Sunday, June 18, 2006

Thinking of the talent pool as Western and white is over

Chinese appliance maker Haier has been successful with its operations in South Carolina, because it has managed to "build a strong cultural linkage" with the local community.
That probably doesn't strike most of us as odd. But the ramifications of it will ultimately shake the foundations of the cultural identity that we have.
As companies become globally integrated, companies will in turn develop a common culture. Culture is key but that does not mean that IBM will have an American set of values. Each corporation will have values that are dear to their employees.

Integration and the adoption of a corporate culture does not mean homogeneity as diversity is still the mother of innovation.
South Carolina employees of Haier don't want to adopt "Chinese" values, any more than Chinese employees of American companies want to adopt "American" values. As companies develop cultures that are diverse but have a common set of values that bind employees around the world together into a common, global vision, has the "United States" or "Japan" or "Germany" become obsolete?

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