In November, CKGSB in partnership with Columbia Business School, hosted the three-day educational program, Breakthrough China Strategy (BCS). The program offered critical insights and provided clarity to U.S. business leaders on how to better engage with Chinese business counterparts; understand the implications of China’s economic transformation; and how to attract Chinese consumers. Professors and thought leaders from both CKGSB and the Columbia Business School lead plenary working sessions to help executives tackle key challenges they face or anticipate facing in doing business with China.
“Breakthrough China Strategy is a one-of-a-kind program that provides U.S. executives with unique insights on the critical drivers of success in the Chinese market, and we look forward to further partnering with Columbia Business School on similar executive-level programs,” said Baohong Sun, Dean’s Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing, Associate Dean of Global Programs, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.
Concurrently, CKGSB also invited 50 CEOs from top Chinese companies visiting the U.S. for its China CEO program to join the U.S. participants during the final day of the BCS program, on campus at Columbia Business School. Through classroom interaction and a networking lunch, BCS participants were able engage with their Chinese counterparts on an intellectual as well as social level. The BCS participants were able to discuss their ideas for success in the Chinese market with the visiting Chinese CEOs, and in turn provide advice to the Chinese CEOs on their plans for success in the U.S. market.
The final day of the BCS program also culminated with both the U.S. participants and visiting Chinese CEOs attending a special interactive cross-cultural session titled, “Lessons for Leadership from Jazz” that married management strategy with jazz music. The session was designed to illuminate the way jazz musicians work together and how similar team dynamics can inform the way executives can create more effective organizations. The jazz band performed several jazz classics as well as original compositions based on traditional Chinese music. After the performance, the audience was excited, energized, and engaged in their breakout groups.
The jazz bandleader, Stephanie Chou said, “We thoroughly enjoyed performing and facilitating the final session of the Breakthrough China Strategy program with the U.S. participants and Chinese CEOs. Most people wouldn’t associate jazz music with a business environment, much less from a cross-cultural perspective, but the way jazz musicians perform together and listen for improvisation is very similar to how senior executives need to think about leading their global teams and learn to adapt to changing situations. It is rare for musicians to talk about their crafts in this way to inspire an audience, so we appreciated the opportunity to share and teach.”
“With a jazz band, all members must be in sync and work together as a unit in order for the performance to be a success. That same philosophy can be translated to the boardroom. Stephanie and her band mates really got the participants thinking deeply about their management styles and how they can change their approaches to it. We are pleased to have partnered with Columbia Business School to run this innovative and successful executive U.S.-China business program for the participants,” concluded Professor Sun.