Searching for the way in China

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Seminar Business life | Thursday October 12, 2006 - 8h30 - 10h30

At the end of 2002, Dominique Poiroux left France to manage a Danone business unit in China, with nothing but a few basic ideas on the local lifestyle, the Traité de l’efficacité (Treaty of Efficiency) by François Jullien and the enigmatic blessing of Franck Riboud: “after all, you are a bit Chinese !” On arriving, he discovered the two-fold pressure that is permanently on the shoulders of all expatriate managers : achieving results and keeping your teams together. He then started on a daily quest for meaning, learning a very different rhythm than he had become used to at the École polytechnique, becoming aware of ideas such as listening and patience, discovering a cultural universe that was strangely similar and yet deeply foreign. Four years later, Dominique Poiroux has certainly not yet become Chinese, but he is definitely no longer entirely French.

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This session was published in issue n°64 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled La rencontre des cultures.

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