Cultural Learning: It’s Time to Experience, Reflect, and Experiment, NOW!

One of my American friends who teaches in Japan once told me how frustrated he was about the performance of his class, which was far below average at his school. He told me that his students simply were not motivated. However, unlike many other people, he did not seek the fault with his students. He set out to understand what…

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…

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. ┬áScientists call this “neuroplasticity”. Seeing that, our notion of IQ does not really make sense. Since everything we learn recreates our brain, and every time…

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…

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…

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…