Shift Happens

Heath Havlick from turned me on to this great video titled Shift Happens: Globalization. The video presents a lot of interesting facts and statistics relating to globalization. Most of the information relates to China and their growing impact on the global economy. For example, according to the video, "The 25% of the population in China with the highest IQs is greater than the total population of North America".

When the average American thinks of China's impact on the global economy, most associate China with inexpensive labor and the manufacturing of low cost goods. Others may point to China’s impact on high oil prices. But few would associate China as technology innovators.

However, if one looks closely at China, they will see a country that is climbing farther up the technology ladder and beginning to produce high-end products. How they are doing this is a fascinating story and a history lesson. A new book discusses this story in great detail and should be a must-read for every American - the book is titled China Shakes the World: A Titan's Rise and Troubled Future -- and the Challenge for America.

In the book, it is reported that Zhou Enlai, educated in France and Chairman Mao's urbane premier, was asked his opinion of whether the French Revolution had been a success. His answer was that it was too early to tell. This says a lot about the China business culture. While many American companies tend to think in terms of quarters, China seems to think in terms of decades if not centuries.

In the HR supplier marketplace, China has had little impact. But as China continues it's unprecedented growth, it is just a matter of time before we begin to see some impacts.

In a previous blog posting Going to China - via an HR Event in San Francisco I described a unique event that is taking place in San Francisco from May 23-25. According to the event organizer XMei International, "the conference will explore the unique human resource challenges and topics that can significantly affect business success in China – including talent, strategy, compensation, recruitment, leadership, HR management software, cross-cultural challenges, unions, employment law, business setup, and HR outsourcing."

A few of us from will be attending this event to get a better understanding of HR in China but we also hope to get a better understanding of China's HR business marketplace. Who knows, we may be seeing some of these companies stateside in the future.

If you are interested in the event next week, visit Xmei.

Posted by Mark Willaman

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