Thursday, December 8, 2011

China's Hard-Work Culture: Today An Advantage, Tomorrow A Weakness

As China loses the labor advantage that has propelled its economy for the past three decades, will the country's entrepreneurs be able to compete in world markets?

I wonder. With wage inflation already eroding China's ability to compete on labor costs, I don't see much evidence that Chinese entrepreneurs are capable of generating profits through core competencies, as companies in mature economies do.

Chinese entrepreneurs tend to hold the view that they shouldn't follow in the footsteps of foreign multinationals, that they should pursue a "Chinese" way of doing business. That mindset is due partly to the obvious advantages of China's huge labor force and partly to Chinese businesspeople's sense of their country's unique history.

Exactly what defines the Chinese way is a matter of debate, but it's based on the idea of a collective, as opposed to an individual, culture. To oversimplify, people from individualistic cultures tend to think of themselves primarily as individuals and as distinct from others. People from collective cultures consider it a primary obligation to look out for those who are connected to them by family, home town, or employer. In most Chinese companies, employees from the CEO down to the lowest-paid factory worker believe that harmony and loyalty should be maintained and confrontation avoided. Disagreeing with a colleague's or boss's opinion in a meeting or in public is out of the question.

A collective culture is great for rapidly building an organization from scratch. But too often, companies with collective approaches continue to disempower individual employees and devalue their intellectual contributions.

Ren Zhengfei, the hard-driving founder and president of Huawei, is one of China's best known and most influential entrepreneurs. He's also the man primarily responsible for the telecom maker's "wolf culture," in which individual aspirations are explicitly subverted to the needs of the corporation as it relentlessly pursues the Western corporate lions. In the company's early days, R&D workers often kept rolled-up mattresses under their desks because of their notoriously long hours. Ren seems intent on maintaining this corporate culture indefinitely: In their race against other multinationals, he said, "Huawei people, especially the leaders, are destined to work hard for a lifetime and to devote more and suffer more than others."

Considering Ren's celebration of managerial suffering, it's perhaps ironic that he is also a great admirer of IBM and its founder, Thomas J. Watson. He has said that Huawei must respect and learn from IBM and carry on its work. True, IBM was and is a highly focused, highly competitive corporation, but its "Think" culture is a paradigm of individual empowerment. Watson once said that among his company's founding principles, the most important is respect for individuals — employees as well as customers. The company has always placed great importance on the staff's ideas and opinions, trusting employees to make the right decisions.

Not only has the IBM way built one of the world's great companies, it has also won converts across the world, spreading throughout thousands of businesses. In the 1980s, when so many were lauding Japanese executives and their management style, American managers were surprised to discover that the Japanese way of managing had grown out of the IBM think culture. The core of Toyota management, for example, is "improvement," a policy that stresses the value of employees' ideas, not just their willingness to spend their nights under their desks.

While China is unquestionably different from other labor and business markets, Chinese entrepreneurs shouldn't be lulled by the idea that they can succeed over the long term in the global economy through practices that stress the value of mere hard work. The ethos of relentless effort, captured in the folk tale "Yu Gong Moving Away Mountains," is an important part of Chinese culture, but it shouldn't be overemphasized at the expense of encouraging employees to think for themselves. Without an independent-minded workforce, Chinese businesses will struggle to keep up, because corporate performance ultimately depends as much on employee creativity as on operational prowess.

I recently read a quote from former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair: "I don't remember how many times people from this country or that country have told me, 'The situation that I face is different, and this country is unique' " (my own translation from the foreword of the Chinese edition of Blair's memoir). In other words, everyone thinks his or her country and situation is unique — but that's not true. In the long run, universal business principles prevail.

IBM's think culture, stressing individual dignity and independence, is a universal business principle — a blueprint for success in the modern age. And it will ultimately outperform the Chinese way.

Ruxiang Jiang is the principal of Zion Consulting, based in Beijing.

Thanks to Ruxiang Jiang / Blogs HBR / Harvard Business School Publishing
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/chinas_hard-work_culture_today.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

 

Replace Meaningless Words With Meaningful Ones

In response to a prior blog post about meaningless words, commenter Brett wrote, "It would be interesting to see those words and phrases that do inspire confidence and trust. That would be a great follow up." Here you go, Brett (and Aggressive Reader, who seconded Brett's suggestion). This discussion of meaningful words is primarily about replacements for weak, meaningless ones, while the prior discussion was about the complete elimination of condescending, insulting or self-deprecating ones.

Attorneys have long cautioned officers and employees of corporations to avoid forward-looking statements. The financial scandals of the past decade have made those attorneys even more diligent about language. As a result, corporate presenters now fill their spoken pitches with sentences formed in the conditional mood. Phrases containing "we believe," "we think," and "we feel" pervade presentation narratives to such a degree that they spill over into sentences where caution is unnecessary. More to the point, the spillage weakens what should otherwise be assertive language, as in the following sentence:

With this large opportunity and our superior technology, I think you'll see that our company is well-positioned for growth.

The words "I think" introduce doubt, even if only subliminally, in the minds of your audience. As a presenter attempting to persuade an audience, your job is to provide them with as much certainty as you can. The way to get from doubt to certainty is to switch from the conditional to the declarative mood by eliminating the offending words:

With this large opportunity and our superior technology, you'll see that our company is well-positioned for growth.

That simple nip and tuck strengthens the impact of the entire sentence.

This is not to say that, when the outcome is uncertain, you should make forward-looking statements or forecasts. That's risky business. In such cases, you must use the conditional mood, but instead of the weak words "think," "believe," and "feel," try these stronger options:

• We're confident . . .
• We're convinced . . .
• We're optimistic . . .
• We expect . . .

With this large opportunity and our superior technology, you'll see that our company is well-positioned for growth, and we're confident that growth will translate into significant revenues.

From the sublime of persuasive words to the banal of airline travel, think of the announcement you typically hear on the public address system when your flight touches down at your destination:

I'd like to be the first to welcome you to San Francisco.

Sound familiar? It's boilerplate; not just in airline travel, but also in political speeches, college lectures, church sermons, award ceremonies, acceptance speeches, wedding toasts — the list is endless. In business presentations the sentence sounds vague and indefinite. Besides, if you'd like to do it, why not just go ahead and do it?

Welcome to San Francisco!

And then there is this often-used phrase:

What we're not is...

Huh? Well then, what are you? Negative statements fail to provide information. Tell your audiences what you are, not what you are not. Moreover, negative statements sound defensive. Always make positive statements.

One of history's most famous negative statements was President Richard Nixon's infamous defense of himself in the Watergate scandal, "I am not a crook." Had he framed his statement positively as "I am an honest man," history might remember him more forgivingly.

Meaningful words stated in the declarative mood, assertively, and positively are more likely to beget meaningful actions.

Jerry Weissman, a leading corporate presentations coach, is the founder of Power Presentations, Ltd., and the author of Presentations in Action: 80 Memorable Presentation Lessons from the Masters (FT Press: 2011).

Thanks to Jerry Weissman / Blogs HBR / Harvard Business School Publishing
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/replace_meaningless_words_with.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

 

Employees Who Identify With The Company Boost Financial Performance

Executives spend a lot of time worrying about their companies' products and prices, but they don't spend nearly enough time worrying about corporate character. Why would they? A lot of them don't believe companies even have a character, and others don't see what difference it could possibly make.

But your company's character can earn you — or cost you — real money. Our research on thousands of managers, frontline employees, and customers of a U.S. retailer shows that there are connections between customer spending and what's known as the organizational identification of the people who work at the company. The greater the OI, as researchers like to call it, the greater the spending. And organizational identification is, to a great extent, about company character.

Corporate character is like corporate reputation, but it's a deeper and more nuanced concept. It has little to do with advertising or marketing. Like your own character, it's judged by actions more than words. If your company sticks its neck out for a principle, it will be seen as having integrity, just as you're seen as having integrity when you stand up for the employee who's being scapegoated by some other manager. A long history of admirable moves builds an impression of a solid character. A history of missteps does the opposite. You can probably name companies with solid character as easily as we can: Zappos, Ritz-Carlton, and USAA, to name just a few.

Fine, you might say. So what?

The most desirable managers and employees — those who are smart, capable, and conscientious — have the ability to choose, to some extent, where they work, and they tend to self-select into companies that they identify with. Just to be clear on what we're talking about, identification means that the individual's view of himself or herself overlaps with his or her perception of the company. We test this psychologically by asking people their level of agreement with pairs of statements about themselves and their companies — for example, "'A leader' accurately describes me," and "'A leader' accurately describes my company." If there's a lot of agreement in the responses to these pairs, it means the person strongly identifies with the organization.

In a study of 306 store managers, 1,615 employees, and more than 57,000 customers of a women's-clothing retailer, we found that organizational identification is directly related to employee performance and indirectly related to customer evaluations and store performance.

Not all employees, especially in retail, arrive with fully formed views of the company's character, of course. Many pick up their sense of organizational identification — or lack thereof — from their managers. We found that there's a chain reaction from managerial OI to employee OI and on to customer spending: Raising managerial OI by a value of 1 on our seven-point scale increases employee OI by 0.29 of a point; raising employee OI by one point increases customer OI by 0.25 of a point; and raising customer OI by one point is associated with customers' spending $71 more per year per person at the retailer. So in retail, at least, managerial OI is a crucial part of how companies can differentiate themselves and improve their sales. And managerial OI tends to be high in companies with characters that people identify with.

Executives are constantly having to decide what actions their companies should take, and in doing so many of them carefully consider stakeholders' expected reactions. Our research suggests a further step: Consider what a given move would reveal about the company's character. The stronger the character, the more likely the company is to attract managers who can say, "I am the company, and the company is me," an attitude that can spill over to frontline employees and customers and improve the bottom line.

Donald R. Lichtenstein is the Provost Professor and Chair of the Division of Marketing at the University of Colorado, Boulder; James G. Maxham III is the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company Professor of Commerce at the University of Virginia; and Richard G. Netemeyer is the Ralph A. Beeton Professor of Free Enterprise at the University of Virginia.

Thanks to Donald R. Lichtenstein, James G. Maxham III, and Richard G. Netemeyer / Blogs HBR / Harvard Business School Publishing
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/employees_who_identify_with_th.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dale Carnegie

Dale Breckenridge Carnegie
Born November 24, 1888
Maryville, Missouri
Died November 1, 1955 (aged 66)
Forest Hills, New York
Occupation Writer, lecturer
Notable work(s) How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (originally Carnagey until 1922 and possibly somewhat later) (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Born in poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, first published in 1936, a massive bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, a biography of Abraham Lincoln entitled Lincoln the Unknown, and several other books.

One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them.

Biography

Born in 1888 in Maryville, Missouri, Carnegie was a poor farmer's boy, the second son of James William Carnagey (b. Indiana, February 1852 – living 1910) and wife Amanda Elizabeth Harbison (b. Missouri, February 1858 – living 1910). In his teens, though still having to get up at 4 a.m. every day to milk his parents' cows, he managed to obtain an education at the State Teacher's College in Warrensburg. His first job after college was selling correspondence courses to ranchers; then he moved on to selling bacon, soap and lard for Armour & Company. He was successful to the point of making his sales territory of South Omaha, Nebraska, the national leader for the firm.

After saving $500, Dale Carnegie quit sales in 1911 in order to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a Chautauqua lecturer. He ended up instead attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, but found little success as an actor, though it is written that he played the role of Dr. Hartley in a road show of Polly of the Circus. When the production ended, he returned to New York, unemployed, nearly broke, and living at the YMCA on 125th Street. It was there that he got the idea to teach public speaking, and he persuaded the "Y" manager to allow him to instruct a class in return for 80% of the net proceeds. In his first session, he had run out of material; improvising, he suggested that students speak about "something that made them angry", and discovered that the technique made speakers unafraid to address a public audience. From this 1912 debut, the Dale Carnegie Course evolved. Carnegie had tapped into the average American's desire to have more self-confidence, and by 1914, he was earning $500 - the equivalent of nearly $10,000 now - every week.

Perhaps one of Carnegie's most successful marketing moves was to change the spelling of his last name from "Carnagey" to Carnegie, at a time when Andrew Carnegie (unrelated) was a widely revered and recognized name. By 1916, Dale was able to rent Carnegie Hall itself for a lecture to a packed house. Carnegie's first collection of his writings was Public Speaking: a Practical Course for Business Men (1926), later entitled Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business (1932). His crowning achievement, however, was when Simon & Schuster published How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book was a bestseller from its debut in 1937, in its 17th printing within a few months. By the time of Carnegie's death, the book had sold five million copies in 31 languages, and there had been 450,000 graduates of his Dale Carnegie Institute. It has been stated in the book that he had critiqued over 150,000 speeches in his participation in the adult education movement of the time. During World War I he served in the U.S. Army.

His first marriage ended in divorce in 1931. On November 5, 1944, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he married Dorothy Price Vanderpool, who also had been divorced. Vanderpool had two daughters; Rosemary, from her first marriage, and Donna Dale from their marriage together.

Carnegie died at his home in Forest Hills, New York. He was buried in the Belton, Cass County, Missouri, cemetery. The official biography from Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. states that he died of Hodgkin's disease on November 1, 1955.

The Dale Carnegie Course

The Dale Carnegie Course is a program for businesses based on Carnegie's teachings used worldwide. It was founded in 1912 and is represented in more than 75 countries. More than 8 million people have completed Dale Carnegie Training.[citation needed]

The course comprise a proprietary process that uses team dynamics and intra-group activities to strengthen interpersonal relations, manage stress and handle fast-changing workplace conditions. Other subjects included are communication, creative problem-solving and focused leadership.

The course is based on a five-phase continuous improvement cycle:

  1. Build Greater Self-Confidence
  2. Strengthen People Skills
  3. Enhance Communication Skills
  4. Develop Leadership Skills
  5. Improve Our Attitude
This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia® - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the Wikipedia® encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.
 
Thanks to Thanks to Farlex, Inc. / Encyclopedia The Free Dictionary
 
Books
 
 
PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS by Dale Carnegie
 
The quick and easy way to effective speaking: A revision by Dorothy Carnegie of Public speaking and influencing men in business The quick and easy way to effective speaking: A revision by Dorothy Carnegie of Public speaking and influencing men in business by Dale Carnegie
 
How to Develop Self-confidence & Influence People By Public Speaking (Includes selections from How to Win Friends & Influence People) How to Develop Self-confidence & Influence People By Public Speaking (Includes selections from How to Win Friends & Influence People) by Dale Carnegie

The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations  Course Guide The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations Course Guide by Dale Carnegie

Public Speaking for Success Public Speaking for Success by Dale Carnegie

Make People Like You: How to Win Friends and Influence People in 60 Seconds or Less! FREE BONUS: Great Conversationalist Special Report Make People Like You: How to Win Friends and Influence People in 60 Seconds or Less! FREE BONUS: Great Conversationalist Special Report by Brian Marinelli

How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls by Donna Dale Carnegie

The Art of Public Speaking - Enhanced (Illustrated) The Art of Public Speaking - Enhanced (Illustrated) by Dale Carnegie

Enrich your life the Dale Carnegie way Enrich your life the Dale Carnegie way by Arthur R Pell 
 
Dale Carnegie's Radio Program: How to Win Friends and Influence People - Lesson 1: Gain insight into handling difficult people; Discover the keys to ... ... & What employers want in their employees Dale Carnegie's Radio Program: How to Win Friends and Influence People - Lesson 1: Gain insight into handling difficult people; Discover the keys to ... ... & What employers want in their employees by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie's Biographical roundup: Highlights in the lives of forty famous people Dale Carnegie's Biographical roundup: Highlights in the lives of forty famous people by Dale Carnegie
 
The Dale Carnegie Course, The Little Red Book: How The Course Is Conducted, What You Do At Each Session The Dale Carnegie Course, The Little Red Book: How The Course Is Conducted, What You Do At Each Session by Dale Carnegie 

The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations (Course Guide) The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations (Course Guide) by Dale Carnegie
 
The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations: How the Course Is Conducted and What You Do at Each Session The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations: How the Course Is Conducted and What You Do at Each Session by Dale Carnegie
 
THE GREEN BACK BOOK OF THE DALE CARNEGIE SALES COURSE THE GREEN BACK BOOK OF THE DALE CARNEGIE SALES COURSE by DALE CARNEGIE AND ASSOCIATES

The Sales Advantage The Sales Advantage by Dale Carnegie

Pathways To Success In Your Professional And Private Lives. the Groundbreaking Best Sellers How To Win Friends & Influence People And How To Stop Worrying & Start Living Complete In One Volume Pathways To Success In Your Professional And Private Lives. the Groundbreaking Best Sellers How To Win Friends & Influence People And How To Stop Worrying & Start Living Complete In One Volume by Dale Carnegie
 
Leader to Leader: Enduring Insights on Leadership from the Drucker Foundation's Award-Winning Journal (Dale Carnegie Custom Edition) (J-B Drucker Foundation Series) Leader to Leader: Enduring Insights on Leadership from the Drucker Foundation's Award-Winning Journal (Dale Carnegie Custom Edition) (J-B Drucker Foundation Series) by Hesselbein

THE QUICK AND EASY WAY TO EFFECTIVE SPEAKING THE QUICK AND EASY WAY TO EFFECTIVE SPEAKING by Dale Carnegie