The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Freedom Of Opinion Wanted …
July 31, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Comment

I am aware most of my blog posts of late have been bordering on being unmitigated shite [wait till you see tomorrow’s, it’s achieves new highs in lows!] but after a lovely chat with Professor Mark Chong – one of the best blokes in the Universe – I think I might actually be writing some stuff that could be interesting in the future.

No, that’s not a typo – I N T E R E S T I N G

Sadly, given it’s going to take some time for us to validate the trend we believe is emerging, you’re going to have to sit through alot more of my crap before you get to the gold [or at least, gold plated] however to get things rolling, I’d love to hear whether you think Asian business [especially in Singapore] is becoming [or will soon become] more Western in it’s attitude/approach or more Asian – and why.

All viewpoints gratefully received – especially if you live/work/deal in the region.

That’s it. Ta-ra.

[PS: Charles and Lauren are on fire at the moment – not literally, I’m talking about their blogs. One day I hope to be able to achieve 36.27% of the quality they write on a daily basis, the clever, smug bastards!]

13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Globalisation’s erosion of barriers to entry.
Next question.

Comment by The Oracle.

No, Asian values mean they will be fearful of losing their identity if they embrace Western ideals too much.
Could the oracle tell me if I’m ever going to be able to buy 32″ leg jeans without needing them taking up?

Comment by Bazza

you’re such a liar rob. i haven’ posted anything of note for weeks now.

and before I answer the question, do you mean “more Western” as Western is now, or Western as in where Western is going in the future? And by business, do you mean the systems and focus of business or the behavioural aspects of conducting it?
[Sorry, i have to be difficult 🙂 It’s what Andy pays me for.]

Comment by lauren

First of all, well done Bazza – your comment [about the trouser length obviously] made me laugh out loud.

And Lauren – just because Andy is away doesn’t mean you have to take his pedantic pedestal. Oh hang on, that’s Dodd’s role. Anyway to answer your question, it’s how Western business is now and I mean it in terms of it’s behavioural element.

Got it? Good – now answer the bloody question 🙂

Comment by Rob

i’m sure andy would love the thought of me ‘taking his pedantic pedestal’. thank you rob.

i’ll preface my answer with: i know fuck-all about asian business. but i think that singapore is becoming more like the west – trying to focus on the spectacle. while everywhere else will become far more asian – collaboration by stealth [and will kick arse]. and india continues to be a chaotic mess.

Comment by lauren

OK Lauren – so now tell me why you think the rest of Asia will become more Asian. You’re on an Andy-style roll, go with it 🙂

Comment by Rob

the west is getting more and more ethnonationalistic and protectionistic, so which ever way u slice the pie, asians will stay asian, either out of fear (like Mr Bazza said) or out of herd like following of the west’s behaviour (tit for tat games).

“game remains the same only the name changed”

Comment by n to the h

i saw a beautiful artwork today which illustrated an old chinese story which kind of typifies the way i think the rest of asia (mostly china) will continue to operate:

the king heard of an oncoming enemy army and asked his chief warrior to make him 10,000 arrows in a week in order to defeat them. the warrior said that he would do it in three.
in the three days he made 3 small wooden boat models and on the 3rd night, as a deep fog set in against the moon, sent the boats along the river to the enemy beating the war drums to intimidate them. the enemy, thinking that they were under attack, fired 10,000 arrows at the little boats that were creeping through the mist. the king and the warrior rescued all the arrows and thanked the enemy for their weapons, firing them back and defeating them with their own hand.

Comment by lauren

I have no opinion, knowledge, facts, experience, issues etc. etc. on this subject.

Thank you.

Comment by Marcus

Bazza cannot fool the oracle. He would clearly never buy trousers approaching anywhere near 32 inches in length. Well not for himself anyway.

Next question.

Comment by The Oracle.

baz, youve confused inches with and cm again, like the time you told your girl you had a 9 inch cock 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

This is interesting because it kinda relates to the previous Planning School on the Web Assignment (Japanese packaging) to me.

When you had posted the challenge I went away and did a fair bit of reading about the subject in the hope that I would be able to submit a response but unfortunately we had a run of pitches on at work and I just couldn’t find the time – excuse I know 🙁

But in essence, and forgive me if this sounds scattered because I never got around to putting thoughts to PowerPoint, but my strategic approach to this was to acknowledge that Japan (and other parts of developing Asia) is fast becoming more Westernized – especially in relation to the ways they shop, branding, automobile production (and in turn oil dependence!) and general consumerism. Of course I don’t have much (read: ANY) first hand experience with this so there’s work involved in proving my point, but you can already see it with the number of big name brands using the Olympics in China to help BREAK into the market long term – i refer to Nike and Adidas specifically who are only now seeing the potential there. What this tells me is maybe Asia IS becoming more Westernised.

My idea for the Japan packaging dilemma was not to try and reverse the plastic packaging trend by promoting more usage of traditional Furoshiki (asking people to turn back their habits), but instead encourage the youth of Japan (who in all my readings seem to be moving to a more Western style of living anyways) to the creation of a MODERN plastic version of Furoshiki which they could take ownership of. When I mean ownership, I mean of their future.

I dunno if any of this even makes sense, it’s Friday morning and I’m tired and I’m looking for ways to procrastinate… But I guess my point is that yes I think Asian countries are becoming a LOT more Westernized and this is evident by the issues they face – issues relating to excess wastage, increased levels of brands entering the marketplace, rising industrialization and automobile production, more political dealings with Western trade partners (Australia and USA).

Comment by Age

I think Asian businesses won’t completely mimic their western counterparts. It will be a remix. We will keep certain things which we like from the west and mix them up with Asian cultural and roll them out.

Most medium and small Asian businesses use a lot of western or should I say American ‘tools’ at work and in business, like Microsoft windows to tally. Increasingly Asian businesses are doing business and coming in contact with western businesses and therefore on the outside they reflect or project / display certain ‘western’ work traits.

When people talk and have arguments they cite examples of how things are done in the west. When home grown Asian businesses look around they see huge MNC, which do behave like their global parent irrespective of where they are, mainly because there is a ‘foreign’ CEO.

Lets look at these people outside of ‘the world of work’. The content they consume, like movies are western in nature. Not just the English movies, Bollywood has incorporated a lot of western ‘work’ values. Magazines too, all this is going a long way in shaping their views on how to work and unfortunately people do think the ‘corporate world of work’ was invented in the west and is the epitome of best practices.

Now the difference :

Home grown Asian businesses believe they are successful because of they way / culture in which they work, that’s why I don’t think they’ll change completely, They will incorporate what they like from the west, but in a culturally relevant way and that’s why I say it’s remixed

I guess IBM will behave western everywhere in the world, but home grown Asian businesses won’t.

So I guess it’s what we consider to look at , the obvious big MNC or on a wider side the tons of small SMEs

Comment by bhaskar

Leave a Reply