Lead Like the Buddha: Integrating Buddhist Thoughts Into Corporate Culture

There was one man who succeeded in using Buddhist teachings to create an amazing corporate culture: Dr. Yoshiro Maruta, ex-president of the Kao corporation. Himself a Buddhist scholar, he was well aware of the similarities between the Buddhist philosophy and great leadership.   Maruta mainly integrated two aspects of Buddhism into the corporate culture of the Kao Corporation. Human equality…

Five Ways In Which The Mindset Of Chinese Employees Has Changed

We often think that Asians are very conservative in their thinking, that they cling to traditional values. However, according to a Steelcase WorkSpace Futures Whitepaper, there are six changes in the expectations of the Chinese employees. They no longer focus on tradition alone, but they now use it to their advantage, combining it with modern values in new ways. Check…

Turning Marmots Into Busy Beavers: Reflections on Motivating People Across Cultures

In Germany, Marmots are called “Murmeltiere”. They are the absolute metaphor for the life of a sleepyhead. It seems the fact that they only sleep through the whole winter, but not the summer, doesn’t seem to matter to us Germans. We just determined that they are lazy and that’s it. End of the discussion. Most of us are also not…

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…

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…

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…

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…