[Review] Control Risks China Management Team Talks on Leadership [UK Alumni Leadership Series]

Published on 2019-07-04

On Tuesday 25 June, the inaugural event of the 'UK Alumni Leadership Series' took place in Control Risks Shanghai office. Chamber's UK alumni members met with the company's management team: Kent Kedl, Senior Partner, and Rosie Hawes, Partner.

Moderated by Lewis CHEN, Chairman of the Chamber's Chinese Returnee UK Alumni Focus Group, Kent and Rosie shared their views on doing business in China and advice for young professionals on future career and leadership development. 

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1. What changes or innovations have the greatest impact on your business?

The commitment and movement towards diversity. Over recent years, we have been hiring people with different backgrounds instead of simply staying close to our origins. We now have a mixture of different mindsets working together as a team. 

2. As a British Business, what are you learning from your engagement with China?

The expectations of Chinese employees, who are highly educated and understandably very ambitious can be different from the expectations of junior British employees. Similarly the expectations of Chinese clients and their approach to business and negotiations differ. Certainly, the work ethic of Chinese employees deserves to be a role model for the world to learn from. The challenge for Chinese employees is to learn to flex depending on if they work for/with a multinational or Chinese firm – which is not easy! 

3. What skills are going to be most important in the future?

Just as now – so in the future the most important skill is a creative approach towards problem solving. This means bringing solutions to your manager rather than just highlighting the problem.

To stay relevant in the future, we must be curious and be willing to learn and prepare for the changes we will have to adapt to.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about leadership?

Ensuring equality of treatment and opportunity for employees regardless if they are a foreigner or Chinese - what they bring to the table matters more than their education or cultural background.

5. What advice do you have for UK alumni who are now working in China?

Employers value loyalty. A CV that shows you have stayed only one year in each place is more likely to concern a potential employer rather than indicate a range of skills acquired. To see that you have stuck with one company through its hardships instead of running away is something that should be praised.

About the Chinese Returnee UK Alumni Focus Group

The Chinese Returnee UK Alumni Focus Group acts as the voice and connection for Chinese, who have studied or worked in the UK, within the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai’s membership. The Group aims to provide a platform for such members to network and share their experience both in a social and business environment via Chamber-run events, social media and marketing channels.

The group is recruiting new members! We are seeking from the Chamber membership for those who have worked or studied in the UK to support the continuing development of this focus group and further enhance our contributions to the UK alumni community in Shanghai. Please contact Jun Wang to apply to join.