Xerox: Role Model for Building A Knowledge Culture

What is a knowledge culture? “In a knowledge culture all information is linked together and integrated into models that increase profitability, improve processes, products and customer relations” (Peter Troxler). To do that you need openness, trust, and a general willingness to collaborate and share knowledge among your employees. So how did Xerox succeed in building this thing? Now its getting…

Why You Should Never Forget The Past

Erin Meyer surprised me. A lot. While it was always clear to my mind that a country’s history has a strong impact on its culture, I somehow always neglected that fact. Why? Because history has always been a boring subject for me. I preferred to live in the present, rather than philosophizing about the past. Sorry, dear historians! However, as with…

Beware! Culture Changes Your Brain Without You Noticing

Your brain is in constant change. With every new experience (meaning: every single moment) connections between the neurons in your brain are created. As a result, the structure of your brain changes all the time.  Scientists call this “neuroplasticity”. Seeing that, our notion of IQ does not really make sense. Since everything we learn recreates our brain, and every time…

Not just Rubber-Time, But Rubber-Ethics

The Indonesians call it “jam karet” – rubber time. When we Germans say 2, we mean 2. When Indonesians say 2, they could mean anything from 2 to 3, 4, 5, 6. But this is not news for most people who have experience living in Asia. But what was interesting for me was that researchers also found out that Asians,…

Drawing a Clear Picture on Generalizations

A few days ago we had a discussion about mental models. Today I want to add what I learned about the subject from Ed Catmull (President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation). He tells us how mental models can give you trouble in terms of drawing. How do we know that a char is a chair? Subconsciously we categorize every…

Country Hoppers: Making Change A Daily Habit

We all know them: country hoppers. Those who just can’t get enough of moving around the world. These people who, once they get to know what it’s like to live far away from “home”, get addicted to it. They are the exact opposite of the “average” person – the status quo makes them bored. Change doesn’t scare them, they strive…

Guerrilla War With The Resistance: How to Introduce Change

Culture is difficult to change. While this is not news, it is something that we always have to keep in mind. This refers as much to organizational- as it does to national culture. In driving change, organizational culture can be a “problem” Let’s say you want to change the way your call-center works. You think it is time your staff…

How to Challenge Your Own Mental Models

Living in a foreign country is awesome. Every day there are situations that challenge your way of thinking. Every day something new and surprising can happen. There are always opportunities for learning. The question is just: do you make use of that? Answer that question to yourself – honestly. I will be frank – I don’t always make use of…

How System-Thinking Can Help Us To Fulfill Our Corporate Vision

Today we are going to discuss how systems thinking can help us in terms of fulfilling our corporate vision. To do that, let’s look at a model developed by Peter M. Senge. He actually uses it in the context of an individual vision, but it can easily be used for a corporate vision as well. Peter discusses how every phase…

Building an Inclusive Organization in Asia

The problems in building an inclusive organization in Asia can be very different than those we face in western countries. Migrants in western countries often are in the minority. They often lack power and their opinions are neglected. In many Asian countries this problem is reversed. Migrants are sent by their employers to build a new branch which makes them…