Friday, November 22, 2013

Environment "Dark & Cold" No Obstacle for Communicators

This week started off on Monday with a video-link roundtable between Moscow and Tokyo. As Iwao Ohashi said, in Japan a stereotype description of Russia is "cold, frightful, dark". Compare this to a more optimistic Western stereotype of "bears, vodka, balalaika". At the same time, Japanese brands, namely high-tech, TV and audio, cars, have been successful in Russia for decades. Recently there has been addition of cuisine and even fashion to the list. It was pointed out that passion and ambition of communicators and businesses help to break the ice and any stereotypes in relations between the two cultures.

On Wednesday I moderated the first ever PhysTech alumni conference. Plenary session was held in the concert hall of the university. It was rather cold in the room because of some apparent problem with central heating. Fancy LED spotlights at the stage were of little use. Alexander Abramov, president of recently established alumni organization called Phystech-Union, was commenting from the stage on a colleague's presentation. Then suddenly all went dark because of what occurred to be a power outage in the whole building. To my surprise, the discussion, went on, unplugged yet unabated, with gadgets and flashlights serving as spotlights. No sarcasm was spotted in the social media.

So, truth or fiction, it doesn't matter if an environment is dark or cold. What counts is the passion and ambition of business communicators working there with their audiences.