Globalization as a driver of corporate reputation

February 21, 2015

Globalization as a driver of corporate reputation

Every year when the Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies (WMAC) list comes out, I wonder what the editors will write about to sum up the results. The feature usually focuses on one of the nine drivers of reputation they study. It is not often that Fortune focuses on globalization but this year it did. Usually big theme topics such as innovation and talent steal the show. The article that takes an overall big picture view of the findings this year was written by Mel Stark, a vice president and Mark Royal, a senior principal with the Hay Group. The Hay Group conducts the World’s Most Admired Companies survey for Fortune.

So what is to be learned from executives of WMAC companies about globalization and its impact on businesses.

  • 72% of WMAC respondents report that globalization will have a “very important” or “important” impact on their organizations, compared with 52% of peer respondents.
  • 61% of WMAC respondents see globalization as one of the top three megatrends impacting their strategic workforce planning versus 46% of peer respondents. Likewise, 58% of WMAC respondents see globalization as one of the top three megatrends influencing their employee engagement strategies,
  • 73% of WMAC respondents report that a plan is in place to manage globalization compared with 46% of peer respondents.
  • Leadership and talent are at the top of the human capital agenda. This includes developing leaders around the globe and planning for leadership succession issues.

I agree that globalization is critical to business growth, especially for the years ahead, but in the years that I dug deep into the Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies survey, global effectiveness was not one of the top factors that drove corporate reputation in this study. In fact when I looked at the top 10 world’s most admired companies this year, five of the 10 did not rank first on global competitiveness. It would be so helpful to know what really drives most admired status these days, where globalization fits in in terms of importance to reputation among this elite respondent class, have reputation drivers shifted in importance over the past five or 10 years, are intangibles growing in importance relative to financial performance? I have a lot of questions as do companies seeking this holy grail. Wish someone would tell us in greater detail because the List is highly regarded and eagerly anticipated every year.

We will soon be posting what we learned from this year’s List about the Stumble Rate of companies and hopefully, we will see that companies are steadying themselves in this topsy turvy world.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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