Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Slow Down Culture

After being lazy to post updates, I ve finally decided to be a little more hardworking :P
So here it is, an update - a forwarded email, which I find quite interesting
But pictures I add one, so must claim a little credit.

The Slow Down Culture

An interesting reflection : Slow Down Culture At Swedish company, Volvo any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results.

This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold large quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme.
At the end, this always yields better results.
Said in another words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Scania, SAAB , Ericsson, Electrolux, are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies to NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden , one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work).

The first day, I didn't say anything, neither the second or third.

One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when thereare no other cars in the lot."

To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think?"

Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week. Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity"(life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being".


French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British.
Germans have established 28.8 hourworkweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%.
This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!". This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now".
To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant".
Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment.

As John Lennon said,"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world.

Unknown writer.


Anonymous said...

I like the parking lot story. I would have fainted on the spot if I hear it. Hard to find people who are so considerate for others nowadays. Thanks for showing me there's such thing as "Slow Food". Hope they don't serve their food tooooo slooooow.

Ben Gan said...

Time is indeed precious.
Life is a stage where each must play a part; life is short make it sweet.

Maxforce said...

Anonymous: Haha, I agree. Found that cute. :)
Ben: Couldn't agree more. Let's give it all we got :)

zewt said...

i have written something on time... was published in thestar before... perhaps i should expand on that and post it as an entry...yah?

people in europe and asia are going on the opposite direction. we are the suckers... only know how to work. they are the smart ones... they think of the ideas... and then let us do the hard work, and we so willingly do. they reap the profit.

by the way... sweden's maternity leave is 16 months... paid leave.

Maxforce said...

Ahh... I see. I ve always wondered why some of my colleagues in Europe goes on long leave without a problem.
Will check out your article too :)

zewt said...

I have just tagged you... hahaha... now you have something to blog about...

Anonymous said...

hahah.. i didn't realise this was a forwarded article. i thougt u wrote it, it was such a fine piece. Until i reached the end and realised. So much into being in a fast world eh?

Anyway, thanks for sharing this articles (plus the pictures) ;).


Anonymous said...

Brim over I agree but I contemplate the brief should prepare more info then it has.