Currently, I am working rigorously with a foreign capital company in Tokyo. 10 years ago, this move project would have been relatively simple. For a smaller project of about 200 people, the headquarter person would have come to Tokyo two or three times for key meetings, then with selected architec/design company that speaks English and understand the headquarter country culture, direct the project remotely over telephone calls, fax, courier mails with Tokyo project team doing the local implementation.
Now with the illusion of most information being available as soon as it is needed, such project is much more complex. Various stakeholders wants to control the project as they would in their home territory, but it is not possible. What happens is lack of trust between the Tokyo members and headquarters members result in numbers of teleconference and request for more and more information via e-mail, all the while frustration develops on both sides. Why don’t they understand what’s important? Why do they only think of forcing their perspective? We fall into the trap, feeling victimized.
With this kind of situation or for any kind of business management for that matter, I found understanding a little about biology, chemistry, human behavior, sociology, psychology helps more in achieving better result than about “business management”. In the end, it turns out sincerety in achieving bigger common goal is more effective than knowing theories, because every time I write e-mail explaining or asking for something, or talk on the phone to work out some issues, the other person always react to sincerety and trust that comes through in every word.
Of course, I’ve studied various business theories and concepts and practices, and they are important as bases to help me understand the paradigm and general belief by business people. But so far trust is the way the positive action took in projects I have been involved in Tokyo, LA, NY, London, Bangalore, Hongkong, Sidney, etc. And trust, to me, has been paying attention to the other person during each interaction, see the other person as basically someone honest who wants to do the right thing, and speak my mind in a way in that is respectful of the other person.