Saturday, September 17, 2011

WM # 12: West Meets East

I went to the Academy of Management Annual meeting in San Antonio Texas at the end of August. The theme was East Meets West with over seven thousand participants - management geeks like me - from across the globe. It was a fascinating and enriching experience where collaboration and networking between countries was definitely the pursuit. I met an interesting professor from Meiji University in Tokyo Japan. I think I was meant to meet him because our paths crossed twice in exactly the same place and twice in one day. I invited him to dinner. He teaches diversity and communications. He has been contracted by the US military to discuss his perspective on how to effectively communication with other cultures. He is preparing to teach and consult at the American University in Washington D.C. later this year. These were some of things I learned from him during our short time:

1. Be brave enough to explore controversial topics and ask people questions about it - even if you are not from the area (He decided to study the cultural perspective of Barack Obama's leadership style by asking citizens from Virginia - he went door to door with his survey.)
2. Teach and speak like a rock star (He wasn't afraid to be enthusiastic about his topic. I was immediately drawn to his energy and excitement. His average class size at Meiji University is over 1000 students! From what he told me - they love him! I know I did!).
3. Be willing to discuss your ideas while also promoting your own work. (He was not fearful of discussing and promoting his own work. I'm often reluctant to do this because I don't want to come off as arrogant. He was so excited to share his ideas and what he was working on you couldn't help but want to read what he had done.)
Japanese symbol for "Friendship"

Here is the link to my friend Dr. Motoo Unno's work :

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