The development of a business or economy start with a vision and careful plans. There are special problems, however that Visionary Leaders and their followers must resolve. Veritas Global Development helps both leaders and their followers to realize and solve many of the micro mindset problems and macro mindset problems that cause internal conflict and hold them back. For an example of our insight and work, we share our perspective about and current challenges in Asia.
According to the World Bank's recent Global Outlook report for 2017, China and India are the fastest growing economies among the superpower nations. China's eminence is known all around the world, and India's growth will be discussed further below. Other East Asian countries, such as Japan and the Four Asian Tigers (South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore), created rapid advancement and are also the most economically and academically competitive in the world.
Sometimes the number and size of skyscrapers in a city provides an indication of the modernization and economy of that city. East Asian countries have seven of the ten cities with the most skyscrapers, ranging from Singapore's 81 skyscrapers to Hong Kong's record setting 303 skyscrapers which outpaces second place New York which has 237 skyscrapers. The other East Asian cities with the most skyscrapers include Shanghai, Tokyo, Chongquing, Guangzhou, and Shenzen. Who would have envisioned that many Asian cities would have far more skyscrapers than the American cities which got a head start?
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Countries like these have educated and motivated people. If their national and corporate leaders want their students and workers to produce further success around the world, Veritas provides language tutors and coaches for presentations.
"Operating a company in China is like mountain climbing..." Huang Nubo, an avid mountain climber who is the Founder and Chairman of the Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group
Resistance Against a Beneficial Vision
None of those countries looked like modern superpowers one century ago. In fact, they had actually struggled with the proposition of Western modernization for centuries. The civilizations in India, China, and Japan their own remarkable discoveries (i.e. tea, cotton, silk, spices, etc.), inventions (i.e. the decimal, the cotton gin, the printing press, and tissue paper), innovations, and business practices. They produced high quality goods (i.e. textiles, porcelain, lacquer, etc.) conducted flourishing international trade, shared cultures, and borrowed ideas with each other for two millennia. Imperial China opened and tried to maintain a Silk Road to conduct trade with Europe and the Middle East. These countries enjoyed European goods, Western trade, and Western ideas. So what held them back from modernization? What later caused some people in India, China, and Japan to attack Westerners with insurrections in an attempt to rid their countries of them?
Five of the many causes of resistance against a beneficial vision include the following: 1. The mistake of thinking that a proposed improvement and vision of development is not necessary. 2. The mistake of making a decision based superficially upon taste instead of need and modification. 3. The mistake of unnecessarily clouding issues of identity, culture, religion, and politics. 4. The reality of sociopolitical temperament against certain efforts to change. 5. The reality of cultural, religious, and/or political clashes.
"India has probably lost its position to China as the world's workshop. At the same time, it has the power to be ahead of China when it comes to knowledge... our challenge is to invest sufficiently in education." Ratan Tata, former Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group, current Board Member at USC, Cornell, and Harvard
Japan: The First Asian Country to Modernize
One century ago, Japan was the only country that was beginning to look modern in any way. In 1905, Japan thoroughly defeated Russia in a war regarding control over Manchuria and Korea. But Japan had only started modernization in 1868.
When Europeans first visited Japan in 1542, the Japanese allowed them to start the lucrative Nanban and Komo trade. The Japanese and Europeans were fascinated with each other and exchanged ideas. Japan was more urbanized and more literate than European countries of that time. The Japanese quickly learned how to make Spanish galleon ships, and they reproduced the Portuguese "arquebus," a match-lock rifle. In fact, the Japanese mass-produced so many arquebus that they quickly created and used more rifles in Japan than existed in Europe. When Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenage, the second Japanese ambassador to Europe, visited France, a French lady wrote that the locals were amazed by the Japanese invention of tissue paper. After 7 years travelling through Europe and Central America, Tsunenage returned in 1620 with gifts and spoke with admiration of the marvels that he saw in Europe. The Japanese recorded: "Many of his descriptions of the [European] countries, and the meaning of Rokuemon's declarations were surprising and extraordinary."
The response from Japanese leadership was swift. Instead of continuing or increasing their trade with the Europeans, they first punished Ambassador Tsunenaga and increased the persecution of those who identified with Westerners. The ambassador's possessions were taken, and his family and servants were either slain or dispersed. Eventually, the Shogun created the isolationist policy of Sakoku that banned trade with most Europeans. Both the ambassadors Daimyo and Shogun may have been concerned about issues of identity, culture, religion, and politics. For they even gave up making and using the match-lock rifles which they had used to gain power. This is detailed in Giving Up the Gun by Professor Noel Perrin of Dartmouth College. However, the Japanese continued limited and guarded trade with the Dutch during the Sakoku, and the Japanese continued to study various Western advances such as Dutch medicine and microbiology.
After Commodore Matthew Perry reopened Japanese trade with the West (not a single shot was fired, for the Japanese saw how advanced the American ships were), the Japanese Meiji Imperial Court created a new vision and decided upon a broad program of modernization. They finally realized that modern vision with Western advances did not necessarily mean that they had to give up their identity, culture, religion, or political arrangements. If one visits Japan, one can still experience many of the traditional ways, for tradition blended with modernization without obliterating Japanese identity. Meanwhile, because the Japanese had been studying Western science, they quickly sent prominent students to Europe. Japanese scientists accomplished many medical discoveries before the year 1900. Since then, Japanese pharmaceuticals have arisen.
After the Japanese national leadership settled their vision, their businesses and their people matched it with diligent work. Many can recall how the numerous Japanese automobile, computer, and electronic corporations began to surpass American companies in the 1980s with their own types of highly regarded quality.
"I was born in the dark. I went out into the light, and, your Majesty, it is my displeasure to inform you that I have returned to the dark. (But) I envision a Seoul of towering buildings filled with Western establishments that will place herself back above the Japanese. Great things lie ahead for this kingdom, great things. We must take action, your Majesty, without hesitation, to further modernize this still ancient kingdom." Envoy Min Yeong-Ik's report to Empress Myeongseong of Korea upon his return from San Francisco (September 1883)
Seoul, South Korea
South Korea: "The Miracle on the Han River"
After the devastation of the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries. In the early 1970s, the country was still reliant upon support from other nations. Thus, rise of South Korea may seem like a miracle, but it began in the 1870s.
The historical truth is that Empress Myeongseong and her cousin Min Yeong-Ik held a vision of a modern Korea one hundred years prior, a vision beyond what Yeong-Ik had witnessed in the United States. To reach that vision, the Empress developed a thorough plan. Previously, the Empress had sent two missions (in 1877 and 1881) to study modernization in Japan. Although the Korean cities of Seoul and Busan had once been international metropolitan centers that dwarfed Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka, now it was the reverse. Furthermore, the Chinese delegation in Japan confided to the Korean mission that China was falling, but they thought Korea had a chance and advised the Koreans to modernize.
Empress Myeongeong distributed copies of a Chinese book called Korean Strategy, but her vision and plan met stiff resistance from the aristocratic civil servants and military officers. In a joint response to the empress, they wrote in a memorandum that the book and her ideas were merely abstract theories that could not be put into practice. In turn, they demanded the destruction of foreign books and a policy of isolationism in contrast to what the Japanese were doing.
The Empress survived a rebellion in 1882 and continued with her government, business, and education reforms. She invited Americans to teach in American schools, she enlisted American military advisors, she brought Sir Robert Hart over from China to transform foreign trade and business practices, and she revamped Korean agriculture with the help of Germans and Americans. She opened Korea up to the steam engine, electricity, the telegraph, and other devices. The Empress was later assassinated in 1895 at the age of forty-five for her attempts at modernization, and Korea therefore remained under the tug of war of China, Russia, and Japan in the following decades, but her vision and plan lived on.
As the people suffered in poverty, Prime Minister Chang Myon encouraged his people with a vision of a "Miracle on the Han River" based upon the "Miracle on the Rhine" that referred to the German economic recovery following World War Two. Chang Myon created a series of Five Year Plans that were then implemented by the subsequent government leader. In their suffering, the South Koreans realized they needed individual excellence and group development to develop a "miracle." Today, South Korean companies like Samsung dominate high definition television and smart phone industries while LG corporation builds a growing market share in smart phones and home appliances.
"I want Infosys to be a place where people of different genders, nationalities, races, and religous beliefs work together in an environment of intense competition but utmost harmony, courtesy, and dignity to add more and more value to our customers day after day." Narayana Murthy, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Infosys
India and Indonesia: The Awaking Giant and the Slumbering Giant
For the purposes of learning about Visionary Leadership, both India and Indonesia have interesting similarities to note:
Both are huge: India is called a subcontinent and Indonesia's archipelago is the largest with more than 17,000 islands.
Both are diverse: their various ethnic and racial groups speak a multitude of completely unrelated languages.
Both are very populous: India is the 2nd most populous country while Indonesia is the 4th most populous country.
Both have significant biotic resources: Indonesia enjoys lush vegetation and rich volcanic soil for its tea, coffee, fruit, rice, and rubber. India has the second largest amount of arable land and remains a major agricultural exporter.
Both have significant abiotic resources: India has considerable minerals while Indonesia has minerals and oil.
Both were exposed not only to European modernity but were also raised with European-style business, education, and rule: India was ruled by the British East India Company for 100 years before it was ruled by the British Crown for 80 years. Indonesia was loosely ruled by the Dutch East Indies Company for 350 years.
Both countries have people who have a distaste for their previous colonial rulers.
India and Indonesia have important contrasts as well. India has a famous traditional culture, but it also the largest film industry in the world (Bollywood) and many world famous industrial and computer firms. For instance, India's Infosys is known for its huge employee-centered campuses that function as miniature cities with an abundance of recreational facilities for its tech employees. India also built a dynamic medical tourism industry worth more than $3 billion.
Indonesia also has a fascinating traditional culture, but its distinct strengths remain in its abundant natural resources that include petroleum and the greatest amount of tropical islands, diverse fauna, coral reefs, and challenging surf. Despite these advantages and the fact that both India and Indonesia it along the busiest trade route in the world, India is understandably emerging as a superpower and great economy whereas Indonesia is still reliant upon foreign help.
Improving India and Indonesia
The island nation of Indonesia has enormous resources, beauty, and potential man power. It could expand tourism way beyond the famous resort island of Bali. Yet, it stands in stark contrast with Singapore which sits just across the Straits of Malacca. It is as if they merely watch great opportunities sail past each day. Although the Dutch had brought engineering, science, education, and cities, the Indonesians rejected Dutch methods and education when they gained independence. Indonesia has dropped out of OPEC twice, and it has become a net importer of oil. Earlier this year, the President of Indonesia bemoaned the fact that Saudi Arabia invested far more money in China than in Indonesia. Their leaders and people still have great opportunities because of their prime location and abundant natural resources, but a country like Indonesia must become thoroughly visionary, educated, and follow a plan toward success with effective management.
Although they lacked resources and manpower, The Four Tigers had realized that education would provide their countries and city-states with success. With the evidence of their growth, India realizes that it must improve education. Indians are generally known for studying and working very hard. India has produced Visionary Leaders, prominent academicians, and leading scientists, and many countries benefit from their doctors and IT specialists. But many officials have remained corrupt while many people remained fixated upon their the status and conflicts of their cultures. Countries like India need a population that can improve its cultural mindset so that all of its people can participate and improve their well-being.
"But vision alone is not enough, for it has to be transmitted into the operating practices of the institution. Lofty goals that are not eventually implemented lead to cynicism and hypocrisy... Any group of people working toward a common goal is held together by a combination of two motives; self-interest and common interest. The former can be bought by external incentives: pay, promotion, prestige. The latter motive, common interest, must be earned through a demonstration of respect for the value of the members of the team... that the rules of the organization are fairly applied, that their contribution is recognized." Psychology Professor Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Good Business
The Veritas Solution
Sometimes, a people who resist change can be carried upon the coat tails of visionary success. However, they slow down progress. Moreover, if there are too many people, there isn't enough room upon the coat tails of the Visionary Leader. Others fight the beneficial Vision and beneficial changes. They might not at first, but then they eventually limit progress.
Veritas Global Development helps leaders develop the psychology to settle problems with other leaders so that a vision can be agreed upon and planned carefully. Veritas Global Development also helps a people by improving their understanding of their potential, their management, the perspectives for success, and the common mistakes that prevent success.