Scenarios and Strategy
The process of consolidation of the European Union and its enlargement to include new countries, primarily from Eastern Europe, involve significant changes of major impact on corporate strategy.
All of Europe has increasingly become the domestic market for every company in each member country of the European Union. Despite the fact that this phenomenon has been in progress for over a decade and in marked acceleration in recent years, very few companies can boast a homogeneous presence with equal penetration in all countries of the EU. Linguistic and cultural barriers, as well as the heritage of the past, make widespread penetration difficult.
Despite this, there are many competitor firms that have lost no time and are already active in improving their positions in this market. Taking a wait-and-see attitude could mean risking finding that everything has already been settled—losing the game before ever getting started.
Acquiring or improving one's position in Europe often means a complete re-thinking of strategy and, above all, organization. The transition from an organization centered in Italy to one capable of being European often requires significant change in people, structures and procedures.
The opening of geographical and economic barriers has a highly differentiated cultural impact and the extension or wide-spread presence of an organization throughout Europe remains a very complex question. In fact, the equilibrium between level of homogeneity (the result of cross-European economic regulations) and the degree of differentiation of organizational structures (in response to the actual situations in the various countries) is a delicate one. Simply expanding the sales network is not always sufficient. Sometimes the opening of new manufacturing facilities or acquisitions or mergers with other European competitors also need to be considered. The strategic impact on the organization of these actions is unquestionably high. One consequence is that often major changes in the corporate approach are required. In particular, the ability to give European employees the sensation that they can work in an environment free of cultural discrimination. In other words, be able to motivate human resources belonging to different cultures, breaking through those cultural stereotypes that create barriers in everyday behavior.
Often, therefore, consolidation of a presence in Europe (whether through acquisition or internal expansion) requires a major strategic and organizational redesign. Added to the complexity caused by the widespread presence of European competitors are the major changes in progress overall: even greater globalization with the arrival of new competitors from outside Europe, the affirmation of the net-economy and rapid changes in all sectors caused by the acceleration of scientific and technical discoveries.
All these factors could require a company to completely rethink its strategic and organizational foundations, a top-to-bottom reconfiguration of the business.
The European House-Ambrosetti services in Europe
Its presence in Europe is centered on its offices in London, Madrid and Milan. The presence of strategic partners in Helsinki, Moscow and Istanbul ensures that Ambrosetti is able to take on complex pan-European questions.
In this geographical area, Ambrosetti is focused especially on:
- Conducting intelligence studies to discern emerging trends in European markets and sectors of interest, interacting primarily with opinion leaders and key players in the various European markets.
- Identifying and selecting strategic objectives for acquisitions, including performing strategic audits, when necessary.
- Assisting companies in post-acquisition management.
- Assisting companies in restructuring their organizations in various European countries:
- reorganization of branch offices in other countries
- reorganization of cross-European sales networks
- Assisting client firms in improving trans-cultural relations to create a team sense across cultural boundaries (cross-cultural management).