Maggie Walker on Globalization

Feb. 5, 2008

"Engineering cannot be an island unto itself." Dow's vice president of darn near everything regarding engineering described the new and enduring roles of engineering at Dow Chemical. At Dow engineering is an archipelago, not an island, she noted. This specifically includes working with local business partners and developing collaborative and flexible work practices. "We use our engineers as a multiplier," she said. Dow considers this capability a significant business strength-- a business adv...

"Engineering cannot be an island unto itself." Dow's vice president of darn near everything regarding engineering described the new and enduring roles of engineering at Dow Chemical. At Dow engineering is an archipelago, not an island, she noted. This specifically includes working with local business partners and developing collaborative and flexible work practices. "We use our engineers as a multiplier," she said. Dow considers this capability a significant business strength-- a business advantage.

Dow's new Indian design center is another multiplier, providing close support for emerging regions.

Successfully becoming a global company requires leadership that can support builsing the resources you need, and alignment with the business systems.

The people playing leadership roles must be committed to these changes-- sometimes this requires "difficult decisions."

"Global systems with a local touch." This permits proven global work processes, tailored to local conditions, a common language and state-of-the art technology,

We measure success via a global measurement system, Walker says. Systems are only as good as how well you understand local cultures, customd and capabilities. Ultimate success comes down to people-- how well people wor within an integrated company--how people work with established systems--how people work together. Driving successful, sustainable change.is about people. Listening to people's concerns, providing a strategiv roadmap, empowering people, recognizing contributions, respecting cultural differenced, and last--making safety the Number One priority.

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