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What Is The Global Capability Score?

Expand Your Global Growth Capability with the G-GO Matrix: Prioritize markets and localization strategies for international success

The development of the Global Capability Score (GCS) is a result of decades of experience from leaders of top companies across the world. Paired with the work of Global Class founders Aaron McDaniel and Klaus Wehage in helping international entrepreneurs and corporate leaders navigate the complexities of international growth and expansion, a new body of work has emerged that can help companies currently navigate global growth and the next generation of global leaders.

Aaron and Klaus discovered that there was a knowledge gap in the consulting marketplace with limited information on how to translate an organization's local success to global markets. Henceforth, they spent 2+ years interviewing 400 global executives from the fastest-growing companies in the world (Google, Apple, Airbnb, Slack, Salesforce, Rakuten, Canva, etc) to identify patterns of success and failure. The result was Global Class, an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller ranked #2 on the business book list.

RELATED: Does your organization need help in uncovering the missing gaps to successfully reach global scale? Take this assessment to determine your Global  Capability Score

They found out that companies tend to reinvent the wheel when scaling to new markets, resulting in costly mistakes and lots of time wasted in the process. This lack of preparation and misunderstanding of the levers for reaching global scale caused issues and more often than not, resulted in failure or stagnation of international growth.


An often-overlooked aspect of international expansion

One of the most often overlooked aspects of international expansion is the importance of preparing the organization for growth into unknown territories. It’s not just about selling a product or service into new markets or an exercise in language translation but also includes understanding the organizational impact as these new markets demand changes to your go-to-market strategy and/or operating model.

Hence, the organization needs to be aligned and have the internal structures developed to respond to required changes while having the agility to do it fast enough to compete against local competition with a better understanding of the local culture. For that reason, Aaron and Klaus have developed a brand new organizational analysis tool called the Global Capability Score that helps founders, CEOs and executive teams better understand the organizational gaps that can prevent their organization from being successful in global markets.

“I’ve seen companies that plan to launch in 22 international markets at once, asking whether doing this can be done successfully. The more relevant question is, can you manage 22 customer discovery processes at once?”

Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup


How do you get your own Global Capability Score?

By taking the Global Capability Score assessment you can get a better understanding of your organization’s strengths and gaps when it comes to having the ingredients required to successfully reach global scale. In addition to this self-serve assessment, the Global Class team works with companies to conduct a more in-depth assessment that includes providing targeted recommendations to overcome challenges and avoid pitfalls on the horizon. 


What does the assessment cover?

There are 3 main areas that the GCS assessment covers:

  1. MINDSET: Is the organization and its people globally-minded (are there Interpreneurs in strategic roles within the organization)? 

  2. METHODOLOGY: Does the organization apply agile principles and possess a capability to adapt its business model for new markets, while also being conscious of managing organizational complexity? 

  3. MOMENTUM: Has the organization established structures to support global growth and the right management approach that empowers teams to uncover local market insights, while also developing a universalized culture and core values to avoid conflict with local teams?

The top 2 most frequently asked questions when meeting with clients

  1. “When is a company ready to expand?”
  2. “How many markets can we tackle at once?”

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all all answer to these questions, BUT your global capability directly impacts both of these questions. If the organization hasn’t solved the three M’s (Mindset, Methodology, and Momentum), you will likely limit your ability to successfully find product-market fit in your target markets. Simply put, without assessing your organizational capability, you’ll stumble into roadblocks leading to unforeseen consequences. As the great proverb says, “Foresight is better than hindsight.”

Finally, the capability of your organization can yield benefits beyond just tackling one market successfully. In fact, the more “support muscle” you have built in your organization, the greater the challenge you can take on as a company. This can either mean expanding to multiple markets and/or selecting markets to enter that require more adaptation (i.e. with higher localization premium).


Enter the Global Growth Opportunity Matrix

To illustrate this, Global Class has developed a market prioritization tool that helps organizations connect their organizational capability with the level of localization burden they can take on. With the Global Growth Opportunity Matrix, companies can now assess how many markets (and which markets) make sense to take on, leading to a better way to select and prioritize markets for global expansion.

It is too simplistic to think about market size, organic growth, similarity of language, or geographic proximity when selecting new markets - companies successful at reaching global scale (which are called, “Global Class Companies”) understand that internal capability dictates the scope and scale of international growth and that markets must be selected incorporating a more sophisticated analysis that also includes cultural factors.


Through the Global Growth Opportunity Matrix, companies can better understand which markets to target and how to prioritize their global growth path. By working with the Global Class team, companies are able to expand their “Capability Zone” (the green area in the matrix) to have the internal capabilities to take on markets that require more extensive localizations. 


About Global Class

The Global Class team has developed THE playbook that teaches organizations the right mindset, culture, and strategies to successfully build global businesses. Through consulting engagements and practical tools (+ case studies built from conversations with over 400 executives from the world’s fastest-growing companies), we help executives with companies valued at $1B to $100B reach global scale. From market entry to global scale, we help companies build the foundation for successful global growth through management consulting services, customized platforms, and more. 

If you'd like to learn more about Global Class and implement strategies and tools that we have developed, reach out to us!

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