When I think of the various differences in culture in the many working environments around the world, there’s one that stands out. The more developed a country, the more showing up for meetings and being punctual was part of the culture. While this was religion in the more Germanic parts of the world, this was definitely optional in India (for example) versus China. As a result, calendars and organization only worked well in the more organized countries.
Or, to put it differently, calendars and organization were part of the culture in places that seemed to need it least. And, this was much less an individual trait as it was a cultural trait. The Japanese just have their proverbial “shit together.” “That’s just what we do in Japan” is all they would say. And, if we want to go one step further, I’d say that the next measure of development is the culture of preparation; the more developed and organized a culture, the more you can be sure your pre-reads will have been read. My guess is that this ability to constantly demonstrate integrity (or the ability to make and keep commitments) raises the trust levels and this, in turn, makes work environments better.
It has a powerful personal implication – our ability to consistently make commitments, be organized, prepare, and show up punctually to keep these commitments is what defines our development.
The small things are the big things.