A MALAYSIA TAXI — I have been on three continents in three countries in the past 48 hours. And one thing has remained consistent: Michael Jackson. He’s everywhere you turn your ears and eyes.
My cabbie’s Malay radio station flashes “Michael Jackson Tribute” across the electronic panel every few seconds.
It’s not irrelevant because this week I am teaching an internal comms course for two days in Kuala Lumper. And one section is on “multicultural communications” and another on “corporate culture”.
Although you can see crying Americans on TV sets everywhere I have been and the music seeps out of every store, this is not yet one homogeneous global state. We are not all a mini-America.
Some of the research we will look at this week backs that up. And anyone who has every tried to do business in a new culture and failed, will know that most of the cultural differences lie quite a ways below the surface.
Here’s a fact that shows how different parts of this world are:
China Mobile has a market capitalisation of US$271 Billion. (Yes, 271,000,000,000). That’s more than twice the size of Apple, Google and GE. And yet it’s brand is vitually unknown anywhere I have been.
How can that be?
Well it’s because you can be big in Asia… really big… and not so big anywhere else.
Unless you are Michael Jackson.