©

Samenwerking tussen Yin en Jan
贤和扬之作

Collaboration between Yin and Jan

Hong Kong onterecht gezien als
“Easy Asia”
©

Welkom!

Ilse Kerling
• 13 jaar Azië, waarvan 11.5 in Hong Kong
• 10 jaar bedrijfsleven in Azië, bedrijven en business ...
©

Waarom dit onderzoek?

3
©

Where is the growth?
(source: McKinsey)

Over the next 15 years, 440 emergingmarket cities will generate nearly half of...
©

Megapoles 2025

5
©

Onderscheidende waardeproposities

6
©

Vertalen zich niet altijd internationaal

Waar bedrijven ooit vanuit een outside
in strategie begonnen, vallen ze
inter...
©

Kerling Consulting’s visie

Hèt onderwerp de komende 20 jaar wordt het vinden van de
globale consument. Innovatie komt ...
©

Study Background

9
©

Study Background and Objectives
Asia Business Culture (ABC) is a collaboration between three companies that
identified ...
©

Study Objectives
Our key objective is to delve into the two working cultures and emerge with an
understanding of what d...
©

Asia Business Culture (ABC) Company
Background
Experts in their fields, the ABC team each bring their respective streng...
©

Participating companies

13
©

The Value and Importance of Culture

14
©

Culture’s Valuable and Malleable Lens
Culture impacts how we view the world and those around us, and in turn how we are...
©

Unfortunately, Cultural Differences are
Overlooked at the Broader Level

You live in a bit of a bubble outside the worl...
©

Most Importantly Culture is Overlooked and
Undervalued at a Corporate Level
Organisations
Underestimate

Travelling Ind...
©

Therefore, Coping Strategies Are Learnt
Through Informal Methods
Predominantly, informal methodologies are utilised wit...
©

Unfortunately, These Informal Methods Have
Mixed Results
I guess expats may be lost with
Cantonese and also wonder if t...
©

The Balancing Act of Expatriates

20
©

Pressure Exist to Delivery Quickly from Both
‘Parents’
Even for the most ‘prepared’ of Dutch expatriate workers, it see...
©

The Pressure of Pleasing HQ & Local
With the Dutch expatriate caught in between, there seems to be
much pressure on fac...
©

More feedback on HQ
The Dutch are very friendly
but distant; difficult to build a
relationship with. (HKCF)

Dutch
Head...
©

Hulp nodig bij het versterken van de
samenwerking met Azië?
Neem contact op met dè Aziatische zakencultuur specialist:
...
©

Asia Business Culture

Maximising Your International Success
Through Effective Relationships
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Dialogues house hk not easy asia handouts

  1. 1. © Samenwerking tussen Yin en Jan 贤和扬之作 Collaboration between Yin and Jan Hong Kong onterecht gezien als “Easy Asia”
  2. 2. © Welkom! Ilse Kerling • 13 jaar Azië, waarvan 11.5 in Hong Kong • 10 jaar bedrijfsleven in Azië, bedrijven en business units opgezet en regionale teams geleid Kerling Consulting • Overbruggen cultuurverschillen tussen Westen en Azië door middel van consultancy, workshops en lezingen • Doel: vergroten en versnellen van succes Nederlandse bedrijven in Azië 2
  3. 3. © Waarom dit onderzoek? 3
  4. 4. © Where is the growth? (source: McKinsey) Over the next 15 years, 440 emergingmarket cities will generate nearly half of global GDP growth and 40 percent of global consumption growth 4
  5. 5. © Megapoles 2025 5
  6. 6. © Onderscheidende waardeproposities 6
  7. 7. © Vertalen zich niet altijd internationaal Waar bedrijven ooit vanuit een outside in strategie begonnen, vallen ze internationaal in de valkuil om over te gaan op inside out – zowel met betrekking tot producten alsook processen. 7
  8. 8. © Kerling Consulting’s visie Hèt onderwerp de komende 20 jaar wordt het vinden van de globale consument. Innovatie komt uit emerging markets, minder uit HQ. Bedrijven moeten genoeg ruimte geven voor lokale entrepreneurship maar tegelijkertijd hun multinationale krachten benutten. Dicteren maar vooral faciliteren. De impact van cultuurverschillen worden onderschat. 8
  9. 9. © Study Background 9
  10. 10. © Study Background and Objectives Asia Business Culture (ABC) is a collaboration between three companies that identified a learning opportunity between Dutch and Hong Kong Chinese cultures: More than three decades of combined experience working with the Dutch and Hong Kong Chinese (in Hong Kong and the Netherlands) The ABC team sees an opportunity in practically understanding cultural collaboration, specifically focussing on the Dutch and Hong Kong Chinese cultures Focussing on Hong Kong (HK) provides the opportunity to study communication flows on multiple levels: 1. HK as a regional office and Global HQ 2. HK and other Asia Pacific offices 3. HK as a Greater China office and Chinese offices 4. Dutch and Hong Kong Chinese employees within the HK office itself Therefore, our key objective is to delve into the two working cultures and emerge with an understanding of what drives collaborative success 10
  11. 11. © Study Objectives Our key objective is to delve into the two working cultures and emerge with an understanding of what drives collaborative success Wanting to go beyond cultural theory, the ABC team's goals are to discover: 1. How the Dutch and Hong Kong Chinese cultures work together 2. The level of cultural awareness that exists 3. The potential scope for improvement 4. Existing best and worst practices With this in mind our objectives and discussion guide cover the following: Experience and background of individuals Impressions of own and other country’s culture, strengths and weaknesses Perceptions of company culture Pathway to role / Dutch company / Hong Kong Role of expatriate, from positioning and expectations through to good and bad examples Relationships with headquarters and ‘parent’ culture Preparations, coping methods, support and development Problem solving techniques to overcome any communication differences Breaking down the cultures / failures/ problems / difficulties Building up the cultures / synergies / successes 11
  12. 12. © Asia Business Culture (ABC) Company Background Experts in their fields, the ABC team each bring their respective strengths and experiences to deliver combined quality Radar Global Business to Business and Customer Experience/Satisfaction Research Specialist service provider across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Experts at capturing and conveying high quality opinion, attitude, awareness and outlook using breakthrough technology and people. Kerling Consulting Intercultural Training and Consultancy Assists Multinationals in enhancing communication and teamwork between Dutch and North-East Asian cultures. Experts in businessfocussed intercultural training that create understanding & respect. Bulb Research Bespoke International Qualitative and Quantitative Research Supporting clients in strategic decisions through key insights and knowledge of products, consumers and markets. Translating knowledge across markets and cultures into tangible business results. 12
  13. 13. © Participating companies 13
  14. 14. © The Value and Importance of Culture 14
  15. 15. © Culture’s Valuable and Malleable Lens Culture impacts how we view the world and those around us, and in turn how we are viewed by others Whilst individuals feel they understand themselves and their culture, there tends to be less awareness of how some traits may be viewed by others and what consequences this may hold I’m not sure what they think. I guess Hong Kong people would say that Dutch people are nice people. Welcoming, friendly. That’s it really (NLM) Inevitably, when two cultures come together challenges present themselves for both parties involved. But its those individuals that look to building bridges that reap the greatest benefits The advice I would give is try to understand the culture and don’t try to change it. Try to learn about it and accept that it’s a fundamentally different background (NLM) 15
  16. 16. © Unfortunately, Cultural Differences are Overlooked at the Broader Level You live in a bit of a bubble outside the world, its Asian but not Asian, its very comfortable (NLM) Its really not that different. Really easy to adapt and convenient (NLF) If you can run a business all over the world then Hong Kong can’t be that difficult (NLM) Hong Kong is a very easy environment to work in. People are pretty straight forward as you go through the process, you behave as you are (NLM) Don’t mistake Hong Kong as easy Asia and therefore not try as hard to respect the culture and the differences (HKCF) Be open to learning and don’t use a ‘this is all the same Asia’ brush. It’s like going to France and treating them as you would the Germans (HKCF) They think they understand Asia because they have lived in Asia before. But not all Asia is the same. And they should come in thinking I don’t know anything about Hong Kong. Let’s get stuck into it together (HKCM) It’s still very Chinese which I think people forget (NLF) 16
  17. 17. © Most Importantly Culture is Overlooked and Undervalued at a Corporate Level Organisations Underestimate Travelling Individuals Unprepared A sentiment exists that there is little to no support for cultural differences On the whole individuals feel they were unprepared for their international assignments Practical elements tend to be in place for those moving to Hong Kong, but cultural intelligence preparation and development are missing Any preparation tends to be insufficient either being: • Too theoretical • At the wrong time • By the wrong people There is an expectation that working with a foreigner requires no cultural adjustment. This is particularly significant for those companies that have rotation systems in existence There is no support for you to deal with cross-cultural communication. Staff would need to learn about the differences through experience themselves (HKCF) The only training was with an American Chinese lady who commented on getting a hair cut, a facial and wearing high heels (NLF) I’ve worked with Dutch people now for 14 years and I’ve had to learn through trial and error. I can’t say I know them completely yet (HKCM) The company has offered courses to expat colleagues who take on international postings. But there isn’t anything for us who deal with expats (HKCF) Local Team Wholly Neglected The largest deficiency seems to be in preparation of any local members There was no preparation beforehand. I guess they felt I didn’t need it (NLF) Before I moved, I had a meeting in Hong Kong and told everyone what I wanted to see done. A colleague, who lived here, informed me after that I had made people feel seriously inadequate by being so direct (NLM) I had no idea about Dutch people…I tried to get to know more once I joined to learn about their life and how they do business. No one told me. There was no guide or person to guide me. So I just went on the internet to get more information (HKCF) 17
  18. 18. © Therefore, Coping Strategies Are Learnt Through Informal Methods Predominantly, informal methodologies are utilised with varying success: Potential for Mistakes Stereotyping The colleagues would say I'm European and not Dutch - but then we don't interact enough for them to know (NLF) You learn this from others when you encounter problems (NLM) The internet was useful but it was mostly clichés – chocolate, clogs, windmills (HKCF) My perception of Dutch culture? Mostly just things I heard from friends. They like to follow rules and are efficient? (HKCM) Word of Mouth (friends, colleagues) Experience With a lack of any formal preparation both cultures fall back on stereotypes and word of mouth. These methods can be particularly dangerous as they often result in inaccurate information and missed opportunities for connection Online Research and Reading Books Trial and Error Very natural learning methods that bring success, especially for the particularly astute individuals. However, they are also fraught with mistakes (of all magnitudes) I see a lot of foreign managers make mistakes such as having their preconceived views about Hong Kong staff and making decisions on this information alone (NLF) Observation Rarely used methods that rely heavily on personal interpretation and application Currently no method manages to provide success without dangerous pitfalls Potential for Success 18
  19. 19. © Unfortunately, These Informal Methods Have Mixed Results I guess expats may be lost with Cantonese and also wonder if the locals are talking or gossiping about them. Well I guess that, because once I had a boss who didn't allow the colleagues to speak in Cantonese... the local colleagues are not happy about that (HKCM) First management meeting I asked “what do you think?”. I stepped into the biggest trap. I got no response. Never again (NLF) They (Dutch) won’t change themselves or their product to please the market. They think their product is so good and they don’t want to change it or they don’t assess the needs in Hong Kong. It leads to so many missed chances (HKCF) When senior management came the Hong Kong people were given questions to ask so it wasn't embarrassing. I guess it was more polite to not cause embarrassment (NLF) If you find the right formula you can make miracles happen here. It’s a great place to get things done and move forward (NLM) Hong Kong is almost like the new America. It feels like anything is possible (NLM) You often see the Dutch business people, and they always come back very enthusiastically. They always feel they have been successful. They’ve had lots of nice talks. But you won’t easily hear a no. It’s a weak point of the Dutch in general is that we cannot translate the yes or no of other cultures. We find out one day of course, when the deal doesn’t come through (NLM) 19
  20. 20. © The Balancing Act of Expatriates 20
  21. 21. © Pressure Exist to Delivery Quickly from Both ‘Parents’ Even for the most ‘prepared’ of Dutch expatriate workers, it seemingly takes a year to get settled into Hong Kong, the role and to begin to add true value Most can adapt in a year or so (HKCM) Proving Yourself Dutch Headquarters Getting Settled Pressure from Headquarters for fast results to prove performance and to justify the investment (all felt to be within a one year period) Pressure to learn the local complexities and build relationships with local staff, customers and partners (taking around one year) HQ Pressure on Local Team Hong Kong Culture Pressure The pressure for a Dutch expatriate to prove themselves is well known by the Hong Kong team. This inadvertently puts stress and concern on the local team regarding forthcoming pressures and potential changes Its not possible to make an immediate impact in Hong Kong. Relationship building is crucial and takes time to build up. This push and pull between local time and HQ proof places great pressure on Dutch expatriates Local Hong Kong Office It took me about 12 months to fully understand the Hong Kong culture as well as the local complexities of the job. Only after a year did I feel confident that I could set a strategy that was on the mark (NLM) 21
  22. 22. © The Pressure of Pleasing HQ & Local With the Dutch expatriate caught in between, there seems to be much pressure on facilitating communications between the two Dutch Headquarters I would tell HQ that you don't understand Asia if you're not here (NLF) It is very hard to explain to HQ. Sorry we have xyz (Chinese festival or holiday) happening, so we can’t get things done. But HQ don't care about xyz (NLF) Its important for Dutch people to come over to Asia. If you don’t open it up then you become a bit of an island within the organisation. The familiarity of HQ in terms of what’s happening in Asia is not there and you lose the contact (NLM) Local Hong Kong Office They are so used to listening to the boss and saying yes. So when a call comes in from HQ they have the tendency to drop everything. I have to step in and check if this is a priority really (NLF) HQ in general are extremely rude. Okay there is a cultural gap and sometimes a language gap and you have Dutch people being overpowering and direct. But I really regularly have to say (to HQ) ‘do you know how offensive you are?’ (NLF) In HQ they keenly consult all and reach a consensus but Hong Kong people hate it . They just want a clear direction. Yes or no – you’re the boss, you decide. So HQ communicates are difficult and they struggle. They prefer to go through me as a bridge. The translator between HQ and local (NLF) 22
  23. 23. © More feedback on HQ The Dutch are very friendly but distant; difficult to build a relationship with. (HKCF) Dutch Headquarters Personally, it is most important that there is not so much politics. I really dislike it that people are fighting with each other. So Dutch companies are good because they are direct and open (HKCM) Our HQ is in Europe, all directions and decisions are made there. They forget to communicate those to the rest of the region because they have more important things to do (NLF) HQ is very Eurocentric. You want your day to day work to add value to their work but they don't understand Asia and you get the feeling they don't want to understand it (HKCM) Working in the Netherlands is a shock. You are ignored most of the time. People behave like individuals. It doesn’t fit with me (HKCM) Local Hong Kong Office I had no idea that the company was so large. When I visited the Netherlands, I saw the company’s bank branches, ATM machines and logo everywhere! (HKCF) The office here is very different from the Netherlands. Very entrepreneurial, very fast, very customer orientated. They don’t like to follow procedures. They just focus on getting things done. Sometimes things go very wrong, but sometimes very right (NLM) At HQ, most employees are men, less women in HQ office. However people are very respectful despite the gender difference. (HKCF) 23
  24. 24. © Hulp nodig bij het versterken van de samenwerking met Azië? Neem contact op met dè Aziatische zakencultuur specialist: Kerling Consulting 020 752 0721 info@kerlingconsulting.com Ilse Kerling 06 4619 0513 ilse@kerlingconsulting.com 24
  25. 25. © Asia Business Culture Maximising Your International Success Through Effective Relationships
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