Adapt Business to Culture: An Important HBR Message

A commentary on
New Business Models in Emerging Markets by Matthew Eyring, Mark W. Johnson and Hari Nair in the Jan-Feb 2011 Harvard Business Review.
Please read the full text.

1 – Because it highlights that business must adjust to local culture.

2 – Because it gives specific examples
(a) of identifying a market need*
(b) of businesses that were developed to meet the need and worked
(c) of how to re-build a business model.

3 – Because the examples are “size appropriate” for most business BAM does.

4 – Because it advocates learning.

5 – Because it suggests *a strategy for learning the market and adapting the business model.


 . . . they get their business models wrong. Many multinationals simply import their domestic models into emerging markets . . .


What’s often missing from even the savviest of these efforts is a systematic process for reconceiving the business model.


Quick adjustments based on early lessons learned on the ground trump the best and most detailed strategic plan developed before the fact.


Creative business models will give your company a more enduring competitive edge.

Adapt business to culture.
Set aside head-smart “westernized” business models in favor of models learned “with” Other-culture BAM partners.
The know-it-all, can-do, proverbial bull-in-the-china-shop can learn a different
but profitable way from and in the Other-culture.


About rbuddglobal

Towards Business As Mission becoming skilled culturally. Alongside West African colleagues who train workers to go cross-culturally. Learning, teaching, communicating, and being with others to make disciples for Jesus who welcomes all.
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