September 24, 2019

Those who have ever been foreigners in China know how easy it is to trample onto the country’s countless taboos, and how awkward the consequences can be. But recently, China-based expats themselves have become a taboo topic. How many foreigners are there? Are they ‘gue...

August 23, 2019

Research on millennials makes fascinating reading. Never before have we dedicated so much time and effort to understanding the talents, needs and tastes of next-generation workers. Firms arrange surveys, focus groups and task forces, then initiate disruptive changes ac...

July 3, 2019

Foreign experts and businesses in China are a discriminated minority and a privileged elite at the same time. Foreign-Invested enterprises are excluded from a long 'negative list' of strategic industries including energy, telecommunications, internet and defenc...

May 22, 2019

Globalisation in business, management and leadership often disorient the very people who are supposed to provide orientation to others. Take, for instance, a typical European automotive CEO placed in charge of a major Asian market. This vibrant man or woman (my order f...

April 14, 2019

In recent months, multinational offices in China’s first-tier cities have been beehives of activity. Minutes before our scheduled coaching session, I had to track down more than one CEO on fire-fighting rounds to redraft strategies and financial pipelines, relocate man...

February 26, 2019

Most multinational executives I coach or train into newly assumed expat jobs nurture two different but related ambitions. First, they want to make their mark on the organisation — its structure, culture and performance. Second, they want to learn how to lead successful...

February 5, 2019

By the time Dave took up his post as the Shanghai branch’s General Manager, he had done his homework on Confucian leadership. Nurturing ambitions to step up to China CEO in a few years, he had mentally rehearsed its mantras: never make people lose face, maintain social...

January 16, 2019

This year more than last, a global marketplace of goods, services and ideas will give you a tough part in a drama taking place on a divided stage. When a CEO solves cash-flow problems by selling a corporate jet rather than buying cheaper gas masks for acid tank inspect...

December 5, 2018

“They are quite polite and indirect,” the new project manager describes her local colleagues. “When they communicate problems, you have to guess what the real issue is.” True, that style is in sharp contrast with her toughness in setting ambitious goals, pushing to ach...

November 7, 2018

The non-extroverted majority of ambitious business leaders consider networking, similarly to public speaking, a dreadful and inevitable prospect of seniority — like death, but more likely to make you look silly. And if networking moistens your palms, doing so in an unf...

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