Latest Op Ed: Four Asian Business Trends Happening in Real Time
Many thanks to Founderswire for publishing my latest Op Ed. An abstract is below & here’s the full text. An equally appreciative shout-out to the law firm Morse Barnes for blogging about it, too, through this link.
This is based on our recent trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong earlier this month to meet with companies about their business strategies through the Global Management Experience BU program.
Multiple times a year for nearly the past two decades, I’ve been fortunate to bring MBAs or undergrad business students to Asia to either meet with different companies about their business practices, or consult with them on strategic planning projects. In my latest trip, we visited more than 10 companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong, in industries ranging from financial services, food and beverage, manufacturing to health care.
Different trends emerge every year and 2017 didn’t disappoint: Many of the firms are ditching long-term strategic planning in favor of speed and agility, in order to obtain short-term profits and keep competitors at bay. This is a departure from prior years where many companies sacrificed market share and earnings, provided they were positioning themselves for long-term strategic planning success.
Asian business used to have a unique, homegrown approach, often shrouded behind formidable cultural cloaks. Deals had long lead times to closure and required elaborate support mechanisms, such as formal company dinners, golf outings and drinking parties. Although many of these legacy cultural norms are still in play, I was struck by how many firms had instead become transaction focused: needing to close the deal and collect the money, rather than paying homage to supporting the long-term relationship.
We formed these conclusions after our 20-person delegation got to know each company extremely well. Before departing from Boston University, and to prepare for each visit, the students worked in teams.