• I recall a conversation with the CEO of large electrical equipment MNC in which he began by asking me to guess how many innovation centres his firm had around the world. My guess was nowhere near the 160 that turned out to be the answer. Not surprisingly this CEO recognized that his firm's ability to innovate was being hampered by the huge size of their footprint which brought few benefits as it was inefficient, there was duplication across sites and competition between them. In this and most other cases, the costs of the expanded footprint outweigh the benefits.