Last week, I did a small detour through the “technicalities” of language learning, and probably the title (Mobile phone university 手机大学 https://wodeshudian.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/mobile-phone-university-shou-ji-da-xue/) is the main reason why few dozens had a look at it.
Well, no surprise- as I am certainly not the only one who believes that we should live by the motto that I adopted for my Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/robertolofaro): if you haven’t learned anything today, you are dead but you still haven’t made up your mind.
Incidentally: on that subject, have a look at an unusual movie by Giuseppe Tornatore, “una pura formalità” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtQ0ykbIzA8
As for the “mobile university” theme: by the end of this summer I will share some ideas, based on my experiences as a “user” of online courses, and also on some past activities on business and marketing planning for “virtual” educational initiatives and permanent business education.
So far, except for the title and a reference to my previous post, nothing seems to be really about China- but that is not the case.
This week I had planned to use material in German about doing business in and with China, but eventually by chance I had to change my plans, and ended up with something closer to a course that I started following recently on Coursera, on banking and money.
First, I would like to start with few bibliographical references, should you be interested:
1. “The State of China Atlas”, by Benewick and Hemelryk Donald, 2009 https://www.librarything.com/work/1754121/book/79481851
2. “How China is Ruled”, by David M. Lampton, published on Foreign Affairs Jan-Feb 2014
3. “ Speriamo che la Cina diventi Hong Kong”, by Paola Pilati, published on “L’Espresso” Jul 10th 2014
4. “Il fondo sovrano cinese”, by Alessandro Arduino https://www.librarything.com/work/14926544/book/108251462
5. “The Tao Of Spycraft: Intelligence Theory And Practice In Traditional China”, by Ralph Sawyer https://www.librarything.com/work/22419/book/79674329
If I were to even try to summarize the ideas inspired by that material (and some more) and my experience on cultural and organizational change, I would have to write another book, not just the usual 1000 words Sunday post on China and Chinese.
I will not repeat here details about the “one country, two systems” policy (have a look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%80%E5%9B%BD%E4%B8%A4%E5%88%B6) .
As you probably know, by 2047 there will be another step within the “organizational evolution” of China and the reason why I picked an article from that issue of Foreign Affairs is simple: the whole issue was devoted to another area that has a lot to do with organizational and business development, i.e. managing risk(s) and assessing opportunities.
If you read news about China since when UK turned back Hong Kong to China, the “one country, two systems” policy seems to be influencing both, also if obviously such a change is bound to create friction along the way (50 years is a long time).
If, beside the language, you study a little bit of the history of the Chinese government structure and its bureaucracy (e.g. through the bibliographical references listed above), including the current crop (i.e. via investment abroad), you will see that, as an author said, China had 5,000 years to develop a bureaucracy.
Moreover, 5,000 years to develop an approach on how to train, develop, test talent that could fit within that structure- and change it without making it implode or completely lose its way and rationale (as many bureaucracies do, after few decades).
For the time being, the contact is generating changes through the expansion to other areas of the “SAR” concept.
As I wrote two weeks ago quoting an article about the experience of a Chinese multinational in Brazil, it is a mutual learning process, and, as in business, often it is easier to mix-and-match your own culture with new elements if you create a “testing ground”, to learn what works and what doesn’t, before rolling it out across your organization, than if you blindly go and try to make an elephant dance without first understanding which steps you need to do.
One step at a time, that’s how you deliver real change.
The massive investment on education (e.g. look at the number of engineers and scientists trained in China) will generate demand not just for economic development, but also for varying degrees of “collaborative decision-making”, and this will obviously change the scenario.
That’s also the reason why one of the first steps taken by dictators, colonialists, and terrorists when taking over a new ground is to disrupt the educational system.
Think about China in mid-1960s, on the verge of the beginning of the “Cultural Revolution”, and compare it with today’s China: even a 5,000 old organizational structure and culture can change…
Have a nice week!
PS Please read the introduction to understand how to use this website 🙂