Long term competitive advantage still can be attained by those invested in China.
China Briefing put up a post on the changes in China and how it impacted Western Investment here. It is a nice overview of the changing dynamics. I certainly agree that China is more Westernized than when I arrived to live here 24 years ago.
One thing I wanted to draw out is the people issue.
Great Teams are a Long Term Competitive Advantage
20 years ago Chinese people were more desperate for work. Even bad leaders could get good workers working for them and succeed at that time.
Sometimes in that era the right person could not be found. I myself resorted to hiring young people of character. I then trained them as the older workers were unteachable and usually corrupted by the system.
However, the price was low and the chance to succeed higher with any leadership ability. The bureaucracy was usually unprofessional and slow moving, but China was hungry.
Specialties in the labor pool exist now that were not dreamed of before. Of course, they cost more, but you can get more and do not have to just hire young. Also talent has more places to take their ability. More and more candidates are asking about the quality of the leader they will face.
Notably the competition has arrived and/or matured. Low hanging fruit is gone, but Chinese people have money and are ready to spend it. Their taste for Western things is also more mature. They buy what we make or serve right off the shelf more often.
So How Do We Win?
We must develop better teams. Our focus on this issue has made our clients more competitive. We help them get the raw material of better leaders and better individual contributors. We also have a high-level ability to make those great people into a great team.
Great teams are a long-term competitive advantage. Few leaders are getting better than their best gut feel to build their team. Some still believe they can change the character of their hires. However, more and more have seen how we apply data in a human way to find the best workers to get Trustworthy Talent®. Fewer yet want to hear feedback that is desperately needed to have a great team. We can get you as much as you are ready to swallow. High-level team development is still little used and a deeper competitive advantage. Further good news is the cost of great workers is often not as high as the cost of bad apples we help you avoid.
What have you seen?