Monthly Archives: May 2016

I Don’t Want to Do What You Do

A friend of mine who is a coder for a software development firm recently had a “where do you go from here?” discussion with his manager. His boss said, “well, you could always go into management.” “No,” my friend replied, “I don’t want to do that.” “Oh,” said the guy who obviously chose to do […]

Read More

Cross-Border Creatives

As I arrived in Siem Reap on a visit to Angkor Wat a couple years ago, the hotel driver surprised me a bit as we headed into town from the airport. He told me he’s a university student, and when I asked what he is studying, I expected to hear some sort of business degree. […]

Read More

Weisure

It may not be in the Oxford English Dictionary yet, but “weisure” is an increasingly important word. For many people there is an increasing blurring of the lines between work time and leisure time. Though in days of old we might have expected to work 9-6 and have the rest of the time off, that […]

Read More

Competing Values

There is a movement in some Asian countries to encourage firms to be more family friendly, but it highlights a sharp conflict between two key elements of many cultures in the region: – a strong work ethic that places a premium on professional success – close family ties and a commitment to caring for family […]

Read More

Work-Life Alignment

When I was teaching at Georgetown, one of my students submitted a very good master’s thesis on work-life alignment. My original thought was that this was another form of work-life balance, but with a Millennial twist. Oh no. What she wrote about was putting more effort into matching the person with the job, which might […]

Read More

Whose Culture?

As Asian companies look to grow, their path usually takes them to other countries. In Southeast Asia this has taken on new importance as the ASEAN Economic Community has come into existence. When you are looking at operating internationally, the conventional wisdom is to be sensitive to the local culture and try to adapt your […]

Read More

At the Intersection

One of the things I loved about teaching at a university was the interaction between people of very different fields. Sure, stovepipes exist between individual departments (and even between individuals), but at least you had opportunities to bring together some very different ways of thinking. I still remember a faculty Christmas party at Georgetown where […]

Read More

Breaking Memory

A couple years after running my first marathon I was starting a membership at a new gym and began working with a new personal trainer. We discussed my goals and agreed on some methods for building up my body for marathons — with 2 or 3 planned for each year, with the goal of completing […]

Read More

Put Responsibility Where It Belongs

You can delegate authority. You cannot delegate responsibility. What’s the difference? Well, authority is what someone can do. Responsibility is what they have to do. Typically, they go together. If you are given the power to do something, then you have the responsibility for getting it done right. Likewise, if you are responsible for getting […]

Read More

Get Them Talking

Workers in repetitive industries may need less feedback than employees in creative industries do. Assembly line workers or bureaucrats who do the same thing over and over may not need to be told “yes, you’re doing it right…just like you did yesterday, and the day before, and the year before.” But creative employees, by the […]

Read More