Getting Personal About Asia

I was intrigued by "Overloaded Overseas" (Fall, 2005) and thought I would pass on some thoughts garnered by 20 years of living and working in Asia:

1. Commitment is important. The Chinese and Taiwanese don't know you or your company. The most important thing is showing your commitment to them.

2. Building personal relationships is key. To the Asian businessman, there is no difference between a business relationship and a personal one. A few drinking sessions or dinner at a local restaurant will be more productive than a formal business discussion.

3. Contracts are not worth the paper they are printed on. If a contract as signed becomes inappropriate or outdated, I generally tear it up and start again. I have been working with some Taiwanese business associates for 20 years without a contract. We trust each other and look after each other's interests. Why do we need a piece of paper?

Good luck.


CEO, Strategic Thinking Group


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