Matt HealeyMonday,26 November 2012

The Snap:

There are a lot of problems in the U.S. and Europe right now. The U.S. deficit and high unemployment have created an economic situation that will take a long time to recover from. It will take serious people and creative ideas to address these concerns. Fortunately, in the U.S. we do not limit the people who can work on or come up with ideas as to how to solve the problems.

The Download:

I was reminded of this recently because of the political handover in China. The new government was selected by a previous government. So not everyone in China had a chance to become a government minister. You needed the right family connections to even be considered. So, while China also has significant structural issues, they have self-limited the people who can address them to a select few.

The same situation exists in Chinese companies. There is such a strict hierarchy, that only the very top management can make any real decisions. If you are down the food chain, your job is to do what the people above you say. You can not challenge, disagree, or propose alternatives. You just do what you are told. While this system works very well when it comes to copying the innovations and technology of U.S. companies, it is very limiting when it comes to new ideas, innovation, etc. The U.S. may have real problems, but at least everyone can work on a solution. China has real problems, but government policy and culture will restrict who and what can be done about the problems.

Hat Tips:

China and the class system, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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