Attempting culture change in Asia

When Western companies enter the Asian market, either through M&A, or a joint venture, they are likely to attempt a change in corporate culture within the organization they are partnering with. They are looking for “leaner” operations, with improved processes and systems, a reduced number of staff, and more transparency.  Michael Beckman, expert in Asian corporate practise, writes in his…

Establishing guidelines for work in a diverse team

In their book Team Building: Proven Strategies for Improving Team Performance, which certainly is a book worth reading, Gibb Dyer, Jeffrey Dyer and William Dyer 6 guidelines for work in a diverse team.  While most of them are fantastic advice, two of them are also dangerous when dealing with people from a collective culture. 1. Team members who have experience…

One simple idea on communicating effectively in virtual teams

Today I was reading the book Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo. In it, the author analyses what accounts for an effective speech, by looking at 500 different Ted Talks. First of all, I believe that this was a brilliant idea on learning the essence of public speaking, as Ted provides a platform for the world’s best speakers. But that’s…

The Culture of Toastmasters International

Two days ago I attended a meeting of Toastmasters International because I wanted to put myself in a situation where I could practice my speakings skills in a supportive environment, and where I could get actual feedback for my speeches. Do you also sometimes feel strange, because you are giving a speech and at the end of it you have…

7 Steps to take when there is conflict in the team

1. Who do you have to speak to? Ask yourself the following questions: who is the most accountable in this situation for whom is the most at stake in this situation who has the power to fix the situation 2. What is the problem? create an objective description of the problem describe behaviours and/or situations avoid blaming others be specific in…

The Consequences of Cultural Conflicts Within Airbus

Today I’m gonna use an old example: the failure of the A380 launch by Airbus in 2006. For those who don’t remember: the launch was delayed by nearly one year, and it cost the company about $6 billion. It was due to a misalignment in the design processes of the aircraft. The teams in Germany were using an older version…

6 Assumptions we make about Conflicts

Each culture has its own shared assumptions about what constitutes for conflict, and how to solve conflict. Here are the top 7 of the dangerous assumptions we make from the western perspective, compared to what assumptions people in collective cultures may have. Please note: as always, this doesn’t mean that everybody in the same culture has the same assumptions. We…

Why Australia needs to develop the intercultural profession

Increasing the amount of services exported to Asia alone could bring a potential benefit for Australian enterprises “in the order of $150-275bn over ten years”, according to a whitepaper published by Asialink, an institute of the University of Melbourne. The Whitepaper called “Developing an Asia Capable Workforce” also states that “growing non-resources exports just slightly through improved Asia capability could benefit…