Article written by Katsuhiro Nakamura (Jack)
Let me share an occasion that motivated me to work as a consultant for Human Recourse and Organizational Development issues in Asia. One day, I visited a firm in Thailand to hear concerns about human capital development from a Japanese manager. He say, “Mr. Nakamura, our Thai employees are no good. Way below my expectations.” I look around and saw the door of his room is open. His room is very close to Thai staff members, and they are looking at us. They may sense what we are saying. I ask him, “Why don’t we close the door and talk?” To be honest, it was not the right attitude for his crews to grow. As Asian countries have more and more transactions these days, I started to think how to reconcile cultural gaps and make the most of HR in Asia.
To bridge organizational desired cultures with local human resources, I founded an HR consulting firm in Thailand with my experience working as a consultant in Japan and Singapore. My role is to propose solutions for human resource and organizational development. Typical concerns are, for example, “employees are not developing,” “talented staffs are leavingthis firm,” “we need to enhance motivation,” and etc.
I found one common thing while I visit countless organizations. When a firm is talking bad about their employees, they will not grow. On the other hand, employees are very talented when their firm compliments them. Please do not get me wrong. It is not like they are complimented because they are talented. Compliments empower them to develop themselves. This phenomenon is proven in educational psychology and called Pygmalion effect. Whether your subordinates are hearing or not, make sure to trust them and compliment them. This is the fundamental attitude a leader must have to develop his/her organization especially when the business is international. Incidentally, this can be said for raising children as well.
The key organizational development is the behaviors of leaders. Some people say “the leader’s capability is the organization’s capability.” However, when we move our base to foreign countries, there are so many things to worry about and we often lose our focus on people. Of course, I am also struggling to lead a team in Asia. In this series, I write things we, leaders should know so that our teams grow stronger in Asia. Please look forward to it.