I was talking with a fellow consultant the other day about a Western enterprise here in China that has struggled for 6 years. He asked whether I thought it was beyond hope.
I recounted that I thought any enterprise could be saved.
Surely, a company must have a market, people, technology, capital, and a legal base to survive. There are questions of where best to invest the money any enterprise has, but surely any company can be saved. It is not as mysterious as some people think.
People can change all issues. When they start making good choices and establishing the right team, all problems can be made to be quite small relatively quickly.
Unfortunately, six or even ten years later, some companies cannot resolve to put in the right leadership with the right support to get the enterprise to thrive. If they do not change their thinking, then perhaps they should give up.
I am amazed when I meet seasoned leaders who think changing people, positions or direction cannot solve their problems. They feel trapped.
They have tried new people and failed. They have brought in expensive consultants even from overseas. They have tried new direction and gotten deeper in the hole.
These companies can have a new day. However, the leaders who are choosing the leaders for these enterprises need to step back and invest in the relatively unmeasurable and the seemingly non urgent. These problems can go away.
Also, I have noticed that many very talented leaders have a poor ability to know who to believe and especially in things related to China. As long as they listen to the wrong people, these problems will not go away. If they plan to keep trusting those people or their own colored thinking regarding the next step, then yes, they should just give up. My advice to the other consultant would be off base. However, victory is just that close. Seems a shame to not succeed when proper analysis of their troubles would unwind their problems. The analysis could have been done 6 years ago, or last year or tomorrow, but when it is done, the ship will be moved. Then they will be well as they should be.
Let’s not muddle. Things can be better. It is not that far away.