Whether we’re talking about a family, business or country, significant growth inevitably causes a ripple effect of change and requires careful management to keep the proverbial engines running smoothly. As we’ve seen with Google and Apple, properly managed growth can elevate a business to empire status.
Within a decade, China will have the world’s largest economy. As its economy grows, cultural, labor and population trends are shifting. The “Chinese dream” is evolving to resemble the “American dream” as citizens increasingly strive to improve their quality of life. Young adults are going to college instead of working in factories and an emerging middle class works towards home ownership and material wealth.
China’s gradual cultural shift from collectivistic to individualistic is incongruent with its authoritarian government system. Can China maintain a sustainable, healthy business community with existing, limiting government regulation? My guess is no. Will the Chinese government continue to reevaluate its traditional ideals and adjust regulation to nurture its version of the industrial revolution? I hope so.