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June 21, 2006

Tian'an Men (The Gate of Heavenly peace)

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Here is our group in Tiananmen Square after touring the entire Forbidden City from the North gate and finishing here at the South Gate or Gate of Heavenly Peace in the background.

This is an immense area that is centered in the middle of Beijing. This is a cultural center of Beijing and is a symbol of the new China.

Our guide, "Super Ben", gave us many facts, figures, stories and anecdotes along the way.
Please feel free to add any of your memories or thoughts about this area here.

June 20, 2006

America Listening and Kampala Project.

Here are some links to a couple of websites/blogs that are international and humantarian in context. Both are indirectly related to our China trip from a humanistic perspective.

America Listening was just completed this last winter and spring. It is relatively self-explanatory. This may be on PBS as a documentary in the next few months.

The Kampala Project is work that is being done through Vanderbilt University in Africa that a friend of mine is participating in.

If anybody has any other interesting sites, pictures comments, etc, feel free to attach in a comment, or e-mail to me.

June 11, 2006

Links for information on Blogs, Teaching tools, CMC's, etc,.

I've listed these for references to using blogs and other types of CMC.

Please feel free to add additional references, ideas, suggestions in the comments section of this entry. I can then edit and add to this entry for others to refer to.

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ways.html

https://wiki.umn.edu/twiki/bin/view/UThink/WebHome

http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/index.html

http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/pff/index.html

June 7, 2006

Visit to Motorola University in Beijing China; Dr. Baiyan Yang, Mr. Lee Liu and Dr. Rosemarie Park

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Motorola University, Maxyee Group and Shanxi Printing Corporation

These were visits to two different organizations that were based in Beijing and Xian respectively.

Motorola University
Motorola established itself in China in 1987 and has over 9000 employees throughout China. Currently they have over 8.9 billion RNB in sales per year with over 16 Research and Development Centers throughout China.

We visited Motorola University and were given an overview of the training and development done at Motorola by Mr. Lee Liu and Ms. Eileen Li. Mr. Liu is the HR Director of Talent at MU and Ms. Li was the Marketing Manager.
There was a great deal of interest in our group which was evident by the questions and enthusiasm with which they were answered. Mr. Liu also mentioned that many of the people they hire are contract employees or consultants that work based on projects and needs of the organization. Maybe we can pool our talents and come up with a project that could be done so that we can come back and visit again!

Mr. Liu gave us an excellent overview of the major businesses with Motorola that the University serves. He discussed the high growth areas of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fo in China and how there is much R&D being done in these areas. He also mentioned that they were the first company to achieve CMM Level 5 in China. (I'm not super familiar with these terms, so feel free to correct them if you would like!)

Some of the questions and points of discussion included;
Human Resource challenges relating to corporate education.
The interface of western and eastern ideology within the workplace.
How they manage being a for profit organization in a SOE environment.
Trends in the future. New technology challenges and staying ahead of the curve.
Discussion of three levels of management. Executive, General management and lower management.

Mr. Liu emphasized the importance of hiring good people initially for long term retention and development goals.
Three areas of emphasis in this area at Motorola are:
1. Leadership of supervisors.
2. Economic incentives.
3. Cultural compentency and emotional attachment.

How they primarily hired individuals were through the internet, referal and job fairs/search firms.

As Confucius says: “it is very good to have a happy person�

He also discussed the importance of the company culture and how it is affected by the social environment.

We finished with a tour of some of the existing and new products that are coming from their area. This is the part of Motorola that has developed the “MotoRazor� cell phone and they are continually improving this produce with more design and user features to stay competitive with other companies.

Our next visit was with Maxyee Culture Industry Co. Ltd.

We visited the Shanxi printing factory in Xi'an and did an in-depth tour of their factory and had an excellent overview by Mr. Zhang Chi Lea and the plant manager who’s name escapes me. Mr. Lea is a Director and Administration and Human Resource Director.

This is an organization that has many enterprises of which we saw their joint venture with Shanxi Printing Corporation. We toured the factory in Xi'an and saw drawings of the new proposed factory which was vry impressive.

This organization is owned by Private Owners-74%, State Owned- 22%, 14% Employee-owned. (I’m not exactly sure on these numbers)

This is an older company and is in a large growth period due to the changes occurring in their geopraphical area and in China in general. They are part of the “Xian Economic and Technological Development Zone-China West�. Currently there is approximately 800,000,000 RNB/100,000,000 US being invested in the area. They are also currently in the planning stage of building a brand new factory that had a drawing in the report they handed out to us.

What I thought was interesting was the layout of the factory and the use of labor within the factory. It seemed like a walk back in time for me because my father was an electrician in a book binding factory for 30 years. With the exception of the Heidelberg machines, the binding and cutting machines looked exactly like the ones that I helped out with when I worked in the factory for a summer! Some other interesting thoughts were the division of labor according to gender, safety considerations and the overall progress that this organization is going through in order to get ready for their new building.

What was also evident was the extraordinary enthusiasm that the managers had relative to the future of the company. This represented the collective idea of the whole that we have seen so much in organizations in China. Mr. Lea finished their presentation with the a beautiful rendition of singing the company song.

Putting Kevin to work at Shanxi Printing Factory: Xian, China

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June 6, 2006

Return to Minnesota!

Well we are back in the good ole USA and Minnesota. I can't speak for everybody else but the first thing I did when I got home was ordered my favorite pizza from my favorite pizza joint and shared it with my family! Boy was it good.

I also had a leinies and watched the Twins game (they lost), but it was fun getting reacclimated with everything and everybody.

This was a phenomenal trip and it is going to take me a while to fully digest all the things that we did and put down on paper my thoughts and opinions. I'm having a little trouble with a final decision on my paper because of all the interesting things we did. I thought I would write about communication and challenges in a cross-cultural environment. (especially related to computer based communication), but I also became fascinated with the organizational development aspects of the companies we visited. Oh well, I'm sure I will figure something out.

To everybody I didn't get to say so long to, thanks for a great experience and trip. You are all wonderful and VERY INTERESTING people. I especially would like to say thanks to D,R,M and N. I didn't get to say goodbye to you b-4 you went on your way to other countries. I hope our paths cross again some day. It was great learning about your respective careers, lifes, etc,. Good luck to all of you.

Well on to some additional thoughts on the companies/places we visited in our second week.

June 1, 2006

Allways Friction Material Co. Ltd.

This was our last company that we visited on our trip to China and it seemed to me to be the most enthusiastic of all the presentations.
We heard from three different owners of Taiwanese companies that are producing different products for their organizations in a commercial manufacturing district outside of Shanghai. We also received a presentation by local government officials encouraging investment and consideration of doing business in their geographical location. This is called: Huaqiao Town, Kunshan City, which is located in the east section of Jiangsu Province, bordering on Shanghai International Automobile City (SIAC). This is planned over an area of 50 square kilometers and is highlighted by four industries; automobile parts, high-tech electronics, modern business, trading and logistics and conventional industrial products. Since 1992, over 200 foreign companies, including 10 countries, have invested over 1 billion U.S. dollars in this region. Here is a link to the region that was given to us from the brochure that was handed out. http://www.hq.ks.gov.cn

There was an excellent discussion amongst the presenters regarding challenges of Human Resource practices within the current economic environment. The discussion ranged from managing stressful events (such as a local strike), too opinions relative to working with large central governments and how this is managed in business to business development in the region.