Taïwan and the art of napping…

I just returned from a business trip in Asia including consulting a week in Taiwan, a country described as the “heart of Asia” by the National Tourist Office. No need to remember that our consumerist society depends heavily on Asian factories but this reality is even more significant with this small island. It is primarily the place of manufacture of a major part of semiconductor components (memory and other circuits with “Giga Fab” co-existing in the northern region of Hsinshu) and electronics assembly incorporating all our professional and consumers features.
I propose in this paper to expose my vision in their industrial success and some of their particularities.
Talk about the economic domain : generate business here is quite simple, easier than in Western countries: English is pretty much spoken by a large part of the population, the Taiwanese government requiring a minimum level of education integrating the English for all. Here, it is not necessary to sign contracts to start a partnership : “business first, contract after” is the rule. I’ve almost completed a supplier relationship agreement on behalf of one of my clients, after 6 months of fairly intense negotiation and the President of this subcontractor told me on the last day he did not like at all to contractualize during development stage. Trade relations are direct and the difference in mentality (Mindest) between our Western and Asian countries is less important from my perspective as in other Asian countries. I have always been surprised how quickly to establish a first professional alliance, the a priori confidence of my interlocutors to discuss a project and their warm welcome as soon as we talk business. Here it is quite easy to make the acquaintance of a family from a business partner, and this much much easier than in China, for example. I used to travel in China for the past 20 years regularly and have never managed to spend a meal with a family of a Chinese colleague, while I was able to do very naturally and promptly in Taiwan. My ignorance of the Chinese language influences certainly, but it is not so sensitive to Taiwan.

Do the Gods of the earth continue to protect this little island against severe earthquakes and other terrestrial typhoons since the tsunami will reach immediately our lifes too, even the most remote of the French coast!
Politically and socially, people like to show their cultural differences as a province of the People’s Republic of China.
As in China, religious freedom is everywhere and seems to not create any issues between different religious communities. This appears to me an interesting example for our politicians and sociologists in the dramatic episodes that crosses our society on religious extremism dangers. In Taiwan, temples abound in every city where everyone can come whenever they want. Some monastic temples are even banking office landlord, with 0% loan capital for some young start up looking for first capital to expand their business, without any contract. However, it is in the good habits that the borrower may, within a period of 1 year or so, once installed and their business is active, rembourse their debts and provide a gesture of thanks with a cash donation to the temple. Simple and effective at once!
Geographically, industrial costs contrast with the interior, very green, mountainous (Mount Yushan rises to almost 4000m altitude). The Taiwan high-speed rail- THSR ,connects the North to South in less than 2 hours … with a thermal difference of more than 15 °. I enjoyed by the way the mountain culinary specialties like chicken cooked in very large fire red wood pots and of course the flavors of the seafood on the coast. Here, as in China, everything goes very fast … it seems that the day / night cycles and week / weekend are almost identical ..

It remains a marker of life of employees that is very visible is the daily postprandial nap -usually 20 to 30 minutes. Thus, in most of companies, it is common to turn off all lights in the offices so that each employee can doze – some even bringing their lounger to lie on. It is important for any visitor to observe the pause, and not to set an appointment at that time. I am quite tempted to propose in good conditions this short break but effective sleepy by us, to enable people to breath before the second half of the afternoon. I met many cases where the urgency taking precedence over the important meetings keep coming around the lunch break, without caring for the ecology of the employee – when that remains outstanding is acceptable . When it is almost constant, this becomes mores questionable and not effective for the efficiency of the person.

So why is preventing us from not promoting a nap at work !!?

Richard, Thursday march 24th 2016

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