Stubborn flexibility

China is often referred too as the awakening dragon. People who have visited China acknowledge the dynamic atmosphere in the country and fully understand the definition of 24-hour economy.  Receiving a production order at Friday 21.30, having a meeting with the production manager on Sunday and realizing delivery at Monday 8:00 common practice in China. The Chinese are experts when it comes to improvisation. An advantage if you are dealing with tight deadlines but challenging for scheduling delegations or for people who are addicted to punctuality. 

In most Western countries, confirming a meeting can be done months in advance with 1 telephone call. Operating in China, scheduling meetings can begin only 2-3 weeks in advance. Furthermore, this meeting has to be confirmed many times. Even at the day of the appointment, a final confirmation is conventional. Only by doing so, you and the other party are sure of no last-minute changes.
Though this might seem unorganized or unreliable in many Western eyes, this flexibility of planning is generally accepted on every level in the society. The advantage is that you can do exactly the same.  

Especially planning trade delegations, dynamic organization skills are essential. When an appointment or event is cancelled, you must have a plan B in place without delay. 

In China making appointments on short-notice, is widely accepted. The people you meet will most likely suggest dates and times that cause conflicts in your agenda. Discuss possibilities with your delegation members and evaluate the pro’s and the con’s of changing your schedule instead of a blind commitment to your initial program.   

Most efficient and effective delegations are managed by a well experienced organization that can smoothly adapt any change in the schedule. Besides improvisation and organization skills, having a 24-hour economy mind-set is at least as important to realize success!