Understanding the features of the target cultures has a very considerable influence on the best way to generate business. Chinese civilization is the prominment "representative" of the Eastern Asian cultures, which are extremely peculiar and totally distinct from Western civilizations. To understand its language, you can easily find and hire a professional translation agency (like the ACE CHINESE TRANSLATION), but to understand the cultural takes a lot more efforts and real contacts.
There was a "gas station fable" that goes like this:
In a Nowhere city in China, Mr. Zhang San opened a gas station and made a lot of money. Seeing this, Ms. Li Si and Wang Wu also opened gas stations one after another, wishing to grab a share of this profit market.
In the West, however, if Tom runs a gas station and makes a lot of money, Jerry would sell water next to it, Polly runs a restaurant, and then, more and more people come - a township finally comes into being...
In the domestic business circle and product circle, everyone is playing the "Hard" mode, from the hundred regimens war, to a pile of "top conference", it seems that every business form once appears to play, there will be numerous groups of "followers" to join the competition...... Silicon valley's peers are saying it's just Chinese.
Some time ago, the orange dream class invited professor xie xiaoyun, deputy dean of school of management of zhejiang university, to give a lecture on "human nature and system in organizations". There were many highlights, which happened to have something to do with this topic, namely, the influence of traditional Chinese culture on today's business behaviors.
In summary, there are three significant differences:
First, the trust system is different. The east is a circle structure (relatives, acquaintances, strangers), and the more familiar people they trust, while the west is rule-based.
Secondly, the order of common sense and law is that the east pretends to reason, then to reason, and finally to speak, while the west is just the opposite. (extension: there is also a more interesting saying that the east is "thinking" in the sense of law, "do things" in the sense of law)
Third, the petrol station fable, the opening story, plays out in the same way in the business world.
It's interesting, but why?
In my opinion, these three points share the same logic core -- the difference between farming civilization and hunting civilization.
In the case of farming, people stick to the land and change very slowly from generation to generation. The people they meet every day are the circle structure, and the chances of meeting the clan members (relatives) are far more than the villagers (acquaintances) and far more than the strangers. In this context, people who are close to each other can only be trusted more. The closer they are to the core circle, the more interests they bind, and the easier it is to find the common goal. Naturally, doing things by "feeling", that is, the efficiency of values is obviously higher than rules (principles and laws), but this only applies to small and beautiful teams. This point, I believe that entrepreneurs with the expansion of the team, things from talk to talk, also can feel the obvious decline in efficiency.
Every day in hunting civilization, civilization will run into a new environment, new stranger, may be the enemy may also be a partner in the future, the whole society has experienced a long-term training, everyone is aware of its exact person, to believe that the opposite is inferior to believe that a rule, we have a consensus may be a little bit low, low efficiency is the basis of the value returned, but the consensus is the way of cooperation. Similarly, in the early stage of starting a business together, the team relies on common sense, while large companies cooperate with each other with more common sense.
China is in a relatively stable farming civilization, see the same people every day, to do the same things, listen to the old man, one thousand, people more and more tend to avoid uncertainty, tend to mimic first, and then "innovation", so, fables in a gas station and an industry constantly repeat: homogeneity competition, price wars, burn, merge... The merger of didi kuaidi, Meituan and dianping, ctrip and qunar, and...
Western culture, on the other hand, values the initiative to meet challenges and seek changes, and thus develops such characteristics as rebellion, tolerance of failure, unwillingness to copy and encouragement of innovation.
Imitation or innovation are both survival strategies evolved in a specific internal environment. There is no right or wrong, but the long-term impact is a bit like the comparison between the continental civilization and the Marine civilization. The continental civilization is a relatively closed system, which will gradually increase the entropy and generally get old. In the early years of human beings, when transportation and communication were inconvenient, every internal environment could be protected from external influences. The high efficiency of farming enabled China to take the lead in the stage. However, in the era when internal environment and external environment were integrated, the advantages of an open system that was better at innovation, rule establishment and consensus building gradually emerged.