I’ve been telling everyone I’ve been meeting here how much I’d love to come and live in Singapore. The challenge I’ve had from a couple of people is that it’s difficult to add value as an expat here without significant experience and understanding in the region.
Well yes… But:
1. I think this need to understanding the context applies to every country, and actually every different organisation. Asia is different from Europe, America and elsewhere, but it’s not THAT different – at least I’ve not heard anything during these two days, or during my previous two day workshop in KL, that convinces me it is.
By the way, I have by the way done a decent amount of work here, though most of it was before the recession (or from an Asian perspective, the slow-down).
2. I think what is different is HOW business is done, rather than WHAT it involves. And here, I actually feel more at home with business in Asia than I do in the West. For example, I love the way that the Singapore Stock Exchange is so focused on encouraging their registered businesses to improve Board diversity to improve corporate governance and valuations. Just not something you’d see in the West.
3. Most of what I do is about helping HR teams innovate. Success is doing this is about being able to think differently. I believe it can actually be useful not to be close to the way that things are currently done. And I’m not convinced that enough Asian businesses are thinking transformationally enough, to cope with the environment they’re in (just like Western businesses in fact).
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