This Week in Asia: Humor Gone Terribly Wrong in Japan and Singapore Reply

For Immediate Release podcast #740 has gone live, and this week in Asia I discuss the perils of cross-cultural humor.  ANA airline in Japan apologizes over stereotypes in a marketing video while Singapore gets a little edgy around foolish Facebook posts from a British banker.  You can get the details about both cases by listening here.

With regards to the Singapore case, I shared my views with Asia One.

Can Corporate Reputations be Repaired Following a Serious Accounting Restatement? Latest research from Stanford GSB Reply

Relatively hot off the press, academics from Stanford an Emory business schools argue that “fence-mending” for a damaged corporate reputation, following a serious accounting restatement, should also specifically target “softer” constituents such as customers, employees and local communities.

The key, according to the paper Reputation Repair after a Serious Restatement, is building a broader base of goodwill.

Hat tip to Prof. John Davis for sharing this.

2014 Trust Barometer Results: Government Continues to Lose Trust Reply

Edelman’s 2014 message is that government continues to lose trust, but this is not all good news for business.  While business may be more trusted generally, according to Richard Edelman:

Business may interpret this as the moment to push for deregulation, as it did a decade ago. That would be a monumental error in judgment. Our research indicates a reputation hangover for business from the Great Recession of 2008. Events of the past 12 months, including a record fine of $13 billion for J.P. Morgan on the sale of troubled mortgage securities, the largest ever bankruptcy in Latin America with the failure of Eike Batista’s EBX deep-water oil drilling firm and food scandals involving antibiotics in the poultry in China, have renewed concerns about business’ ability to self-regulate.

And the conclusion?  Richard continues to say that there is public demand for regulation of business.

The most recent For Immediate Release podcast #739 also discusses the report and you can hear perspectives from Shel and Neville early in the show.

Interesting information and food for thought.  Over the next day or so I will be checking out the entire report for insights from Asia.

Gap in trust between business and government

Gap in trust between business and government

This Week in Asia: Word is That QR Codes Are Doing Well in China Reply

That’s right.  Those boxy, funny little images seem to be undergoing a bit of a revival in China according to Advertising Age.  You can listen to my update here, or check out the entire suite of For immediate Release podcasts.

If you haven’t listen to the numerous new shows on digital strategy, thought leadership, Linked In and more, you really give them a try.  Great content to nourish your mind.


Two Nice Reads for a Monday: Asia Content Consumption & Intel’s Branding in China Reply

New: report on Internet consumption in Asia and an “Intel Inside” branding campaign out of China.  Both are interesting and worth a look if you have a few free minutes in your day.

How India’s Aam Aadmi Party Leveraged Networks & Crowds for Electoral Success Reply

aam admi partyI stumbled upon a fascinating post from a professor of strategy, Phanish Puranam, describing how India’s Aam Aadmi Party achieved a stunning electoral success in Delhi by turning to networks and the power of crowds.  I must admit I completely missed this story as it developed during one of my busiest times of the year.  But you can read all about it in Beating the Incumbents with a Fraction of Their Budget.

This story illustrates several important ideas.

Key points:

  • Aam Aadmi appears to have had 1/6th the budget but still won the election
  • Their activities are purpose-driven (i.e., anti-corruption) as discussed by Dan Pink
  • Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, served as tools for organizing volunteers
  • The party gave people many ways to get involved–from homemade banners, to rickshaws as mobile billboards, and volunteer telephone call campaigns.

The localization of these efforts is fascinating–the rickshaws and such–especially because of one simple point that seems to have been overlooked in all the media coverage (at least what I read).  This success story is a textbook replica of the means that the Obama campaign used to win the democratic nomination in 2008.  I have been teaching the Obama-Clinton YouTube case for years as an example of how networks function and crowds can be mobilized.

I have also spoken with colleagues from India and I am equally intrigued that the Aam Aadmi Party is now being criticized for not delivering upon its promises quickly enough. In one news article, they are described as being out of their depth.   While the timeframe differs (i.e., much more rapid in India), the same phenomenon was seen in the US after Obama was elected.  The high tide of commitment and emotion that drove voters to the polls now appears to be a source of criticism.

Is there a risk to to the crowdsourced approach?  Do the techniques that activate a network also lead to create discontent when overwhelming success is not immediately replicated (in a completely different content, I might add)?  What must crowdsourcing protagonists know about their techniques and the risks involved?

In plain English, the skill set that got us elected is not the same skill set that allows us to govern successfully.

We now have a fantastic example from India and this one definitely will be discussed in Friday’s class.

Two Great Reads for Wednesday: History, Leadership & Corporate Culture Reply

Brain food for your Wednesday morning–numerous articles have appeared these last few weeks linking current events in Asia to the lead-up to World War 1.  Gideon Rachman in the FT delivers one of the more coherent statements of the past-present connection in his article Time to Think More About Sarajevo, Less About Munich.

Similarly, a lot has been said about Zappos and the decision to eliminate classic hierarchy.  Andrew Hill draws out some great concerns regarding the company’s decision, linking the decision to suppliers, customers and employees.  Clear and sober considerations regarding the decision and its potential consequences.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

This Week in Asia: Wal-Mart’s Donkey Meat Controversy and Crisis Triggers Every Multinational Must Know Reply

What are 4 critical crisis triggers that multinationals should know when doing business in China (and Russia)?  This week on FIR I share the story of Wal-Mart’s donkey meat scandal (China) and connect it to the latest research on crisis triggers in China and Russia.  Its a pretty good story, and as always FIR is a great show packed full of the latest information on communications, technology, and issues of the day.

You can subscribe to FIR on iTunes or visit the FIR Website for more.

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