Organizational Culture & Values

China Sourcing – Are You Setting Sail?

I try to never miss my monthly Vistage™ 812 CEO group meeting. We learn so much that I can implement in my China sourcing business and it provides me food for thought. Our chair Robin Stanaland always creates a poster with an inspirational quote that captures that month’s meeting. Here is this month’s quote:

“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.” – Admiral Grace Hopper

It reminded me of the reason I got into sourcing in China, but more importantly it relates to todays economy and what CEOs are planning to deal with this uncertain future we all face. Many are setting out to sea and chartering courses to places like China, India, Mexico and Brazil.

Another great quote that relate to this comes to mind; “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”. I suppose that works for ocean courses over seas as well as the open road. As it relates to sourcing in China, it leaves us with a not so small question. Are you at sea or in port?

In planning for the future in uncertain times, you need to set sail and, need a good course. But change is hard and safe harbor feels good. At least temporarily. Eventually changes is a inevitable and can feel painful. But it does not have to be that way when you create a plan. I believe that China, for most business is a place to source products and services or a vast untapped market or a competitor that requires study. Maybe all three. There should be a place in everyone’s business plan that address China in some way.

Speaking of plans, there was a recent Vistage™ Pole: “CEOs foresee profit, job growth” that speaks to this, where Nineteen percent say they are doing business in China. Another 1 percent say they plan to start doing business there in the next 12 months. These leaders are plotting courses and setting sail. China can be rewarding on may levels, but the sea to success can be treacherous. Make sure you get help. Do not try to navigate these waters without an experienced captain and crew to guide you.

Admiral Gary Young

Category: Organizational Culture & Values


About the Author: Gary Young

Gary Young, 10 year veteran of Vistage, is CEO of Avela Corporation, helping companies source products and services in China for over 9 years; with offices in Houston Texas and Shanghai China. Starting his company in 1984 as an advertising a…

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