IMD-professor, and former CEIBS dean, Bill Fischer, describes on his weblog the fast changing speed in China’s development. While China has made huge steps forward, at the end Fischer still sees huge barriers to real change in China:
The conundrum underlying all of this is that there is lots of creativity in China today. The art scene; fashion; sculpture; music; cinema. China is awash with creativity. But, if you look closely, what you see is that this innovation is individual innovation, not organizational innovation. What sets the eBays and Amazons and Apples apart is that they are all “organizational” innovation. The iPod experience could not have been designed by one person; it needed a team, and a diverse team at that. Same is true behind most of the big innovations of recent times. Yet, what is it about Chinese organizations that they turn out to be so much less innovative than the sum of the people who are brought together under that organizational structure? Is it that the command & control approach to management which has characterized thousands of years of Chinese history is still hard to break? Or, is it Confucian respect for hierarchy and relational prerogatives? Is it not enough trust; or too much trust? Is it not enough diversity? Or, is it something else?