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,…