We are increasingly being asked to run China cultural awareness training sessions by UK companies who have been acquired by Chinese parent companies and today found me working with some senior leaders from the insurance company Chaucer in the city.
I find the increased interest in China fascinating – when I started Global Business Culture about twenty years ago we had far more enquiries concerning Japan because at that thime Japanese companies were hoovering up western investments as they globalised at an alarming speed. Just shows how times change and it is now China’s turn to become the pre-eminent global player.
In the session I run for clients who have become part of a China business I try to focus on the key issue of ‘how can we best influence our new owners in Beijing so that we can push our business forward as we know we should – rather than being dictated to by people we feel might not understand our market or business too well?’ To help a client in this way you need to concentrate on what the ‘hot buttons’ are in China and how to best communcate your ideas in a way in which the Chinese can easily buy into.
A lot of this is around attitudes to risk and understanding how best to structure your argument – all really fascinating and hopefully of great benefit to both sides of the equation.
The mood music in Beijing with regards to international expansion seems to have shifted slightly recently under the twin pressures of potential trade wars with the USA and a weakening domestic economy – are we heading for a slow down in China interest in the UK?