Diversity is a Good Word- Lets Think About it Different in China

America is strong because of immigration and not inspite of it. 2 million people become Americans by immigration every year. Dealing with American companies, I see a lot of different ethnicity. In China, people are Han Chinese with an occassional Hui minority person thrown in every once in a while. That is not much difference at all.

Western companies are often strongly indigenizing their factories here to save money.  However, they are not saving much money anymore even if Westerners are caused to accept withholding. Top Chinese leadership costs money, so the savings are little especially if you can source local foreign talent as a comparison.

Indigenization often hurts Diversity.  China has precious little diversity.  Finding ways to get other cultures into your business in China is valuable. Western, Filipino, Malay, Pakistani, and on and on. They can all be found in China if you think about it.

Take a look at a recent China Law Blog on Diversity to get another taste of this topic.

In China, I have employed Germans and Filipinos and worked with many more countries’ people. Getting more than just Chinese people in your facility is valuable. My caveat is thinking through who you have as the top person in your China organization.

It is hard to maintain trust and understanding over great distances. It is even harder cross culturally and should not be done without expert help.  Companies should not make someone the top guy because they want to indigenize. They should not just hire a Malay because he is not Chinese.  The goal of a company is to make money and not just cut short term costs or stereotype. Trust and having everyone on the same sheet of music with you is valuable.  In most cases in China, having diversity along with that can bring life to your China venture.

Thoughts?

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Culture Development, Leadership, Team Development

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