By Steve Parker, Owner & Director – Steve Parker ICD (International Company Development)
In a previous issue of The Business Influencer, I mentioned how my 40 years of active exporting and international trade experiences proved an original belief, that relationships with and understanding of people, companies and cultures is the key to strategic global growth.
This is even more critical now, particularly for those who particularly in the ‘Western World’, put resource into assessing financial capability and performance from the past, over the potential of a person or company to perform in the future.
Now having a love of music ( for escapism and therapy?!), I would like to suggest that some lyrics from a Bob Dylan song could also be an underlying theme to this and future articles….. ‘The times they are a change-in’ included the lyrics;
“Come gather round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown, and accept that it soon, you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’ and you better start swimming, or you’ll sink like a stone, For the times they are a-changin”.
Who would have believed that back in the 60’s, Bob Dylan could be a modern day philosopher?! But this is an important time in business history, where I suggest, the challenge is not to base decisions on past performance, but on grabbing opportunities and straining to understand what anyone might do next.
For some this could be very stressful and difficult to comprehend, but for many of us, particularly those of us who have continued ‘to dance in the rain’ as much as legally allowed over the past 18 months, these are exciting times.
There is the chance to be agile and flexible and to take advantage of new opportunities, free of some shackles that held us back before. Yes, particularly micro, small and medium sized companies have always been able to be flexible, agile and make things happen, less burdened by balance sheets, share prices and shareholder demands.
Incidentally, just as a personal request, can we please go back to using expressions like being an entrepreneur, a leader, an innovator, disrupter or explorer and being yes, flexible and agile, rather than the ‘Pivot’ word?!
I have always found it fascinating reading about, discussing and most importantly constantly doing business globally. Psychologically as I mention often, I have found it more rewarding dealing with someone in Dubai than Dudley (no offence as I live near the latter?!).
I love trying to understand what someone really means, from their words, their facial expression and their body language. I also have a constant fascination about what Governments and media really mean, rather than just the words that they say. This helps me advise and guide on global strategy and to identify opportunities, trends, and new routes to market for clients.
I gather this information and interpret it all through receiving various global media into my inbox on a daily basis. Now in my early days – when Bob Dylan tunes were top of the charts, I couldn’t get this easily. I had to go down to London to research what was in retrospect outdated information.
But in these ‘times that are a change-in, something else has happened. We have stopped believing or even taking as much notice of previously reliable media haven’t we?
So to support what I think I understand from my global media sources, I use the great relationships I have with trusted contacts in the regions and countries to discuss what is really happening and what may happen in the future.
In the next 6 issues of The Business Influencer, I thought I could share with you insight into what is happening in the growing countries and regions of the world.
How are they managing and recovering from the pandemic?
What sectors are growing or how are they adapting?
What opportunities could there be in countries where they are developing their own manufacturing, managing ( another new expression) ‘food security’?
How are they recovering from damages to the tourism sectors, adapting to new on-line sales and distribution and more.
In the next edition I will be giving you insight and intelligence on the Middle East region. This will typically include Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
We can then take a look at the Far East, from work I am doing in places like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and others.
We need to discuss USA, South Africa and ‘The Africas’, Australia and more.
I will try to be as I have suggested earlier, agile, flexible and respond fast to new opportunities that I think will be of interest to you and any suggestions are welcome. It’s the new way of working you know?!
As Mark Twain said all those years ago….’twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the things that you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails (did he mean ‘sales’ too?), Explore, Dream, Discover.
Let’s have some conversations.
Steve Parker has been involved in exporting and international trade for more than 40 years and started his first company, Steve Parker ICD International Company Development in January 2005, believing that most companies have the capacity to start exporting, or to export more, but for a shortage of time, money or expertise.
Steve works strategically with clients by advising, showing and /or doing. He works with clients in the UK and in various countries globally, including currently the Gulf, Thailand, Singapore, USA and Australia. Current work also includes directing and being an ‘expert provider’ on the Internationalisation and Innovation Driven Enterprise Programme for part of the Thailand Government.
Business always starts with a physical or virtual cup of tea.