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Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The Japanese has such great teamwork. The other day as I queried about my credit card refund with the hotel receptionist, her colleague at the far end came over instantly with the documents without her prompting. It is as if they are telepathic.
Teamwork is natural to the Japanese as they spend countless hours in 'group-work'. Hardly any work gets done without first having a group discussion and consensus. This however, takes a lot of time. Something which typically takes 30 minutes to complete may extend to 6 hours in a group. But to them, it is not a drag. This is the way things have been done and it is the way it is. To an outsider like myself, I find that difficult to understand.
There is no absolute answer as to whether individually completed work or group work is better. I feel that sometimes, we should honour individual work, and at other times, group work -depending on the context and urgency. Group work takes up more time and not always better quality work. Also, work-life balance is also important. It is senseless to have strong teamwork in the company and broken relationships in the family.

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