We have all heard the phrase that information is power. Many Chinese managers reporting to Western Headquarters know this one and guard it carefully to your loss. This kind of China manager information hoarding is way too common and comes with a good excuse.
There is a balance in reporting to Headquarters for any leader. HQ does not want to hear every little thing in most cases. However, I see that many managers in China are a gate and not a window. This is not a cultural difference you should accept. At the same time, you need to avoid the HQ knows best syndrome. China does have a different context that makes it hard for HQ to understand. Sometimes, we cannot do things just like in the West. However, your company in China needs to be with you in principle.
China Manager Information Hoarding or HQ Struggles?
Managers in China should not be saying “This is China” as a means to stop discussion. Information should flow back and forth in your China business. No one should be holding it. These hoarders are bad for your culture and must he rooted out.
You need to hire people here who want to learn how you want to do business. This takes openness and hiring people with values that are similiar to you despite cultural differences.
In this life many times there are a few ditches and one path. Here we are thinking through wanting hires who will be windows and not doors, and yet not bury you in too much information. Further, they should not face an HQ that is expecting the China org to be just like the West.
People put up with two much dissonance in their China organization out of fear or hopelessness in resolving. We have found that you do not need to be hopeless. With our rigorous recruiting SHI Group China is parsing problems like this all the time. Glad to partner with you in your need.