“Foreign managers need to learn about the new way of doing business emerging in China.
Its familiarity is deceptive, a consequence of China’s 30-year – but now concluded – American experiment. It borrows ideas and principles from the West when they seem useful and don’t violate the spirit/land/energy trinity, but it adds up to a new way of doing business.
Foreign firms do not have to ‘go native’, but must try to understand and work within the new style. For example, in their Chinese businesses, they must resist the temptation to formulate strategies with milestones, and learn to watch and listen, and be ready to move quickly when opportunities present themselves. The new Chinese style of management is based mainly on vision and tactics, using flexibility, adaptation and caring leadership.”
“If this Chinese approach to management proves more stable and more flexible in today’s turbulent, uncertain and volatile business world, it might prove to be a boon to the global economy. Even if it does not prove ‘exportable’ in this way, Western managers will still have to come to grips with it, and that is no easy task. Add to this the misunderstandings caused by different cultural nuances , the high event-density created by China’s breathtaking economic growth, and complexities created by spirit, land and energy interactions.
Western managers in China could be forgiven for feeling a little stressed from time to time! This is something else they can learn from their Chinese competitors: take a break. Clear your mind. Become a Daoist, and go with the flow.”