November 2013: The past week has been a great learning roller coaster for me. Traveling to Singapore and Shanghai showed me two completely different cities in Asia. Cities that are different in vibrance, dynamic and culture and are certainly also different in the way they are organized. They are different from each other, but also different from other cities I have seen in the countries I have visited so far. It was a fascinating experience to get a quick flavor of these two cities and it made me regret not having scheduled more time, as there is so much more to explore.
I was in Asia to deliver a series of in-company alliance management workshops, which was a great experience. In these workshops I have also seen some interesting differences. Trust, culture and communication are essential elements in the creation of successful alliances. Discussing culture in a workshop in Asia brings different elements to the conversation than discussing culture in Europe or in the USA. Culture did came back a couple of times in all the workshops. Especially in China it became clear that culture drives how people view the importance of trust in a relationship differently than people in western countries. Performance and results come first and trust comes second, whereas in western countries we work hard to build trust and the results in our alliances will follow afterwards.
Regardless of the location, alliance communication is a universal element that in every workshop comes to people as one of the most important learning points. In tip 5 I already wrote about the importance of alliances and communication. In my workshops we always discuss tools and techniques to improve communication and in all cases I emphasize the importance of communication: make sure to communicate, communicate, communicate and when you think you have communicated sufficiently, communicate again. There are always stakeholders who have missed the communication.