Transforming a company culture in 9 hours

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

It has been a week already. Last Wednesday I landed in Hong Kong. This is the first place of this trip where I am for the second time. It is strange for me to see familiar things and meet familiar faces. But it is nice too.

Basically I am reconnecting with the people I met last year and following up on tips and leads. I feel very good. My lesson from New York is helping me. I decided to not let expectations and high hopes get the best of me. I don’t want to worry about money. I didn’t earn even close to how much I had in mind and I still had a great time. I have been traveling for 14 months and if I look at my ‘problems’ and ‘challenges’ objectively it was a walk in the park. The Universe really did take care of me and good things did happen. I did turn up at the right place on the right moment. So I guess I get exactly what I need or deserve. It would be good practice for me to gracefully receive life the way it presents it to me.

Today I visited the company that I worked for last year. 9 months ago they gave me the assignment to try to transform the introversion of a large part of their staff. It is a well-known cultural problem in Hong Kong companies: the introversion of the Chinese part of the staff versus the extraversion of the Western part of the staff. I found during my work here that the discrepancy is caused by deep-rooted differences in the way children are brought up in China and in the west. This combined with my experience that the effects of a workshop can be temporary, especially when people did not sign up out of free will, made that I would not have been surprised if the results of my efforts would have been hard to measure. But this was not the news I received. The managing director told me that the problem had completely and permanently vanished! Wow! We created lasting change by doing 3 consecutive 3-hour workshops! I am so proud!

There are so many things that are important to me. It does not only prove that people can change but that even a problem ‘impossible to solve’ can be solved. It also proves to me that ‘one man can make a difference’. This was one of the questions I asked myself before I left Amsterdam. And it is of course a very valuable ‘best case’ for my client, for me and for the other businesses in Hong Kong who face similar challenges. We now know it can be done.

This week I will talk to 2 other entrepreneurs. I will be interesting. If I will be asked to take on similar tasks the question will be if I can perform the same magic again. I spoke one of them on the phone today and I realized that it will not be exactly the same situation as I have seen before.

I find it thrilling to see my agenda fill up. I am keeping my fingers crossed because one never knows. But it seems that I am finding my way in Hong Kong once again.

PS: The cafe latte kicks ass here. Better than NYC or LA, hands down. Check this out:


  1. christopher says

    This is fantastic news. Congratulations. Not everyone can provide measurable results. Well done and best wishes on your next endeavors. I have appreciated your sharing of your journey, highs & lows. Cheers. Peace, dear Atalwin.

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