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Global Business

Recruitment/ Hiring practices

Individualist cultures – individual is hired based on his/her competencies (skills). Trust is based on one’s skills.

Collectivist cultures – loyalty to one’s in-group/ company is valued, hence there is a preference towards hiring those with similar social ties, value and social norms. Trust is based on not letting down one’s in-group

Different Attitudes Toward Conflict

In individualistic cultures, people tend to be verbally direct: they value communication openness, differences in views are aired openly

Collectivist group, indirect communication is preferred. Disagreement or Conflict is seen as embarrassing or demeaning. Differences are best worked out quietly and indirectly. Managers who work in cross-cultural environments must learn how to adapt their communication/ leadership styles accordingly.

This view towards conflict and communication hence affect the HR performance appraisal process

Individualist – direct feedback especially on areas to improve is accepted.

Collectivist – indirect feedback is preferred. Receiving negative feedback is received badly as shame, a loss of face and weakness.

Rewards and promotion

Individualist cultures – rewards and promotion is based on individual’s achievement, self interests.

Collectivist cultures – rewards is based on loyalty to team and company. Promotion may even be based on loyalty to company, e.g. years working in company, and seniority is respected.

  1. Examine how your company structures its compensation and rewards.

When I switched careers from the foreign service to the private sector, I was very impressed when the senior leadership went for a 2-day team bonding exercise. With high expectations, I asked my boss, “Are we going to have more cooperation from Dept A after this?”

Today, I’m much wiser. As much as a company wants to promote team work, there is a need to go beyond socialisation and games we play. The type of people you hire. Driven by win-lose or win-win. The way rewards and status are structured. To promote company loyalty, organisations give out company shares or team bonus.

2. How is status ascribed?

Do employees come from a certain school, e.g. Havard/ Ivy League graduates? Children of a certain social class? If so, you are more collectivist than you think.

3. What stories are told of your heroes?

Examine the stories people tell about heroes in the company. Is it about the risk they take, and the money they make? Or whether they live out company values of trust and teamwork?

4. How are differences resolved?

Is there a blame culture or pointing fingers? When your back is turned, people say nasty things.

5. What values are you bringing into the company?

Beyond the color of your skin, the accent and the gender, do you bring in people who embrace your values? Who are you attempting to change ?

Beyond Herman Miller Chairs or free lunches and corporate values emblazoned on company walls, what is unspoken and hidden may say more of your culture (National, organisational or even profession).

Have a coffee chat with a friend, instead of visiting company website or attending corporate presentations to understand what the real corporate culture is.

US President Trump has made a clear statement about US not subsidising the rest of the world, and imposing tariffs on its trade partners. We also see US and UK companies increase their investments in Asia bypassing tariffs.

Without the backing of political relations, will US companies finally look at increasing local relevance rather than exporting US based designs and R&D?

Especially in the digital and security space where US companies dominate, we are seeing intra regional trade, ASEAN, India-China, China-Korea and Europe-Asia Pacific as engines of growth.

These are some areas to watch out, especially in Digital innovation and the disruptive stress it brings, we see growth in the beauty/wellness/ entertainment sector, food security, cybersecurity and the financial sector that fuels these disruption!

  • Industry 4.0

    Urban Solutions and Infrastructure
    Companies investing in Digital Innovation Lab in Singapore
    Dyson
    Amazon
    ABB
    Alibaba
    Danone
    Google
    Microsoft
    Facebook
    Syngenta
    Schneider Electric


  • Beauty/ Wellness area
    20-30% increase
    Luxury brands driven by Milinieals
    Globally, the average age of people buying Porsches is 56, according to Dong Tao, a prominent economist with Credit Suisse. In China, the average buyer is just 36. Nikkei


  • Digital entertainment

    Digital content
    Razer
    Garner
    Major brands spend 40-50% on digital marketing in China

  • Digital Finance
    Fintech


  • Asia Pacific Hub
    Cybersecurity
    Finance
    HR/ Recruitment
    Organisation Development and Learning
    Taxation

What Singapore lacks in space and scale, its assets are density, connectivity and location between East and West, hub to East Asia and South East Asia. Singapore is an excellent test bed and pilot for new technology.

Singapore has been an early supporter of the BRI. Nearly a third of China’s total outbound investments to BRI countries flows through Singapore; while Singapore’s investments in China also account for 85 per cent of total inbound investments from BRI countries. ST

  • What are some trends shaping your industry?

Southeast Asia: An Emerging Market With Booming Digital Growth
https://www.visualcapitalist.com/southeast-asia-digital-growth-potential/

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Alibaba Hema Supermarket eating live seafood cooked on the spot
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Starbucks Reserve

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Getting your portraits done in Lego blocks for 999RMB only. ONLY?

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In Shanghai, brands are fighting online consumption by creating experiences for their customers.

Whether it is your own portraits done in Lego bricks, or creating your unique Nike designer shoes, to creating mini stadiums to cheer your favourite team in the Adidas concept stores. Everything is created for instammgramable moments.

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How has 2018 been?

As I sit at Shanghai Pudong Airport waiting to catch a midnight flight back to Singapore, I reflect on this photo I took of “New World” 新世界 outside the People’s Square metro I take everyday.

Its a strange new world of ups and downs. My friend posted a philosophical photo of a bird sitting in a dirty corner of pooh but sheltered from strong winds.

From an eventful Trump-Kim Summit to the US-China Trade War and nearer to home, our rough relations with our neighbours to the Tsunami.

There are many other things to be grateful for.

1. Loved ones
2. Clean hot water ( I recall bathing in cold water in winter in Beijing in 1985.)
3. Relatively peaceful world
4. Friends and great colleagues
5. Stretching myself in new ventures

What about you? How has 2018 been for you?

“Maslow was right when he postulated that there was a hierarchy of needs, that when you had enough material goods you moved your sights to social prestige and then to self realisation.

Perhaps however his hierarchy did not reach far enough. There could be a stage beyond self realisation, the pursuit of an ideal or a cause which is more than oneself.

It is this extra stage which would redeem the self centred tone of Maslow’s thesis, which for all that it rings true of much of our experience, has a rather bitter aftertaste.”

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齐白石 QiBaishi’s Crabs, at the 古树新芽exhibition. Photo of block print taken by me

As George Bernard Shaw put it, in Man and Superman: This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the one being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy</em>.”

“Service to others is the rent we pay to live on earth”

“Those who invest only to get rich will fail. Those who invest to help others will probably succeed.” Arthur Fry

“It is hard, in the conditions of comfortable democracy to find a cause which lifts the efforts of the comfortable ones. That is why some fear a return to war as a way of putting some energy back into our peoples. Making money not war has turned out to be less inspiring. …

It is better to look smaller, to our now smaller organisations, to local communities and cities, to families and clusters of friends, to small networks of portfolio people with time to give to something bigger than themselves.

We have to fashion our own directions in our own places.”

Source
The Empty Raincoat by Charles Handy

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Credit source: Mediacock FB page

A picture says a thousand words.

What do you see in this picture?
a. Old economy work place vs Newer economy- robots , technology disrupting our lives and livelihood!
b. Who stole my lunch?
C. Mistrust between management and worker
d. A company that is top heavy?
e. Workers do not know management’s value add. Poor communication by management?
f. Managers that are not value adding to the bottom line beyond paper pushing.

If the company continues down this route, its unlikely to last long before its overtaken by competitors.

Unfortunately, its true that many workplaces are short of workers because of lack of skills and the lack of attrativeness of certain jobs.

Salaries need to be adjusted to compensate person doing the work.

I wonder, if you were the worker on the ladder, what would you do ?

a) join a union
b) quit
C) brand myself
d) network to change jobs
e) start a company
f) become part of management

Other options?