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Insights | Education, intrapreneurship and kissing the right frog

BritCham / CBBC
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How UK education and business are fuelling mass innovation and entrepreneurship in China
 
Sector Insights: Education & Talent Development
By Simon Stewart
Sector Lead for Education, Training & Talent
China-Britain Business Council
 
 
China’s double-digit growth over the past decades has produced a stronger economy and has made China an important contributor to the world. Yet this level of growth is not sustainable and has been at a cost. High consumption of energy and raw materials, environmental issues and an unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities have put pressure on China’s economic and social infrastructure.
 
In addition, the end of the demographic dividend of large quantities of cheap labour has eroded China’s traditional competitive advantage and has left businesses in China looking for new ways to sustain business and economic growth.
 
But the “new normal”, as this economic climate is known, is not just an era of slower growth. It signifies the development of a new type of Chinese economy that faces a new set of economic and social challenges to which there is no easy answer. The solution, according to a Chinese government work report in March this year, is the development of popular entrepreneurship and mass innovation.
 
These so-called “twin engines” of growth are designed not only to drive sustainable economic growth but also to solve some of the major environmental, demographic and social challenges that China faces in the next decade.
 
Business in China has embraced innovation and entrepreneurship and it is not difficult to find widely publicised examples of great Chinese entrepreneurs and technical innovations. China clearly has the talent. However, to create a sustainable economy and provide more opportunities in key industry areas will require a greater effort. 
 
The challenge is to widen the talent pool to have a greater number of entrepreneurs starting new businesses or bringing a new entrepreneurial mindset into traditional industries. It requires not well-publicised individual innovations but a broad group of creative minds and critical thinkers.
 
Embedding a new corporate culture of intrapreneurship
 
At a recent forum in Shanghai, CBBC members from the fields of education, training and HR discussed how UK education providers and businesses in China could work together to create a pipeline of “intrapreneurs” and how companies could embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within their organisation. Clearly, fostering mass entrepreneurship and innovation creates an extra layer of complexity that requires a new approach to talent development. 
 
The UK has a long history of collaboration with industry both academically and in research and development to create talent fit for the needs of modern business and innovative, commercially viable solutions that can have an impact on business and society.
 
Members of CBBC, including Pearson, the British Council, King’s College London, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, the University of Nottingham Ningbo, the University of Central Lancashire, Manchester Business School and Leeds University, have dedicated resources to building academic and business bridges between the UK and China. They are helping to build the foundation of talent from which Chinese popular entrepreneurship and mass innovation can grow.
 
CBBC is also playing its part in the development of entrepreneurship in China through its partnership with the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange and the promotion of the Chunhui Cup, a competition that encourages Chinese students in the UK to develop entrepreneurial skills and to build new businesses in China, which is co-sponsored by the Chinese Ministries of Education and Science & Technology. (The finalists of the ninth annual cup will be announced later this year. See: http://www.cbbc.org/sectors/the-chunhui-cup.) 
 
This type of collaborative initiative between business, universities and graduates is an important step to improving the employability of Chinese graduates and fostering an innovative mindset and a pool of talented entrepreneurs. 
 
You have to kiss many frogs before you find a prince
 
One key observation from CBBC’s recent education and HR workshop was that just having entrepreneurial and innovative talent in companies was important, but it alone was not enough to deliver the results required in the market. Both Chinese and overseas businesses need to create a culture which encourages and empowers individuals to create, innovate and build on new business ideas. 
 
Successful ventures rarely stem from the first idea but from a process of idea generation, debate, experimentation, failure, learning and eventual success. Creating an environment that encourages this takes advanced skills in leadership, teamwork and critical analysis. 
 
Our forum explored new ways of collaboration that encourage critical thinking and managing positive conflict to create new ideas. Discussion centred on the “human” aspect of motivating team members with the understanding that there will be many ideas that fail – “the frogs” – before the team can create an economically viable one – “the prince”.
 
The one area in which we are certain that China cannot afford to fail is in the delivery of popular entrepreneurship and mass innovation. The era of the new normal and the environmental, social and demographic challenges that China faces demand it.  
 
CBBC members are rising to this challenge by working closely with Chinese organisations to form a pipeline of talent that is right for UK-China business and will help drive China through the new normal era. Many of CBBC’s education members provide outstanding talent development programmes which can help individuals and businesses. 
 
The next education and HR workshops will take place in Beijing on 22 September and in Chengdu on 13 October. 
 
For more information, please contact the author, Simon Stewart, CBBC’s sector lead for education, training and talent in China (simon.stewart@cbbc.org.cn) or Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard, our sector lead in the UK (nathalie.cachet-gaujard@cbbc.org).
 
 
教育、内部企业家精神、找对目标
看英国教育界与商界如何助力中国大众创业与万众创新
 
行业透视:教育发展与人才培养
文:司徒谋(Simon Stewart)
英中贸易协会教育、培训与人才领域商务顾问
 
 
过去几十年,中国经济一直呈两位数增长,这不仅使中国成为更加强大的经济体,还令中国为世界做出了巨大贡献。然而这种增长速度并非可持续的,背后是有代价的。能源和原材料的高度消耗、环境问题、财富与机遇的不公平分配,无疑给中国经济和社会带来了压力。
 
此外,随着大量廉价劳动力带来的“人口红利”的消失,中国经济的传统竞争优势被削弱,因此,为了维持商业和经济的增长,中国企业不得不开始寻求新的途径。
 
当前中国经济形势处于“新常态”,这不仅仅是一个需要放慢发展的时代,这同时意味着发展一种新的中国经济模式,在这种模式下,中国经济面临一系列新的经济社会挑战,要解决这些挑战并非易事。根据今年3月份的中国政府工作报告,解决方法便是发展大众创业与万众创新。
 
大众创业与万众创新被称为驱动中国经济增长的“双引擎”,这一新的解决方法不仅着重于促进经济的可持续发展,也致力于解决中国未来十年所面临的一些主要的环境、人口和社会挑战。
 
中国企业欢迎创新和企业家精神,在中国国内并不乏广为人知的伟大企业家和技术创新。很明显,中国人才济济。但是,想要促进经济的可持续,在关键行业领域提供更多机会,仍需更多的努力。
 
所面临的挑战便是如何扩宽人才储备,拥有更多致力于创业或为传统行业带去全新的创业心态的人才。这需要的不再是众所周知的个人创新,而是一大批具有创意和批判性思维的人才。
 
树立新型企业文化:内部企业家精神
 
在英中贸易协会近期在上海举办的一次论坛上,来自教育、培训与人力资源领域的协会成员共同探讨了英国教育提供机构与在华国际企业该如何携手合作,创建“内部企业家”人才库,以及企业如何在自身组织内部嵌入创新创业文化。显而易见,扶持大众创业和万众创新会带来另外的复杂局面,这就要求采用新的人才培养方式。
英国在与行业进行学术与研发合作方面有着悠久的历史,为现代商业和创新创造出符合其需要的人才,同时提供了众多商业上可行的解决方案,对商业和社会产生了一定影响。
 
英中贸易协会会员,如培生集团、英国文化协会、伦敦国王学院、西交利物浦大学、宁波诺丁汉大学、中央兰开夏大学、曼彻斯特商学院和利兹大学已投入大量资源,搭建英中两国的学术和商业桥梁。他们将帮助建立中国大众创业和万众创新赖以生存的人才基础。
 
在帮助中国培养企业家精神方面,英中贸易协会也在积极发挥自己的作用,比如与中国留学服务中心的合作,推广“春晖杯”大赛。后者是中国教育部与科技部联合主办的一项比赛,旨在鼓励在英的中国留学生发展创业技能,回国创业。(第九届春晖杯决赛名单将会在今年晚些时候公布。详情参见:
 
这种商界、高校与留学人员的协同合作尝试为提高中国在外留学人员的就业能力,培养创新精神、开发创业人才库迈出了重要一步。
 
不吻遍青蛙,何以觅得王子
 
英中贸易协会近期教育和人力资源研讨会的一个重要发现就是,企业拥有创业和创新人才固然重要,但仍不足以交出令市场满意的答卷。中国及海外企业需要培养这样一种文化,鼓励并允许个人创造、创立新的经营理念,并在此基础上发展。
 
成功的企业很少仅凭借第一个想法就能生根发芽,而是不断经历想法的产生、讨论、试验、失败、学习直至最终成功。因此,创建一个鼓励创新的环境需要强大的领导能力、团队精神和批判性分析思维。
 
我们的论坛探寻了新的合作方式,即鼓励批判性思维、利用积极冲突,促进创意的产生。讨论围绕如何以“人性化”的方式鼓励团队成员,并让他们认识到,在找到经济上可行的创意之前必定有无数创意先期流产,就好像在找到真正的“王子”之前,必定要经历亲吻“青蛙”的失败过程。
 
但我们可以肯定的一点是,中国在培养大众创业和万众创新方面决不能失败。因为,这是在“新常态”时代,中国面临的环境、社会和人口挑战所需要的良方。 
 
英中贸易协会成员正与中国机构通力合作,勇迎挑战,期望创建一个符合英中两国商业发展需要,并有助于中国在“新常态”时代发展的人才库。许多英中贸易协会教育领域的会员提供了优秀的人才发展计划,可帮助个人和企业的发展。
 
下一场教育和人力资源研讨会将于9月22日和10月13日分别在北京和成都举行。详情,请点击这里
 
欲了解更多信息,请联系本文作者司徒谋(simon.stewart@cbbc.org.cn)或Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard(nathalie.cachet-gaujard@cbbc.org),他们分别是英中贸易协会教育、培训与人才领域在华和在英的负责人。
 
 
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