Given how the Chinese culture runs. often the front door does not work, and so, people learn to use the back door. Finally, the front door starts to work, but people are so trained that they always think back door. Some of this can make Chinese people creative, but many times it is not used so harmlessly in Western companies in China. The ‘find a way China culture’ can help or bite you.
The Chinese phrase for this is 想办法 (Xiangbanfa). The rough translation of this is ‘find a way’. Now in calculus this is admirable. With Chinese people in your business, it can leads to things that make you not sleep at night for good reason.
At West Point we learned the Cadet Prayer which has the following:
Make us to choose the harder right instead of the
easier wrong and never to be content with a half-truth
when the whole can be won.
Find a Way China Culture For Better or Worse
In a find a way culture, it is every so hard to develop a ‘choose the harder right’ culture in your company. It is not done with quarterly training. The key step is to hire people who are already that way and aspire to that path. These are people who like to do real thing and not ‘pocket what they should not’ people.
Xiang banfa is great when it is put in the right direction. My recruiting thrives on these xiang banfa people who can find a way to uncover hard to find candidates. Not knowing this is dangerous, as you can hire people who have this and it is untamed and undirected. Most importantly it is not for your company’s benefit. These people can be much more damaging than a common bad hire in the West. The law holds these people back but very little, and your loss by their gain almost not at all.