I designed a sales brochure for a client. They wanted a Chinese version, so we had the text of the brochure translated into Chinese.
But the translation wasn’t very good. My girlfriend said that while it was better than Google Translator, it looked like a foreigner had done it – certainly not to the professional standards of a company selling business communication training.
So I told them.
Weeks passed. There was talk of hiring a professional translator. There were other people in the office who could have done it. But finally the company asked me to identify the areas of the translation that needed to be improved.
But in case you missed it: I don’t read Chinese.
You might expect that a small company – with at most five desks in the office – would have a dynamic, engaging and entrepreneurial spirit. But not here.
They have a culture of putting responsibility for solutions into the hands of the one who identify that the problem exists.
It’s one of the best ways of shutting down innovation around – and indeed productivity of any sort.
A lit warning light is a good sign that the light is working. Be careful of just turning it off.