About three years ago I shut down my twitter account. A few months ago, I very quietly got back on (@danharris). My main reason for choosing to return was out of a fear of missing something. Those who know me know exactly what I mean by those. Those who don’t know me probably have no idea what I mean by this.
Anyway, someone named Matt Pillar started following me on Twitter and when it became apparent to me that this person who had some really insightful things to say about China, I started following him back. The more I saw of him, the more impressed I became and so today I checked out his Fire Dragon Enterprises website. On his website I was drawn to the above diagram, and I really like it.
At this point, before I really start gushing, I feel it important that I make clear that I have never met Matt Pillar nor ever spoken with him. I have never even tweet messaged with him. Nor has anyone I do know told me anything about him. I just really like his diagram, based in part on the following:
- I think it makes sense.
- I get the strong sense that it is based on many years of real-world experience.
- It is general enough to be applicable to just about any sort of company doing business in China or trying to figure out whether and how to do business in China.
- I like how it does not put the nine tactics for succeeding in China business in any sort of order.
- Most of all, I like how it does not address the inherent contradictions between some of the tactics. For instance, I love how it says “Think Locally, Act Locally,” and “Respect Culture and Context” on the one hand, while on the other hand it says “Maintain High Ethical Standards, Consistency with Global Practices.” I think Pillar wants companies to be aware of the importance of all of these things, while at the same time, making their own specific decisions based on what is right for their own individual companies. Yin and Yang. Localization versus globalization. See China, Glocalization, And The Specter Of Product Liability And More. and China Business And Glocalization. Should What Goes Around Come Around?
I think Pillar is saying that China business is messy and anything but clear cut. This diagram tells you in broad strokes the things about which you should be mindful in determining how you are going to conduct business in China. But in the end, you must be (to quote Pillar) “Strategically Deliberate, But Open to Course Corrections.”
What do you think?