The key to business success in China comes from being innovative, thinking independently, being open to risk, and acting ethically.
Innovation & Creativity: Chinese businesses struggle with innovation and creativity. Bringing a new way of thinking and doing things would prove valuable in a Chinese business setting. David Ben Kay, who runs business incubator Yuanfen Flow in Beijing, identified the need for art and design in business and technology to actualize visions and turn imagination into reality. David helps social entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life and solve real world problems.
Independent Thinking & Risk Taking: Chinese are brought up being told exactly what to do to succeed. Without room for risk and a low tolerance for failure, many Chinese people do not think nor act independently. Julie Upton-Wang, co-founder of The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu, said success comes from taking a risk, thinking half-full, and coming in with eyes wide open. Julie advocates for sustainable tourism at the Great Wall and makes a positive impact on the local economy, people, and environment.
Ethics & Spirituality: The Chinese culture in Beijing has little spirituality and passion for a greater purpose. People are not accustomed to considering others when making a decision. They have learned to think first and only about the wellbeing of only their families and those in their Guanxi network. Gilbert Van Kerckhove at Strategy 4 China pointed out the need for a spiritual life in Chinese culture. Bringing ethics and a purpose to life in a business would help lead the way for businesses to consider the triple bottom line. Gilbert educates on toxic capitalism and the world’s economic, environmental, social and governmental problems.
Bringing Western values and ways of thinking to business in China contributes to diversity. Uniting two completely different thought processes helps businesses realize important synergies that will drive business success. As I learned during from FYSE and Lucy Yang’s presentation at The Huiling, empowerment, inspiration, and a common passion lead businesses to thrive whether in China, America, or anywhere.