On Expediency

The goal of this short post is to put the term under a magnifying glass for a few short minutes. Many Asian and Middle Eastern based people view North American based managers as overly “expedient”. In some language such as Hebrew,  the word expediency does not exist. Expediency is not universally valued.

I will define “expediency” as functional to the purpose at hand,adhered to for the sense of practicality.

Examples of Expediency:

Corporate declares 20% downsizing within a month. Many managers push back really hard. Steve says, “Come on guys, this whining is not going to get us anywhere-let’s talk about how to do it”.

Samuel believes that a customer request is very destructive to the product road map. His boss Tony says, “Sam, the customer is the customer. Just do it”.

The folks in the newly acquired Helsinki site believe that corporate wants to transfer their technology to Harbin, China and they are fighting tooth and nail. Their manager Fred tells them not to fight city hall and ensures them that they “will get new and exciting stuff to do.”

How do “others” often view  North American expediency?

1) As untrustworthy because of the willingness to compromise too early

2) As an unwillingness to stand up up for important things; lacking principles

3) As weak

If you add to this expediency the perceived willingness of North American managers to move on to promote their careers (and share this motive so freely), one can understand that the background for a lot of trust issues-which lead to feelings of uncertainty in remote sites, causing a lot of political maneuvering “to find someone in HQ who we can rely on”.

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6 thoughts on “On Expediency

  1. The concept of “expediency” could be related to how “time” is held in different cultures. If that were the case, then time is more than than just what words are used or are present/absent from a language. I am curious, Allon: Is there a conjugation of words and context in Hebrew which would express the concept of “Expediency” as you define it even though the word “expediency” is absent form Hebrew?

  2. Companies have sets of rules to follow considering different cultures…systematic
    ways to achieve the best results.But it is always a reality that there are times that
    we will break the rules..thus..contingencies must be prepared.Yes..a decision to take the risk ..for the benefit of the majority.

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