What traits would I want in a Philippine-based Development Team?
Different cultures necessarily have different views and practices, so what is considered to be important in one culture may not be so much in another. Normally this would not matter so much, since cultural practices, unless absolutely important, are things not really expected from members of other cultures. It cannot be viewed as a real offense since members of other cultures simply don’t know about it, and generally speaking, they aren’t really obliged to do so, only as a matter of courtesy.
There are, however, some practices that cross cultural boundaries simply because they are exercises in human decency, efficiency, and shows that a person is a thinking and educated individual. Not surprisingly, these traits are also those that most, if not all, business and companies seek in an individual, as these have proven to be traits needed for a person to flourish and do well as a professional, in any field.
So what particular culture would have these traits, and how can they contribute to the betterment and improvement of a business?
Firms that specialise in business solutions and strategic improvements have done extensive research this concern, and they have deduced that these traits occur normally, albeit one by one, in different cultures. It may also be found, however, in countries where there is a significant history of cultural mixes and interactions, allowing locals to adopt the practices and traits of most of people around them. A good example of this cultural mix is found int he Philippines, a country where there is now a massive upsurge in foreign-owned business ventures flourishing quite well.
A Culture of Trust
It goes without saying that despite the best efforts of business owners, they simply cannot be on top of everything and everyone all the time. This is a fact that is maddening to those who love to micromanage, as it defeats their efforts to dictate everything that happens in the workplace. So even if a business owner is violently opposed to it, there is simply no way around the need to invest in trust when running a business, particularly if the business happens to be in another part of the world.
Those who have been to the Philippines, however, will readily tell you that this is actually no problem with the locals. Culturally speaking, the locals are big on the issue of trust. They worked hard to earn and keep it, and are quite affected in instances wherein their integrity is called into question. While there are always exceptions to the rule, a significant chunk of the people in the Philippines put a premium on the issue of trust, and it shows with how they deal with others. This has actually worked well for them, as more and more foreign-owned businesses are looking to set up operations in the country because of this. Many foreign business owners with operations in the Philippines will actually speak readily of how their trust was earned — and kept, by the locals who work for and with them.
A Culture of Learning
A huge chunk of the populace in the Philippines actually live on the borderline or even below the poverty line as set by other countries. This is one of the primary reasons why there is an immense desire in locals to complete their education, and actually strive to learn more whenever possible, just so as to be able to have a competitive edge in pursuing their goals. This drive applies to both in completing their studies, and in acquiring new skills they can use professionally as well.
As proof, of all the outsourcing companies that employ locals in the Philippines, there are quite few, if any, who complain that they have local employees who have refused to accept training or seminars. Since a lot of companies require increased skills and expertise when leveling, this desire to acquire more knowledge has worked wonderfully well for locals. Training and seminars acquired at work actually work well because the training received is in line with the work itself, rather than just being rooted in theoretical practices that have no real application.
A Culture of Ownership
Those in strategising and innovation know that the best way to encourage the personal success of an individual in relation to a project or a task is to instill a sense of ownership in them. This sense of ownership ties in directly with the very human trait associated with pride. More often than not, pride will pretty much provide that much needed personal conviction to see something through to the very end, and not just so as to be done with it, but to be sure what is completed is better than what others might produce.
There is a great dissatisfaction with the mentality some individuals display, that of the ‘one-and-done’. This ideology dictates that the sooner one get through with what they are doing, the sooner they can go do what they really want to do. This ideology is the exact opposite of having ownership of a task. Whereas ownership encourages the ‘personal’ touch and association with the doer, the ‘one-and-done- ideology forces an individual to distance themselves from what they are doing, giving them just enough tolerance for the task to finish it as soon as possible. This ideology also strongly suggests that the doer has no passion or even liking of what they are doing.
Thankfully, the locals of the Philippines is all about ownership. As with the acquisition of knowledge and skills, being entrusted with something fuels their sense of being trusted, and in their desire to earn and keep that trust, their sense of ownership in the task is further fueled.