Doing versus saying in global organizations

There are cultures in which words are just as important as deeds, and perhaps even more important than facts. In these cultures, SAYING can be more valued than DOING.

For example, Mr  Paul Reed has decided to leave the company and spend more time with his family. (Mr Reed was caught dipping his wick in the parking lot)

Or “that was a nice try”. (Not good enough)

Or “I like that idea; it could be useful”. (could be, but probably could not)

True, Shakespeare’s Bassiano pointed out what he saw as the fakeness of mere words-

So may the outward shows be least themselves:
The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts:
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
Who, inward search’d, have livers white as milk;

This having been said, words are just words in some cultures. Indeed some cultures see words without action as fake, phoney or dishonest. Words must be reflect reality if they are to be valued.

So words can both reflect and words can and obfuscate the uncomfortable.

Here are a few practical applications: if you ever have to give bad news to people where words are just words, do not sugar coat because the credibility that is lost will be longer lasting than the negative news that you are bearing.
If you ever have to give bad news to people where words must be used to perfume the pig, sweeten the taste and make things look good especially when they are not good, then apply the makeup thick.

Example, four remote locations (Phillipines, Thailand,Holland and Israel) will be merged into one, with all support functions being elimated and services to be provided hereoinin from company HQ in Raleigh, NC. In Israel and Holland, do not sell this change by stressing its economic advantages or the uniformity achieved by economy of scale. Just tell it as it is.

For the Phillipines and Thailand, use of verbal ornament can be rather useful. However, in private discussions, tell it as it is.






Share Button