On August 30, the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization invited Lady Barbara Judge, the first female chair of the UK's Institute of Directors, to share her views about successful corporate governance among her nation's top firms.
Lady Judge offered some practical tips on how Chinese companies can achieve success abroad.
Transparency and trust were the two factors crucial to the success of any international business, Lady Judge said. Chinese enterprises, as relative "latecomers" to global markets, needed to focus on two areas. The first was corporate governance. Good corporate governance enhances a company's trust and transparency, both crucial for the success of a global push. The second was cultural sensitivity, something that must start at the very top of the company. Strategy and management must be integrated in any corporation seeking to do business worldwide. An advisory board with an international outlook and local experience is a great way to strengthen understanding and mutual trust.
Though Chinese firms are learning to adapt to local environments and work with local partners and stakeholders effectively, much more needs to be done, she said. Cross-border enterprises cannot overlook the significance of stakeholder mapping that goes beyond one-way engagement in countries outside of China. It must be a comprehensive system that analyzes all the stakeholders based on impact and influence. And Chinese businesses must persuade those outside China that doing business together will lead to mutual gain and added value.
Lady Judge said official and governmental support was necessary, but corporations needed to take the initiative and seek partnerships with foreign multinationals to in order to achieve worldwide success.