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Leading China-facing businesses in 2024 (free webinar)

In 2019, McKinsey published one of the most brilliant charts I have ever seen on China's interaction with the rest of the world. Taken from the report "China and the world: Inside the dynamics of a changing relationship", the graph impactfully displayed China's growing exposure to the world until about 2010, then a sharp decline. Meanwhile, the world's exposure to China kept growing until the report's publication. Updates did not appear since then, but my experience coaching executives in China tells me that the trend continued. Today, what happens in China impacts the business of multinational firms stronger than five years ago, while China works hard on economic self-reliance and a more insulated environment of digital data, media and personal interactions.

One unfortunate consequence is that at the headquarters and worldwide branches of international firms, everyone knows China will significantly impact their business, but nobody is sure exactly how. When people don't know, they guess, and for that reason China will continue to polarise opinions in 2024. Some wait for the PRC's imminent collapse and avoid visiting. Others declare China's victory in a Huntington-style showdown between East and West, and bet big on its triumphant rebounce after the pandemic. The debate is not new: as I write in Dragon Suit, When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques and Gordon Chang's The Coming Collapse of China (Amazon affiliate links to the books) were published around the same time. Yet, the debate still rages on in governments, board rooms, conferences and meeting rooms.

But as I often expressed, a leader's responsibility is not to take sides but to mediate between extremes and help create integrated solutions. 2024 won't make that easy. Mega-issues like artificial intelligence tools, electric vehicles, energy sources and supply chain, not to mention elections and wars, seem to call for firm opinions on who's right and wrong, and many executives post definitive opinions on LinkedIn or elsewhere. It seldom works in their favour: "decision" in leadership should mean solving problems rather than finding faults.

In my next free webinar on January 31, we shall look into the prospects of international firms and executives doing business in or with China this year, including:

  • Where can business leaders get reliable, unbiased information about China for their decisions?

  • Why will some foreign firms continue to increase their exposure to China, others “decouple”, and still others do both?

  • How smart executives set the best example and direction for their people doing business in or with China?

  • Why and how should executives combine local, China-based expat and overseas talent and resources for business success in China?

  • How can business leaders mentally prepare themselves and their teams for China-related challenges?

Most importantly, what is the best direction for your firm, leadership team and leaders, whether you are a China-facing branch for a multibillion firm or a China-based startup?

Join us if you can. Details and registration:

If you need a bit more than a webinar to work in or with China, contact me about one of my executive coaching programmes, which now include a signed copy of my book Dragon Suit: The golden age of expatriate executives in China.

Gabor Holch Dragon Suit intercultural leadership coaching


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