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 […]

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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 […]

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Feeling Bored? Let’s Have a Meeting!

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There are just too many people holding meetings because they really have nothing else to do. Let’s be clear: when it is time to make a decision and a number of people get a vote, or you need to share a lot of information with a group at once, then a meeting is a useful […]

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All Aboard!!

We talk a lot about about helping new graduates make the transition to their first job by getting them onboard smoothly. Don’t forget, though, that the same goes for experienced workers who are joining you…the sooner you get them through all the administrative hassles of starting, the sooner they will be productive. When you hire […]

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Tip Boxes

Over the last 4 years that I have been in Asia, I have noticed the emergence of tip boxes at cash registers in small cafes and coffee shops. I feel like this is a shame since the local cultures have not traditionally encouraged tipping; instead, salaries were (supposedly) designed to compensate employees fairly, and service […]

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Happiness Helps

Karl Staib has some ideas on how to get through a stressful project. In his article 6 Amazing Techniques to Staying Happy During a Stressful Project, he suggests some methods that might not immediately occur to you. Most of our work happiness comes from our relationship with ourselves. For example, I’m working on a program […]

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Fix Mistakes, Rather Than Ignoring Them

Nobody is perfect. No, not even you. Mistakes will happen, and in addition to your employees making them, you will make them too, and so will the other functions and department that help your employees do what they do. Somebody in Accounting might make a mistake with a reimbursement, you might have explained some project […]

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Pay for Play

One of the touchiest issues you will face as a business leader is compensation. Employees have their view on how much they should be paid and what the criteria are for figuring that out, and you have yours. When all is well and the stars are in alignment, those two views are the same. The […]

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Give Them a Break

Your employees work hard. They deserve time off. Your employees also probably have a contract with you, which says you have to give them time off. Your employees will likely burn out if they never take a break, so for crying out loud, give them some time off! As a boss facing deadlines it is […]

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Get a Lawyer

Whenever we talk about an issue in this blog that sounds like it might have legal implications, you will notice we always remind you that we are not lawyers, that this is not intended to be legal advice, and that you should consult an attorney for more details or to ask further questions. There is […]

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