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Reliance on opportunism is a high-risk strategy in global business, yet many companies operate this way, often acting on limited amounts of information. Equally, many other companies implement strategies based on models formulated in the teaching rooms of business schools or the back recesses of consultants' offices. This book lightens the dark corridors of strategy development and shows its readers how to build strategies for success in the international marketplace, that take account of all the critical factors involved whilst allowing the use of personal judgement and process sureties. We call this the WRAP process.



1. International Business Rationale

Conducting business internationally has every appearance of becoming a more difficult and high risk proposition in a world environment that contains mistrust, misconception and misapprehension, and a fair amount of outright danger. Even in more stable times, a degree of political uncertainty may be paired with some level of economic instability across a range of territories worldwide. It is reasonable to assume that the only certainty is an essentially permanent state of flux in which businesses in domestic and international markets require an unprecedented degree of skill to maintain their balance.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

2. Overview of the WRAP Process

Sun Tzu was a famous Chinese leader, general, advisor or possibly something else, depending on whose historical interpretations you accept. There is also the possibility that he was several people (spanning many hundreds of years, but quoted as a single entity) whose musings and observations on the subject of military strategy were directed not at describing the minutiae of military engagements, but towards the broad sweep of strategic actions. These actions can be readily translated into modern competitive situations. In the time of Sun Tzu, competition largely took the form of armed conflict, and his maxims consequently reflect the necessities of battle; nevertheless, many can be easily transposed. Do not engage the enemy on unfavorable terrain. Do not pit the weakest of your forces against the strongest of the enemy’s forces. Simple and obvious in many ways, these concepts could have borne much more repetition during the many subsequent centuries of military blunders.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

3. International Business Cultures

The importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in international business is a topic that has received a major airing over the past decade, as both managers and academics have made a greater effort to understand the role of cultural issues in developing business and personal relationships and to apply these insights to real-life situations. The literature on the topic is diverse and runs the gamut from in-depth cultural treatises to practical ‘how to’ books providing guidance on business practices, negotiating styles, and social behavior in specific countries. And the publications have had some positive impact, for it is less usual these days to encounter anyone with any connection to international business who does not have at least a rudimentary grasp of etiquette and basic business practice in markets in which they have an interest.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

4. Understanding International Customers

The concept of market-led strategy naturally presupposes a requirement for some degree of knowledge of the markets targeted for development. Every market is made up of variable components and can be influenced by a swathe of external factors. Sitting at the core of all this dynamism is that elusive being, the customer, the one who is fundamental to the existence of the market in the first place. The use of the term ‘elusive’ is entirely deliberate in this context. In fact, there are few questions so challenging and difficult to resolve as these: What is my real customer base? And what makes them my customers, rather than someone else’s?
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

5. Building a Foundation

This chapter discusses the WRAP approach to corporate internal assessment and lays the foundations for targeting and selecting external information to be used in the information development element.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

6. Information Development

This chapter focuses on the acquisition and use of external information for guiding market prioritization and strategy development.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

7. Analysis and Strategic Prioritization

This chapter discusses ways in which information can be analyzed and priorities determined.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

8. Routes to Market

The question of routes to market encompasses issues around operating within the constraints of the organization’s field of endeavor. In other words, the nature of the terrain has been established through market assessment, and the organization’s own capabilities are better understood, and it is therefore possible to make decisions about modes of operation in the market. And operation requires, in some form, the presence to make it effective.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

9. Building a Strategy

This chapter demonstrates the use and value of the WRAP process in building strategies that are both relevant to the company’s strategic objectives and realistic in relation to the targets and priorities already determined.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson

10. Strategy Implementation and Management

This chapter discusses the importance of rational implementation of the agreed strategy and the added value gained by continuing effective management.
J. Angus Gillon, Lynne Pearson


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