you could claim that you have been successful, because you have created the momentum for transformation. In a rewards –based world committing to cooperation which is the core of outreach, would not only be cost-reducing but will also have risk adverse effects.
We promised that your journey would be successful and yet we did not say that it would be as safe as your daily news browsing or business lunch (although they might not always be safe either). It would be much more interesting if you realize that it is not a journey just about you and your goals, but also about “them” and “their” goals… and finally a journey towards a better future… for everyone.