Great article from yesterday's Boston Globe on Frost Ice Bar. Here's the link. Enjoy!
After two visits to China, I wanted to share a few experiences and some lessons learned for anyone planning to conduct business there. Overall, what will help during a visit is to spend a lot of time socializing with one’s business counterparts or partners, to visit China’s vast historical monuments and to briefly familiarize oneself with the country's extensive history and culture.
Before I went on my two trips to China, I undertook research on the People's Republic. I researched the country, the people and its rich history. The Chinese are very proud of their heritage and love to talk about it; watching a couple of movies about China such as Empire of the Sun or The Last Emperor was one of the ways I educated myself. When on the ground, I displayed visible interest in the different sites, the history, had a list of a few places that I planned to visit and even referenced a few other places that I could not visit during that excursion-- such as The Terracotta Army in Xi’an-- but planned to come back and see another time. My advice is to become familiar with China and its country and, when on the ground, talk about and show respect. The Chinese talk about their national treasures with such pride and fervor that I have not seen anywhere else. In addition, some of their sites such as The Great Wall of China and the historic Bund in Shanghai are simply mesmerizing.
In addition to seeing China’s sites, I spent extensive face time with the consulting firm I was working with--including many elaborate dinners--and learnt the importance of drinking the Baijiu (a Chinese white wine consumed at dinner on special occasions). Had I not consumed the Baijiu, it would have been considered an insult and damaged the relationship. I was also able to develop a stronger relationship with the management of the firm I was working with by asking about their families and even seeing some of their wedding photos (something the Chinese love to show). Another lesson I learned was the importance of doing karaoke with my business partners. As China can be a very conformist society, one of the sole avenues available for release is through karaoke. Allowing them to relax a little will go a long way in developing a strong business rapport. My advice is to spend face time with your consulting partners or potential clients outside of work and even ask about their personal lives--it can help to seal or strengthen any potential deal.
A couple of other tips for success in China: make sure your business cards are translated into either Mandarin or Cantonese (different character sets); when giving or receiving business cards, remember to use both hands; respect seniority in China (it’s all about saving face and senior management will be insulted if they do not lead conversations, and their rank is not respected); avoid the number 4 as it is considered unlucky (use 3 or 5 bullets on a PowerPoint slide); 8 is considered auspicious; and finally, avoid discussing certain sensitive topics such as Tibet and the Tiananmen Square incidnet. Overall, these tips will help to make your visit to China more successful.
Stoller, Greg. “Doing Business in China.” File last modified 20 October 2010. Microsoft Powerpoint file.
Two personal visits to China in 2010 and 2011.
Cliché or not, he—or she—who has the money...usually gets to make the rules. Except...when things don’t go as planned. Venture Capital, Private Equity, Bank Loans, Credit Card Bootstrapping...as you acquire funding for your business, your obligations go up faster than your cash flow. If you don't keep up your end of the bargain, you won't be getting any sympathy, no matter what the excuse is.
Don Nelson, Aaron Cai, Ben Littauer and Dan Weller were on the TV show as we filmed Episode #8 (Financial Plan) on the Language of Business. Their respective backgrounds are below. They were all terrific and this episode should air in about 6 weeks, or so. The Show is now broadcast on over 20 stations in the US, coast-to-coast. It's been extremely helpful, to date, achieving our primary objective to generate project leads for our Boston College Consulting and Business Plan courses.
Donald Nelson is a co-founder and Managing Director of Harken Capital. Previously, Don founded NelCap Advisers in 2007, and spent nearly a decade with SV Life Sciences. He initially served as an investment professional and CFO, and was then promoted to Head of Fundraising and Fund Strategy. Don was responsible for raising SV Life Sciences Funds III and IV, which constitute nearly $1.0 billion of the $1.6 billion of private capital under management by SV Life Sciences. His company's web site is here.
Aaron Cai is a seasoned professional with experience in technology and investment research, global value chain development, and process improvement and control. He has worked in Utilities, Electrical/Electronics products, and Investment Management industries and his goal is to combine operations and investment management experiences and his specialties are in Capital Goods, Fundamental Analysis, Global Sourcing, Process Improvement, Program Management; Research, analyze, identify and manage Global, Technological Investment Opportunities, Financial Statement Analysis and Modeling. His LinkedIn profile is here.
Ben Littauer is an angel investor with expertise in Internet and communications technologies, as well as healthcare IT. Currently an active member of Boston Harbor Angels and Walnut Venture Associates with investments in a wide variety of startups, he sits on the boards of two portfolio companies. He is a mentor for Mass Challenge and The Capital Network, and is on the advisory board at TCN. Mr. Littauer is a judge for Mass Challenge, MITX Innovation Awards, and various academic competitions. Mr. Littauer was Technology Strategist for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he defined the architecture for PatientSite, allowing patients to communicate securely with their healthcare team and view their own medical records. He was a consultant to the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium on healthcare data security projects. His profile is on this link.
The Weller family has been in carpeting for three generations. Mike Weller spent many years in Boston, working for Warren Allen, a carpet distributor in New England. Mike's son, Bob Weller decided to carry on the carpeting tradition and in 1954; he started Robert Weller Corporation, a carpet conversion factory located on A Street in South Boston. Bob would purchase carpet remnants from the various carpet mills and convert these remnants into first quality area rugs. To this day, we are one of the last of our breed in the northeast, supplying much of New England with the highest quality area rugs.
In 1999 Bob's son Dan joined the company and is now the acting president. The company has enjoyed steady growth in our wholesale division and astonishing growth from our retail division. In 2000, Weller Carpets was faced with a decision - with the continued restructuring of the South Boston Waterfront, Weller Carpets would be forced to relocate. After a long search, we first resettled in Avon, MA, and then finally here in Norwood, MA.. Here's his company's web site.
Beginning in February we began our entrepreneur interviews for the Business Plan course. This week we'll have 35 presentations, leaving our 2nd year full-time MBA students to determine which projects they'd like to work on, and we traditionally end up with between 17 - 22 teams amongst the students' preferences.
Click on this link to hear an interview on Radio Entrepreneurs about the course and here is a picture from yesterday's presentations.
Congratulations to MBA '13 grads Emily Fannon and Meghan Zipin on their success (who are the Mass. Challenge finalists), per this Boston.com story. They originally started their work in the BC Business Plan Course, and made it to the Rice University Business Plan competition semi-finals, narrowly missing a chance to compete the finals. They then continued their work, including competing in Mass. Challenge.
Let's talk Operations and the 3 T's: Telecom, Top Line Energy Management and Tapas. On this episode of The Language of Business we'll look at operations, and interview three entrepreneurs who are current or past CEOs. Continuous business improvement for start-ups, and established ventures: The Language of Business.
Craig Sanders, Paul Laskow and Jody Mendoza are my 3 guests. Craig's link is here, click on this link for Paul's interview and watch Jody's here. The full, 30-minute episode is below and we are proud to be the featured show of the week on the Needham Channel for the second time.
Thank you for supporting our show.
Latest Language of Business TV episode airing next week. We'll talk Operations Management & the 3 T's: Telecom, Top Line Energy Management and Tapas. 20-second promo below. Thank you for supporting the Show.
France is going through some challenging times economically, as discussed in this recent New York Times article.
My friend, professor and researcher, Ms. Camille Baulant, discusses economic trends in two recent articles, whose abstracts are below. Her bio is here, and her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
La France passe quelques temps stimulants économiquement, comme discuté dans cet article de New York Times récent.
Mon amie, professeur et chercheuse, Mme Camille Baulant, discutent des tendances économiques dans deux articles récents, dont les résumés sont ci-dessous. Elle bio est ici et son adresse électronique est : email@example.com.
Paper #1: Déficits commerciaux et désindustrialisation en Europe. Quel diagnostic, quels remèdes ?
Since 20 years, European Union enlarges to 28 countries. The Euro Area took into account 17 countries, some of which (Greece, Spain or Portugal) had already some problems of price-competitiveness.
The paper first would explain the cause of the trade deficit of Spain, France and Italia. These bad performances could be explained by euro exchange rate or by losses in non price competitiveness?
After studying price elasticities and income elasticities of exports of these countries during the twenties, the paper will analyze how these countries could go on to keep some good place on the World Markets. In this part, we try to identify if it would be possible for these countries to have some good results in service not only on travel services but also services for private firms and we make the hypothesis that industry export performances are today linked to services export performances.
Paper #2: The systemic “learning by sharing” diamond: research methodology proposal
Purpose – To design a research methodology in order to test a conceptual model that intregrates learning and knowledge sharing, individual and organizational factors and individual and organizationl benefits. Methodology – Based on a literature review it is developed a research framework for assesing the process of learning by sharing, and its relationship with the four differentiations of an organization (cooperation, competency, competition, knowledge), and the individual and organizational benefits.
Findings – The sustainability of this reasearch methodology proposel should enture that organizations can asses by they own employee attitudes and behaviors concerning the learning and knowledge sharing as one integrated process. Practical implications – The research model proposed in the present study is useful to for both practitioners and researchers by providing a research methodology that could be implemented in any organizations, in order to investigate learning by sharing process in such a way that collaborative knowledge sharing becomes a part of the work culture and overcome the barriers to knowledge sharing.
Originality/value – Altough knowlege management and intellectual capital are a very wide spread in present literature, the concept of learning by sharing is less approched. This papare contributes by designing a research methodology in order to asses learning by sharing process.