Before & After Examples Copy

Here’s an actual article that was released for free online distribution. I chose it because it’s relatively clean to begin with, something that many “amateur” article authors usually think is good enough, but as you can see, after I get done with it, there’s a world of difference between the “before” and “after.”  Simple and basic (and in most cases, next to useless) proofreading this isn’t!

Before

Title: Are the Japanese Stubborn?

Recently the news about the Japanese car recall have drawn my attention. How have things gone wrong in these cases? Japanese car manufactures must have many international staff as well as American management. While they continues to be the leading car manufacturers in the world, their approach to this incident was so typical Japanese. And it caused misunderstandings and confusion in American users. This recall itself might not have been so bad if their highest management decided to appear in public earlier and open all of the information they have on the possible technical problems.

This is an article to show what is the typical Japanese decision-making process and the how different it is from an American one. The intention of this article is to point out the difference, not to evaluate or criticize.

In many cases of my involvement of international business, a Japanese company had been in this critical situation, even it was clear that Japanese made a mistake, they could not change their attitude and decision. Thus it resulted in either losing a huge business opportunity or it would make their counterpart so angry that they would not be able to further pursue the business relationship they had originally intended on.

Instead, American companies seem to be more flexible in accepting their mistake and change their decision or business strategy, saving their own business opportunity and, most importantly, the relationship.

If we can accept our own mistakes, the actions we need to take are relatively simple. We accept we made a mistake, apologize, and propose a correction. American organizations are good at doing this sort of correction. This flexibility may come from a religious principle of forgiveness. People make mistakes. Once a mistake is made, being flexible is much better than to stick to the mistake and stubbornly lose everything.

Now on the other hand, the Japanese approach is based on the “save face” or “lose face” concept. Japanese people tend to hate someone who cannot consistently keep their promises. They regard it is losing face. So they try not to accept mistakes so that they do not have to break their promises and lose face. Even if they know they made a mistake, they do not want to accept it because they will lose face by accepting it.

And they try to hide it. Then they try to modify it in a way publicly unknown to save face. This makes the entire process of correction very complicated. In many cases the business decision priority would be shifted from saving business to saving face by hiding the fact that they made a mistake. The end result could be devastating. It is a simple fact that they are not so good at saying “Oops, we made a mistake. Sorry.”

In answering my own question, I have to admit the Japanese are stubborn and not good at apologizing, when it comes to accept their mistakes.

After

(As published on Braintropolis.com)

The news about the Japanese car recall has drawn my attention. How have things gone wrong in these cases? Japanese car manufacturers certainly have no shortage of international staff as well as American management. While they continue to be the leading car manufacturers in the world, their approach to this incident was so typically Japanese. And it caused misunderstandings and confusion among American consumers. The Toyota recall itself might not have been so bad if the company’s highest management decided to appear in public earlier and release all information they had available on any possible technical problems.

What transpired is an example of the typical Japanese decision-making process and how different it is from an American one. This article’s intent is merely to point out the differences, not to evaluate or criticize.

Being involved in international business, I’ve seen many cases of Japanese companies finding themselves in a similar critical situation. Even if it was clear that the Japanese made a mistake, they would not change their attitude and decision. This would result in either losing a huge business opportunity, or make their counterpart so angry that it would stop the further pursuit of the business relationship they had originally intended.

American companies instead seem to be more flexible in accepting their mistakes and changing their decisions or business strategies, often allowing them to save their business opportunities and, most importantly, to salvage and even strengthen business relationships.

If we can accept our own mistakes, the actions we need to take are relatively simple. We accept we made a mistake, apologize, and propose a fix. American organizations are good at doing this sort of correction. This flexibility may come from a religious principle of forgiveness. People make mistakes. Once a mistake is made, being flexible is much better than sticking to the mistake and stubbornly losing everything.

On the other hand, the Japanese approach is based on the “save face” or “lose face” concept. Japanese people tend to hate people who cannot consistently keep their promises. They regard this as losing face. So they try not to acknowledge mistakes so they don’t have to break their promises and lose face. Even if they know they made a mistake, they simply refuse to accept the error and lose face in the process.

And they try to hide it. Then they try to manipulate and alter the situation, even redefine conditions, to try and help them not only save face publicly but avoid admitting to any errors whatsoever. This makes the entire process of correction very complicated. In many cases the Japanese business priority shifts from saving business to merely saving face. The end result could obviously be devastating.

It’s a simple fact: The Japanese are not so good at saying, “Oops, we made a mistake. Sorry.”

So, answering my own question, I have to admit the Japanese are stubborn and not good at all at apologizing and accepting their own mistakes.

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Want to see another eye-opening example? Here you go:

Before

Title: What is the Use of All These Gadgets?

The other day, I was waiting for my friend in the long corridors of our city library. We have been visiting this library since we were kids. In fact, our membership too was done forcibly by then librarian, Mr Mulay, who felt that by making it compulsory, we will fall into the habit of reading. It worked! We had a very high kind of regard for Mr Mulay, for offering us this wonderful gift of reading. Now it’s been almost more than 15 years since we met him the last, I was engrossed into the nostalgic memories of that library. Suddenly somebody pat me on my shoulder from behind. It was Mr Mulay! I was thrilled to meet him after so long. We had some chat together, shared my latest with him and during that conversation, he asked me for my friend’s mobile number. I realized that I have forgotten to carry my mobile from my car, and without its phonebook, it was impossible to remember any phone number.

I realized the impact of these gadgets on my memory. Earlier I used to remember hundreds of numbers by heart, and now even the phone number of my closest friend was not getting recollected. Seriously thinking, are we losing our skills? What is the use of all these gadgets if they are making us dependent on them? If really a day comes, as shown in a Hollywood movie, when the machines will take charge of our lives, will we be able to stimulate our hibernated skill sets?

Now a days, we use mobiles every day. It has almost become an integral part of our dressing. We cannot even think of living without our mobile. It has made us to be within reach from all our near and dear ones. Now that it’s been updated with a PDA functionality, it serves much more than just a mobile, but a wholesome store house to keep your favorite movies, music, books, or for that matter any kind of stuff. It not only stores but now can also control the other set of gadgets. The day will not be far when we will have everything we need within the reach of our mobile. We have already started being online through our mobiles; few are watching sports games and movies on it. But aren’t we losing something?

There is a very famous quote by a Marathi writer, Va Pu Kale – he says, in the last few decades, the world of kitchen appliances has almost got revolutionized and the things that require an hour just need 10 minutes now; but does that mean the kitchen lady utilized those 50 saved minutes efficiently? Has she read anything that will help her to improve herself? Has she reached a space beyond her daily boundary? That is what needs to be pondered upon.

After

(As published on Braintropolis.com)

New Title: How Useful Really are All These Gadgets?

The other day, I was waiting for my friend in the long corridors of our city library. We’ve been visiting this library since we were kids. In fact, our library “membership” was forcibly imposed by the librarian back then, Mr. Mulay, who felt that by making it compulsory, we would fall into the reading habit. It worked! We regarded Mr. Mulay very highly, particularly for giving us this wonderful gift.

It’s now been more than 15 years since we saw him last. As I sat there, deep into nostalgic memories of that library, someone suddenly tapped my shoulder from behind. It was Mr. Mulay! I was thrilled to see him again after so long. We chatted and caught up with each other’s lives; in passing, he asked me for my friend’s mobile number. But I forgot my mobile in my car; without its phonebook, I couldn’t remember any phone numbers.

I realized then the impact these gadgets had on my memory. I used to remember hundreds of numbers by heart; now, I couldn’t even remember the phone number of my closest friend!

Seriously, are we losing our skills? What’s the use of all these gadgets if they are making us too dependent on them? If the Hollywood scenario comes true and the day comes when machines try to take over our world, will we be able to fall back and recall our manual skill sets which, of course, for our sakes we hope are only in hibernation and not truly lost forever?

Nowadays, we use mobiles constantly. They’ve almost become an integral part of our attire. Many of us can’t even think of life without our mobiles. They’ve made us easily within reach to all those near and dear to us. Now that mobiles have evolved to provide us with full-blown PDA functionality, they’re no longer “just mobiles” — they now store and manage information we use to live. To top it off, they can also now be used to control and share information with other gadgets as well. It is certainly not unreasonable to conclude that some day (and probably soon) we’ll have all the information we need on or accessible through our mobiles. We’ve already started using them to get online; some are even using them to watch sporting events and movies. They truly are getting really powerful and terribly convenient.

But aren’t we losing something?

There is a very famous observation by a Marathi writer, Va Pu Kale. He says that the world of kitchen appliances has been revolutionized — tasks that required an hour to do now just need 10 minutes — but does that mean the kitchen lady utilized those 50 saved minutes efficiently? Has she read anything, for instance, that will help her improve herself? Has she reached a space beyond her daily boundary? That is what needs to be pondered upon.

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