Friday, 20 March 2009

The Easiest Way to Change People's Behavior

Peter Bregman writes this on the Harvard Business blog (click title to read).
We really liked the note. It says you can change behavior, and we buy the argument.

The reason we discussed it however is that we decided to view this note given the context of working in multinational corporations where people are all not speaking the same language...literally. Some speak English, some have French as mother tongue, others Chinese, German....and sitting folks from across the world in a meeting is a very interesting experience.

People are embarrassed to make mistakes in public. When its their language that is full of mistakes, its really hard on them. As well as on the people listening. Are people able to contribute best in a foreign language. Should all 100,000 employees undergo mandatory english language training? At what cost? (time and money). Is this compensated by better productivity? Will our competitors not leapfrog us with incremental improvements in the meanwhile? How do we measure all this?

The organisation should have a common language.

But it is not as easy to achieve this as we would like. And its a fascinating, humbling experience to bridge communication gaps in a multicultural world (or country- India).

Think about it.

Ritu and Venkat.

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