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…

The Way of the Sage: Constant Learning, Harmony and Consensus

Until now Confucianism has a huge impact on several Asian societies such as China, Korea and Japan. That’s why – if we want to understand the Asian way of thinking, we need to understand the teachings of Confucius. Now, what is that all about? Well, the goal of this philosophy is to become a “sage within”. According to Confucius we…

Your Perspective is Never Complete

Your perspective is never complete. Never forget this. I mean, look at the fish. The only thing he can see is the wall. Wow, I feel sorry for him. He must be very lonely. But the humans on the top? They might be able to explore the world, but they still don’t know that in reality they are living on…

The Stages of Identity Development

A few days ago we discussed learning about your own identity. Now we will have a look at the three stages in which people can be in the development of their own identity and how these stages affect the way to communicate with them when we try to implement a diversity and inclusion program. In the first stage, people don’t…

Three Ideas on Giving Feedback in Asia

Today I will share with you three great ideas I learned from Will McInnes. While he is not the inventor of these ideas, he is the one who first wrote them down in his great book “Culture Shock. A Handbook for 21st Century Business“. Unfortunately in this limited space I won’t be able to explain what the bigger idea behind…

Your Asian Colleagues – Your New Family

Asians, especially the Chinese, can be very ambitious. They are always eager to progress in their career. If you don’t live up to their expectations, if they don’t make any progress within your company, they will go elsewhere and get it. But if you make them feel home and provide them with the training and the opportunities for growth they…

Think the Asian Way!

Imagine a Chinese student applying to study in the U.S. One requirement is a certain score on an IQ test. In one question he is asked to look at three objects – panda, monkey, banana – and determine which two belong together. Which one would you choose? If you are from the West, you probably thought: “Easy! The panda and…

How Our Ability to Cope With Uncertainty Affects Innovativeness

I’m currently reading Cultures and Organizations by Geert Hofstede. What struck the most so far, and I’m on page 212, is the idea how uncertainty avoidance impacts our ability to innovate. In retrospect, it seems quite obvious that “the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations” – uncertainty avoidance –  has an…

On Creating a Learning Culture in Collectivist Societies

Cultural differences are never right or wrong. However, in some cases they can have certain disadvantages. Stone me if you want to – but I think that when it comes to learning, individualistic values are healthier. In a collectivist society, the purpose of learning is so that the individual can fit into the group. If she learns a certain skill,…