Pioneers of Globalization
What is perhaps most intriguing about the Portuguese version of globalization is that although the authors focus on a period 500 to 600 years ago, the Portuguese approach to globalization seems very modern to me. Here are the key elements that the authors articulate:
- Strategic intent. The authors argue that Portuguese people are proactive when they have "an enterprise to executve"
- Globalist vocation. Possibly because Portugal is a relatively small country with a limited market and finite natural resources, it chose to overcome these weaknesses with a global outlook.
- Long-term scientific commitment. Portugal invested in research and development.
- Knowledge management. Portugal's skills at navigation created knowledge workers who could apply these skills.
- Looking ahead. Portugal looked beyond the current geostrategic boundaries and battles of the Mediterranean region.
- Control of asymmetric information. Portugal had a passion for choosing the unknown over the known which gave it an advantage over other nations.
- Incrementalism. Trial and error and pragmatic correction were the key to Portuguese strategies.
- Critical attitude. Portugal employed the scientific method that challenged existing dogma with experiments and facts.
- Geostrategic 'cleverness'. Portugal employed secrecy, counterintelligence, and disinformation to achieve its ends.
- Organizational improvisation. Portugal employed a mix of improvisation and clear strategic intent to achieve its goals.