Business in the Shadow of the Fuwa

In the Hutong

Conference calls: the scourge of globalization

0931 hrs

Was walking through the lobby of the IBM building on my way up to the office the other day I ran across something quite cool: a giant carpool map behind a desk attended by two IBM staffers who were signing people up for carpools.

Carpools? In Beijing?

In the wake of the pre-Olympics anti-pollution restrictions, the options for the building’s workers were simple: carpool, or public transport.

All of which served to remind me that if necessity is not the mother of innovation, she is certainly a midwife.

The precautions being taken to ensure a safe and secure Olympics for all involved are inconvenient – especially for business owners near the venues. But for the vast majority of us, a little planning and ingenuity produces workarounds that can work out well for everyone. Several companies are taking the opportunity to experiment with telecommuting, carpooling, remote sites, and the like.

Anyway, a few other thoughts about the fun of doing business around the Olympics – courtesy of Marketplace Radio and Scott Tong – are here and here.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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