Since returning from China, I continue to notice how oblivious most of us are regarding the impact of the Middle Kingdom on our future. In reading the HBR today, I noticed that they report from the Gallup study’s findings that showed a few interesting things that undermine popular Western stereotypes (though confirm my impressions):
- Chinese people are focused on working hard and getting rich – collectivism is on the way out???
Collectivism is on the way out, but is being replaced with the expression of individualism rather than the pursuit of wealth.
- The workers flooding the offices and factories are highly ambitious and actively engaged???
Workers are not as engaged as the world might think.
- Prosperity is allowing Chinese consumers to buy what they want???
Finding: Average income is just US$1,800pa, so it’s only the uber-rich that have enough money to buy one of those US$5,000 suits.
- There remains an almost endless thirst for household basics???
The average Chinese consumer is more interested in luxuries and entertainment than they are in buying household necessities.
In the same edition was an interesting piece on middlescence, a term to describe those of us who are 35 to 55 years old, and are starting to search for a life of meaning amid the balancing of responsibilities… this group is half the workforce, yet only a third of them actually feel energized by their work. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could build companies around uplifting, empowering and energizing our workers, especially those with the skills and experiences that we’re going to need to support our aging baby boomers.
And if you remember Kaplan and Norton, you might want to know that they’ve written a piece on implementing strategy without disrupting your organisation. Naturally (considering they invented it), they see the Balanced Score Card and Strategy Maps as the way to deal with this.
FastCompany got into the act too with their story on the rise of Shanghai Tang…