China: The notion of Human energy

Just arrived in China few weeks ago for a mission of several months for a French company located in Shanghai, I discovered the book “Agir en mode delivery (Acting in delivery mode)” and especially its subtitle “Facing the crisis, take inspiration of Asia to succeed”.

Pleasant to read, the book covers many subjects, often in a few words (example: a line for the Z generation, the Agile mode is described in half a page at the end, …). It explains many terms I didn’t know: inside in, chinese dream, the global competition between capitals, etc. It’s a summary of the coming stakes: the complexity of the organizations, the speed of change.

But it’s especially how a topic has been detailed that is dear to me and which will be useful to me in China: the notion of Human Energy.

The book insists on this human energy which is primordial to set in motion the organizations and the firms.

On a daily basis, in Shanghai, this energy is obvious, palpable, I have seen many times. In the streets of the city, at the exit of metros, shopping centers, the inhabitants do exercises in the morning or in the evening; They dance, they make slow movements with sabers, Tai Chi, Qi Qong, etc … in a group, next to each other with different music. But each group remains connected to the music on which it dances.

They are ready to help you: to tell you a direction, they take their phone and look for a map and show it to you. In life and work, they are often in an attitude: “What can I do better tomorrow? “. Another example: in the diagnostic phase that I do with some of them, my Chinese colleagues do not describe a current situation but the needs to change this situation.

The human relationships are important, even if sometimes contradictory. (On the train platforms, they put themselves one behind the other while waiting in front of the site for the doors, but as soon as the doors are open, they all go together inside. They don’t wait for the passengers to come down!). When we meet a Chinese, the first thing he/she asks us is our WeChat, the equivalent of Whatsapp. The phone is the main tool: now you can pay almost everything by phone (meals in the restaurant with a QR Code, air tickets, etc.), you can rent bikes always based on QR Code (unthinkable 2 years ago).

You don’t speak Chinese? Very few Chinese speak English … no worries. They take their phone and write in Chinese what they want to tell us; With the translation software, they show us the result in English!

So many examples that illustrate this relationship to energy, this Asia-specific way of looking at how to manage action, which explains in part the dynamism of China or South Korea. Reading this book sheds light on this approach, which facilitates the implementation of change. It also allows me to be more attentive and to have like a reading filter of the Chinese society, on a daily basis as in my mission.


Agir en mode delivery, Facing the crisis, take inspiration of Asia to succeed, David Autissier (lecturer authorized to conduct research at the IAE Gustave Eiffel and Director of the ESSEC Chair), Philippe Li (Partner in the international law firm Jones Day) and Jean-Michel Moutot (Professor of Management at the AUDENCIA Management School Nantes) – (2015) – Eyrolles Edition.

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