Cultural trips

Ukrainian and Polish management cultures.  Similar or different?

Ukrainian and Polish management cultures. Similar or different?

The common wisdom claims that Polish and Ukrainian cultures are similar as both countries have common religious, cultural and ethnical roots thus people from Ukraine exhibit the same organizational behaviour and practices. Due to the GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness) study – Polish and Ukrainian cultures belong to the same cultural cluster – Eastern European cultures (which constitutes one of ten distinguished clusters) and differ from other clusters. This is an indication that both cultures are more similar then for example Polish and German or Ukrainian and German cultures. But as in one cultural cluster there are numbers of countries and they still differ in-between in a more subtle way, Ukrainian and Polish management cultures are such a case. When we dig deeper in them, we start to see the differences. The Foundation Polish Mentoring Institute had conducted on 2016 a research among Poles and Ukrainians[1] comparing both management cultures. Let’s discuss study results in 3 aspects: 1. Management style, 2. Team working and 3. Communication style.   How does a manager treat an employee? Regarding management style, in both cultures respondents indicated a hierarchical style as predominant but in case of Poland to lesser extent than in Ukraine. This attribute was confirmed in answers regarding managerial practices like: delegating tasks,          a way of giving a corrective feedback and rewarding people. Organizational structures in both countries were assessed as hierarchical, but what came out was – that Polish managers are regarded as having an ability to manage people in a more partnering style even in rigid organizational structure.   How does a manager treat an employee who is his/her friend? Is he treated the same way (universalistic) or better (particularistic)[2]? In both cultures managers exhibit particularistic approach to the employees. In case of Ukrainian managers, they deploy more particularistic approach than Polish ones, who exhibit relatively more universalistic approach. Additionally, this approach is also exhibited by employees upon other colleagues in both cultures, what confirms that Polish and Ukrainian cultures are embedded in particularism. As particularistic and universalistic behaviours in organization settings differ in many aspects (for example: support of ideas of a project based on its merit or colleagues’ interest, assessment based on competencies or relationship),...

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I Amsterdam

I Amsterdam

This time when visiting Amsterdam I spotted big letters in the fort of the Rijskmuseum that form a sentence “I Amsterdam”. It is a favourite place for many people to take a photo. To my amusement I found another “I amsterdam”, in rainbow colours,in the front of the Hermitage Amsterdam. Since I was in Amsterdam a day before the Gay Parade, I supposed that the rainbow “I Amsterdam” had been prepared for that reason. The whole city was decorated with rainbow balloons and posters presenting liberal attitude of Dutch to diversity. As I was curious about the meaning of “I Amsterdam”, I found out that it is a new logo of Amsterdam, launched[1] in 2004 to rebrand unfavourable image of the city which gained an international status of a ‘swinging’ youth centre, based upon sexual liberation and narcotic indulgence. Judging by a huge number of people taking photos and spending time in the area of logo “I Amsterdam”, the new city brand proved a great success. What I like in Amsterdam – besides the location of the city which makes it possible to walk almost to every interesting point in the city – are towers, which forced me to walk around with the head in the clouds.           What I admire in the Netherlands are the clear symbols of the Dutch culture (called artefacts) which are easy to recognise for everybody. And I appreciate the fact that Dutch treat them as a true part of their national identity, not only a tourist attraction. Dutch artefacts Wind and watermills The windmills and watermills are iconic symbols of the country. Do you know that Dutch celebrate National Windmill Day in May, when 950 mills are open to visit? For Dutch windmills are the symbol of connection with nature which is an integral part of their intrinsic self. When talking with them about nature, they always mention  “wood, water, green”. Clogs (klompen) Clogs are made from wood.  Approximately 3 million pairs of klompen are made each year (mostly for tourists), but farmers and gardeners still wear them. The red painting on top is a traditional motif on a painted clog and it makes clogs look like leather shoes...

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What do I admire in Gran Canaria?

What do I admire in Gran Canaria?

Island Gran Canaria belongs to the Canarian Islands, being a 3rd regarding the surface. In 2013 was acclaimed to be the best holiday destination in Europe. It is regarded to enjoy all benefits of African climate  (sun and low number of rain) and nature (green all-over a year, with potato crops 4 times a year, cherries 2 times) and European order and way of living. In Firgas Harmony of nature and way of living First what I has been stacked by on Gran Canaria is the harmony in the open space and in the cities. I had to dig in my perception what makes me feel so good in any city or town. What I have founded is the mixture of colours – yellow, sand-yellow,green and blue and a lack of billboards and adverts in the cities, as well a low number of banks and discount shops in the cities. Instead my eyes have caught numbers of sculpture not only in the city space, but along the roads, beautiful every rondo on the streets decorated with ceramique tiles. And amazing landscape formulated by colourful building, mountains and trees. Coast line and beaches View from the beach on the Playa de Ingles There are many famous beaches on Gran Canaria. The most beautiful is the beach with the Maspalomas dunes in Playa de Ingles (called to honour Englishmen discovering the island for recreation aims), a nice beach in Playa de Mogan (with picturesque marina) Architecture The city architecture and landscape shaped by nature are amazing and exceptional. I liked different architectural styles, what I admire isa harmony, even in a small decoration. Sculpture on the road from Playa de Isla to Las Palmas Cultivation of tradition and regional cultural awareness What I really admire is a sense of regional pride and cultural awareness. You can sense it when visiting the Museum of tomato feel this in such small details as information about toilets (on which are presented traditional Canarian dress) Industry I admire Gran Canaria for a wisdom to develop the tourism industry not damaging the landscape and also developing agricultural industry – highlighted their local specialities – sweet bananas, tomatoes, rum (ronmiel and others).I like the idea of using...

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What I admire in Singapore?

What I admire in Singapore?

Singapore is no. 1 as top destination in 2015 due to Lonely Planet. I do not wonder why – as this year the state celebrates its 50 anniversary of existence and many attractions are prepared. 1995 Singapore gained independence, when Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew announced a separation from the Federation of Malaysia and independent country was born. Downtown Singapore has no natural resources (even they have imported water from Malaysia), is very small country but belongs with its national capital per person to the richest countries in the world. Singapore has made from geographical location and people human capital main assets. You can see wealth at every corner –not only in the marvelous architecture, but people seem to be wealthy and happy. A literacy level is at almost 100% (maybe some very old people can not read and write), 80% of citizens are living in flats got from the government, transportation and food is cheap, and unemployment level is very low. The education is promoted – talented children get scholarship. I like idea of presenting values of the country at the reverse of banknotes (art, sport, education). For me this incorporates collective values Singapore supports. The value of the country was presented in inaugural address in 1990 of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong taking this position “My mission is clear: to ensure that Singapore thrives and grows after Mr. Lee Kuan Yew; to find a new group of men and women to help me carry on where he and his colleagues left off; and to build a nation of character and grace where people can live lives of dignity and fulfillment, and care for one another”. Grace, fulfillment and dignity are words that are more connected with spirituality than politics. Law – for European standards could be seen a restricted but there is no hooligans, no graffiti, you can feel safe at streets but regarding freedom of doing business (due to report Doing Business done by World Bank Group) Singapore is no. 1 in the world (Poland has position no. 32 after Georgia (15), Lithuania, Latvia and Macedonia). Regarding national income per capita Singapore is placed on 3rd position after Qatar and Luxembourg. What else I admire in...

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What I admire in Venice?

What I admire in Venice?

I was happy when my application to be a lecturer of a workshop on EMCC (European Coaching and Mentoring Council) Conference held from 20 to 22 of November 2014 was accepted, not only because I would be the first lecturer from Central Europe there, but also because of the place of a venue -Venice. When I have arrived to Venice I have fallen in love with the city from the first sight.The words of Mrs Peggy Guggenheim regarding falling in love are totally true (see photo in a slide presentation). My first WOW I have exclaimed was when entering my room. It was furnitured with wooden board painted with flowers and with extraordinary lamp (see on photo left). Next day I have spotted lamps of such design in shops with Murano glass (famous Venetian glass). This was a beginning of my WOW! What I find marvellous are the opposite aspects which the city embraces – from one side offering closeness with narrow streets and canals, from another one – spacious squares (piazza); creativity and at the same time harmony (see the picture of facade of a building which has three kinds of windows but still it is harmony in it), vivid atmosphere on the streets and contemplation in churches and museums. At every corner I have discovered the signs of creativity – see photos of a poster with cats – Leonardo da Vinci, Klimt, or Kandisky and more at the slides presentation below. I like colours of Venice – blue of water and sky, white, rouge and brown buildings and a harmony of all colours (see an example of the Basilica of San Marco, photo on the left). I have enjoyed good taste and style of Italians – in every detail – even in box for letter (see on the photos on right). When visiting new places I pay attention to public spaces – parks, squares, sculptures and museums – and all of them are fabulous in Venice. I like contemporary painting so my first visit was in a museum with Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which is regarded to be the most important museum in Italy for European and American art of 20th century. Peggy Guggenheim, an American heiress assembled...

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What I admire in Belgrade?

What I admire in Belgrade?

When I have got a mentoring assignment in Belgrade I was wondering how Belgrade is looking now, as I was there 20 years ago. At that time Poland was a communist country, and former Yugoslavia was for Poles a window for western world. So has seemed to me Belgrade. And how is it now? I find some artefacts typical for socialist countries – trolleybuses produced in Hungary, which were also present in Warsaw. I have walked and was looking for something to connect. And wow- I looked in the sky and have spotted amazing ceiling. When I visit a place I try to connect with it, finding something specific, amazing, extraordinary. It can be architecture, music, nature, people or just atmosphere on the street. In Belgrade I have found beautiful old building in art deco style. Belgrade has number of beautiful buildings, see below. Another connection I have felt when visiting in the evening the Frida restaurant. Delicious food, energetic music, and amazing decoration- especially in the bathroom. All below photos were taken in the bathroom. An last but not least – hotel were I stayed – hotel Moscow, with its ceilings, art. Deco windows and floor decoration in ancient style. Wonderful!  Enjoy! Wiola...

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