This case is about implementation of a new “shared vision” concept within The Analog Division of Motorola Company. In 1993 Analog division was a major manufacturer of analog products in the world and had its divisions in many different countries. In other words the division had strong global presence. In order to create more efficient global company, Alison and John have decided to develop new shared vision within The Analog Division where managers would be involved directly and indirectly in the decision making process.
Before the new vision development, Analog Division and its managers was very limited in decision making. Because they had such a strong global presence their vision didn’t work. The problem was that they were not open to new global ideas or possible obstacles where managers around the world would make decisions together. Visioning process of Motorola’s Analog Division had number of cultural challenges. One of the challenges was the difference in the way different cultures perceived concept of “shared vision”.
One of the key words in the vision statement was “family” and “union”. For instance, people in China take the word “family” literally and in their own setting this word is not appropriately applicable to vision statement. Another challenge was getting managers to think globally and get accustomed to the concept of shared vision. Many of the managers from different countries had their own cultural ways of doing things and to open ones ideas to others was hard to achieve. Alison and John had hard time communicating to managers that this idea is not imposed on them.
The major barrier in the vision implementation was the language. Sometimes, the same words in one language have very different meaning in another. The following quote is good example of the language and communication style perception: “Good communication American style is to say what you mean precisely, in as straightforward a manner as possible. Be direct, get to the point, and say what the bottom line is. For other cultures, this style is rude, abrasive and self-centered”. (http://www. frugalmarketing. com/dtb/xcultcomm. html) Therefore, Alison and John were trying to be careful about this issue. They had vision statement written in five different languages. The important thing was that the vision statement was not just literally translated but rather adjusted to its own culture so people of that division have clear understanding of the vision. First cultural misstep that Alison and John made was their lack of research prior to the task. They have conducted research regarding managers and the ways they communicate decisions overseas.
They also gained insight of the success of each division but what they failed to consider some of the psychological cultural differences. They overlooked possibility of different reactions among the managers based on their background. For instance, some managers were afraid to lose their jobs where in fact that was not the case. We can see that from this quote” Every culture possesses a unique mixture of attitudes, values, and social expectations. I think that Seven Tasks process definitely added significant value to the final results.
The way the tasks were broken down helped both, managers and Alison to have a better grasp of the vision statement process. It was easier to account for details and to adjust to reactions by going through steps. Phase four will definitely be challenging one. Working in a group is one thing but agreeing on the process could be challenging especially where different cultures are agreeing on one thing. Another additional challenge is taking the vision to the future and building upon it.
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