The announcement of this new book caught my attention for a number of reasons, many obviously due to the state of the financial markets. More attuned to the Globalization practice is that we noted in our Multilingual Communications as a Business Imperative report that:
A common observation made during industry discussion of Internet-driven opportunities is that the proliferation of the worldwide web has made the business world “flat.” In other words, companies of all sizes can compete on a level playing field wherein everyone has the same access to technology and information. While our study respondents acknowledge the “flattening world” as Thomas Friedman has described it, they also recognize that different geographies and cultures have varying and distinct expectations. Thus, generalized information access does not equate to generalized information delivery. From this perspective, a flattening world requires far deeper levels of content relevancy, localization, and personalization than ever before. From this perspective, “one size fits all” is hardly the recipe for success in the global economy.
Risking the wrath of Friedman’ites, we contend that as far as multilingual communications are concerned, the world is most definitely not flat. Giving Friedman his due, David Smick contends that as far as global financial markets are concerned, the world is most definitely curved, where one “can’t see over the horizon and sight lines are limited.” Describing globalization as the great paradox of our time, quickly convinced me to put it on the “must read” list.