With the astonishing UK Brexit vote, the mantra of "think global, act local" has been turned on its head. In many countries worldwide, the international view of "think global" seems to have fallen out of favor. The trend now seems to be toward a greater focus inward on more national concerns.
Yet the impact and effects of Brexit actually demonstrate how interconnected we all are. In the days following the vote, stocks swooned and currencies fluctuated in markets across the globe. From a purely economic perspective, it's been shown time and again that what happens on Wall Street, in Europe or in China, affects investors on a worldwide basis.
The saying "think global, act local" began as a rallying cry for the environment. You could help save the planet by effecting change in your local community or by adopting more sustainable practices yourself. It has since evolved as a best practice for business and for global brands. In recent years, technology, the Internet and social media have linked the world even tighter. No matter where you call home, you are now as close as the phone in the palm of your hand.
A column by Deloitte adds an interesting twist to the think global perspective. According to the article, global is "too broad and undefined." The piece recommends that we think "holistically," defined as "the ability to take into account complex linkages and interconnections to facilitate decision-making."
Whatever the terminology, it continues to be essential to maintain an international view. We see the importance every day in our business. As investors throughout many countries including Africa, the United States and Europe, we must remain aware of what is happening on the world stage - not only in terms of risks, but also to take advantage of opportunities.
Recently, I was reminded of this philosophy again when I attended the executive development program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Part of the course was held at the Northwestern Campus in Illinois and a portion in Lisbon, Portugal. By its very nature, this dual focus in different countries reinforced the biggest takeaway -- to be global.
As you run your business day to day, it can be easy to focus on the "act local" part of the equation. But from the economy to politics to culture, global affects local every day. We must "gain appreciation of the world at large" so we can position our organizations "to win the supreme jackpot" of profits and growth, now and into the future.
Zandre Campos is chairman and CEO of Angola Capital Investments (ACI), an international investment firm that invests in companies in the healthcare, technology energy, transportation, hospitality, and real estate sectors throughout Africa. The mission of ACI is to create global value for developing countries in Africa, while contributing to their economic development.