JLL Executive Shares Global Business Insights

Colin Dyer, CEO of JLL, delivered the keynote address this morning in Chicago, the second day of Doing Business Globally. Mr. Dyer discussed the motivations for becoming a global organization, the path for doing so, and the hard and soft skills needed within the organization to remain successful.

Mr. Dyer then took questions from Baker & McKenzie partner Dieter Schmitz on topics ranging from cybersecurity, to diversity, to risk management.

Colin Dyer

Key takeaways from the keynote and conversation:

  • Global is different than international. Planting flags in several countries is international, but global means linking the locations together with a common standard of processes and uniform branding. Global means creating a culture where any executive from any country within the organization can make an impact and grow into any role.
  • The “inconvenient truth” about being a global business is that most products and services have to be tailored to the local audience.
  • Being successful globally is about being a “broad church,” taking good ideas from anywhere as being worthy to spread across the organization.
  • On risk management, global companies must set clear expectations of ethical behavior, applying one standard uniformly around the world. Make it the highest bar you have to meet anywhere (e.g. make EPA pollution standards your universal norm.)
  • A balance of hard skills (connectivity, data) and soft skills (cultural understanding, leadership) are imperative to global business.
  • In terms of global markets, India is the “brightest spot” globally, and Africa is coming soon. China’s growth has slowed, but the rate is still about 6-7 percent annually.

Read more about Mr. Dyer.