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I stumbled upon a fantastic website, a treasure of information actually. http://www.gapminder.org. It’s replete with data on world and countries.
One interesting graph that I came across was on economic growth of landlocked countries v/s those with coastlines (with couple of other parameters on How far to the north the country is located and the population of the country depicting the size).
Couple of points from there:
- Landlocked countries have a much tougher time in terms of economic growth
- Among the few countries that really had a good enough growth are the ones in up north (i.e. in Europe & mid-east)
It all boils down to accessibility.
Having a coastline enables trade, and reduces the need for those firewalls that landlocked countries need in conflict ridden geographies. Some of the European counties have done well even after being landlocked thanks to their being surrounded by open partners and the fact that they didn’t let those impact their trade accessibility.
Well, countries cannot decide where they have to be located. Businesses actually can. Not geographically, but they can choose to decide how accessible they can be to the other parts of the business world.
So if your business and systems are landlocked, move them out of that landlock now. Unless, of course, you own oil wells that the whole world needs (well, even that isn’t a safe harbor any more)! Be accessible, be transparent, and be open to integrate if you want to survive, let alone grow, in this increasingly collaborative world.