It was immediately apparent to me that our product management team had made a decision that was based on insufficient due diligence. While the decision to localize the five manuals may have been appropriate for some target locales, it most certainly was not for Japan. In fact, the result was a double whammy. Not only was dissatisfaction created, but a substantial sum of money was wasted translating unwanted manuals. As it turned out, the missing manual was the one and only issue of importance; the remaining 1,599 identified deficiencies could have been lived with, for one release anyway, if only the desired manual had been translated.
This anecdote illustrates my point that globalization must, to some extent at least, involve a degree of investigation into what foreign markets require and, conversely, that international product development without globalization at its foundation is a recipe for failure. For this reason, globalization builds the bottommost and widest tier in the pyramid that is the mental model described in this article. But globalization does not only consist of offshore market research. Rather, it should be considered more closely synonymous with overall corporate investment strategy. By this, I mean investment strategy in the widest sense of the concept — not only investment in the financial sense, but the effort that employees invest in everything they do. Globalization should be considered a mindset as much as a task set. . .