Organizational Culture & Values

Heading to China to See What I Can See

Some time ago I posted that I wanted our company to be more global in scope – This afternoon I leave on an 8 day trip to China to meet people and learn a great many things about how our agency can help Chinese companies market their goods and services.

It’s my feeling that Americans have a lot of knowledge and experience that can be shared with new and emerging economies. Perhaps our most exportable commodity is the knowledge of business practices, tactics and approaches. I’ve always been fascinated by China and Asia in general (I’ve made four trips to Japan, one to Singapore, and one recent trip to Hong Kong).

Many American companies are eager to push their products into China. And why not? The Chinese economy continues to expand at a substantial rate, people in tier 1 and tier 2 cities in China are becoming more consumer-oriented, and the population in general is more and more educated every day. A population of 1.4 billion people means that if you are one in a million in China you are one in 1,400 out of a million.

We’ve all read about some horrendous working conditions at some factories in China. It does concern me and the situation will have to get better. The Chinese government is well aware of the world view of these types of situations. But I remain undeterred and still fascinated by Chinese culture, the emerging of an economic powerhouse and our agency’s opportunity to be a part of it.

Our current client Rosetta Stone offers a language learning software product in Mandarin (among many others). I received one from them and have been sporadically attempting to learn some Mandarin. The Rosetta Stone program is interesting and helpful but learning Mandarin is difficult – really difficult. I am not prepared to carry on any conversations in Mandarin at this point. Provided the trip works out the way I hope and we uncover a host of opportunities (as I anticipate) I will engage a tutor upon my return so I can be better prepared for future trips.

My wife made me promise to not visit the Great Wall since she wants to be there with me so we can visit it together for the first time. I am going to be in both Shanghai and Beijing and hope to at least view the Great Wall from a plane if nothing else. Something I find interesting – China is the third largest country by land mass on the planet. And it has one time zone. That’s like New York and L.A. having the same time. All the time.

I’m an adventurous and curious eater and despite my 83 year-old father’s concern am not worried about being served dog or cat. I truly look forward to the opportunity to sample various cuisines while in China – after all I often look at life as time spent between meals.

I’m primed and ready and will offer my observations from the other side of the planet. Here’s a question, if I could bring back something from China that would be of interest to you what would that be?

Zai jian for now!

Category: Organizational Culture & Values


About the Author: Mark Kolier

A member of Vistage for more than five years Mark is a partner in a new agency micro-network concept called With a particular expertise in direct and digital marketing, Mark has served both business-to-business and busine

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