Exporting Myths & Elephants

Ed Marsh | Aug 17, 2011


It's easy to instanteously produce a myriad of reasons why now isn't the right time for you to boost your export business; why your product/company isn't ideally suited; or why you don't think it is a prudent investment.


It's even easier when the press and certain business experts promulgate a mythology which seems to buttress your position.


But what if you looked beyond the myths and embraced the facts?  


"Made in the USA"  - & 4 sale overseas

The Brookings Institute's Metropolitan Export Initiative produced a short article last fall entitled Five Myths about US Exports.  Authors Bruce Katz and Jonathan Rothwell sought to debunk some of the most common and vacuous, but convenient rationalizations for American companies reticence in exporting.  The five myths they cite are:


    • Exports have been a shrinking share of the economy

    • Exports come only in boxes

    • US exports are no longer internationally competitive

    • Trade with developing countries eliminates jobs for US workers

    • US exports won't increase until other countries "play by the rules"



Read the article for more background.


The Rider & the Elephant

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath is a book worth reading.  As with every business book some of the ideas will be familiar, some repellent and others intriguing.  The Heaths use an analogy of an elephant and its rider (the former is ultimately in control and the latter only occasionally influences events) to describe the contest between the familiar and the different which we face when we embark upon change.

Read the book; and as you do so think about how much of your hesitancy to embrace a new or revamped global initiative is the elephant of your company's traditional business practice.....My guess is a lot.

Cracking the whip won't work - proactive strategic plans and enthusiastic effective implementation will.  And a consultant relationship is the perfect vehicle to get started.  It is a financial model well suited to today's tight budgets and uncertainty and it offers the fresh perspective and complementary skills so critical to success in this endeavor.

Call Consilium to find out how we can help.