The Chinese Way Speed, Seeking Value, Taking Risks

the Chinese wayI saw James McGregor did a great podcast with WPIC.

He noted that China has many great entrepreneurs and a culture of business with three hallmarks:

Speed, Seeking Value, and Taking Risks. Let’s think how this looks done The Chinese Way

If we understand that China is a big growing country in about the American 1880’s, we will do better to understand them. They have an amazing number of similarities with that period in America history.   They show signs of being like us when we were in that high growth era.

In times like China is experiencing where growth has tripled their economy in the space of 20 plus years, we have a hard time understanding their feeling.  Our ancestors in the US from 1880, would have understood them very well I think.


Speed means that they are excited and see the future is in their hands. Blink and things change in a country like this, so the energy is very high. Everything is new, and everything is looking up.

I earned 710 RMB a month plus housing when I first worked in China in 1991. With that money, I was a rich. Today, less than 30 years later, the same work gets 10,000 a month plus housing, and no one feels rich with that.  It is common for managers changing positions to ask for a 30% raise to change jobs. Speed indeed.

Seeking Value

This is a positive way of thinking and working. Rather than worrying about costs, these fast moving people are worried about value and even making a quick buck to combine both speed and value seeking. Yes, China has a lot of people who are just about cost, but the go getters are also many. Find the right ones, and they can take you far. Common resume and interview will not get you there.

Risk Taking

The risk taking I see is they play with illegal activity as a form of risk taking. This kind of risk taking has burned many Western companies as you likely know.  Many Chinese in business life feel like everything is possible. In the West, decision making is often glacial especially in big or second generation companies. Delay, delay, panic is all too common. In China where first generation entrepreneurs and first generation white collar workers are standard, they are full of themselves and trying everything.

Not everyone is risk taking in business.  Many people are still just cost focused and have analysis paralysis.  Also, some will stay within the law and are still hard charging. These are so valuable and hard to find. That is our work. See Also Chinese Cultural Strengths We Can Use.



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Posted in: China Recruitment - Getting Good People

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