Global or local?

Global localThere is an argument that the new Internet age means that each and everyone us has the potential to be a global player. The view is that the ease of modern communications allows each individual sit in their own living room and still reach a business in every corner of the world.

It is true and everyone can now communicate easily across the globe, but does that mean that everyone can do business on a global level?

The problem is that with everyone now joining the online conversation, there is information overload. And as with anything in life, the more information there is, the more a person backs away and reverts back to their local community. It is all logical and sometimes we forget the most basic psychology.

Today’s executives have never worked harder. They will receive on average between 150-200 emails per day. The working day will often start at 6.30am when the executive starts to look at their mobile and end at around 9.30 or 10:00pm. It is claimed that executives have 45% less time to make a decision today than the same executive would have had at the turn of the century for the simple reason that everyone expects almost instant responses today. There is such little time to reflect.

And it is not a surprise that people are less than happy or satisfied. In 2014, a survey of 550 adults aged 25 plus – “Life in the Fast Lane” noted:

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  • 61% of adults spend between 15-30 minutes eating their evening meal
  • 80% admit to excessive alcohol consumption
  • 83% adults suffer from indigestion
  • 62% have reduced interest in sex
  • 73% state that they would rather put the phone down then be on hold
  • 48% admitted to driving through red lights
  • 58% would rather use the car for short journey rather than walk
  • 60% felt they were missing out on something in life.

But the counter is that there is:

  • The world is more open and transparent
  • People can work almost anywhere in the world and still be connected
  • The world is closer and better connected
  • Standards are improving.
  • People are more open minded

Trends will show us that the arts and crafts are highly popular again:

  • Art galleries and shops are on the rise
  • Antique shops too
  • Books had record sales in 2014
  • Food and hospitality has never been more important
  • The average person eats out 1-2 times per week

So the world has never been faster, we are more stressed and yet we are going back to the arts and crafts. Why? Because they are real. It is the same with relationships. We want a real relationship. Yes, we can communicate globally, but make no mistake, it is superficial and transactional. Reality is still close at home.

At a recent lunch with a number of lawyers and accountants, it was discussed as to why fee levels had not increased in line with the ease of communications. It was reasoned that modern comms makes everyone lazy in their communication and we waste time that was not wasted pre-Internet.

It was also reasoned that nothing was more effective than meeting and talking to clients and having time to just think and reflect.

The world may be more global but it is still local.

About the author
Ben V Butler writes for eHotelier’s sister print title EP Business in Hospitality.

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