cheap soccer jersey from china Beijing Then And Now
From global dialogues engaging thousands, to tete a tetes, to everything in between, I’ve got the greatest gig in the world: I get paid to engage the world’s greatest business and thought leaders in conversation. Significant conversation. I do a lot of other stuff, too, but basically I’m obsessed with conversation.
I’ve been asked to share my views on the power of conversation especially as it’s exemplified in word of mouth marketing techniques. My preference is the gold standard of conversation” the kind of face to face, one on one dialogue that’s getting increasingly rare.
It’s so easy to “communicate” through technology assisted means that some of us have trouble remembering the last truly fascinating, life changing conversation we’ve had.
So there’s something a bit weird about my writing a blog about the most memorable conversations I’ve had. But I’m doing it to stir your appetite for significant conversation. We’ll share some of the remarkable conversations I’ve been privileged to have with people all over the world. Some are extraordinary leaders in business and public life;
others just ordinary folks with extraordinary things to say. And I’ll throw in some conversational tips along the way, as well as comments from other people on the subject of talk, conversationeven just plain gab.
Whichever way you like it, I hope you’ll find inspiration here to go off and have a scintillating conversation of your own.
I’ll give you recommendations for initiating meaningful conversation as well as for places and activities that are worth talking about. Let me know what you find especially provocative or fascinating or enlightening or all the above. And, of course, tell me if any of this is wrong headed, stupid, arbitrary or,
worst of all, boring.
I heard from a China aficionado one time that “If you haven been to China in the last six months, you haven been to China.” He was referring to the rapid changes taking place in China major cities, although I am sure there are many areas of rural China that have not changed so quickly. Our second Inner Circle in Mainland China was held a week ago and the city of Beijing is markedly different from my first visit.
That first Inner Circle was held here five years ago, pre Olympics, when Beijing airport was big but unimpressive. Now it is world class. There were two subway lines in 2006. Now, a whopping thirteen subway lines connect neighborhoods I not seen before, since visiting them back then required long taxi rides from central Beijing hotels. of the neighborhoods I visited then have changed as well. In fact,
many of the Hutongs, relics of old China (hutong literally means alley way and the word is now used to describe neighborhoods as well as the labyrinthian pathways themselves).
The remaining Hutongs seem doomed as well. They are one story, and occupy valuable real estate that could be occupied by office towers, hotels and the like. And the little coal stoves used by Hutong residents to cook their food and keep warm in the cold Beijing winters were acknowledged to be pollution machines and health hazards in general, their smoke emitting clouds of fumes that seemed to sit in the air without diffusing.
I stayed part of the times in central Beijing, near the Forbidden City and other tourist attractions. The other nights were in the Northwestern area of Beijing, no longer the boonies. It was in my first visit, now home to Microsoft and other tech companies. It feels like Silicon Valley with a Chinese twist. Most of the other hotel guests there were Asian,
wearing jeans and T shirts that made them seem like California transplants. Turns out many of them are. I talked with one young man who recently left his San Jose job with Microsoft to work for Google in Beijing, his home town. He said he wants to be in Beijing again “now that so much of the action is here.”
He right about the pace of things here. In the three days of our stay at the Somerset apartment hotel here, the dirt path in front of one of the tech high rises was transformed into a Belgian block sidewalk complete with planting areas. with trees planted in them.
Six months from now, there will be even more changes. Let hope reducing the pollution it bad is high on the list. Good luck with that, though. Every day another 1000 cars are purchased in Beijing. It so bad that every day, by government fiat, 20% of the autos are not allowed to be driven, determined by the last number on your auto license plate. They take your car away if it is on the move on the wrong day. The communists don mess around when they want something done. So let hope they walk the talk about solving the pollution problem. Otherwise,
Beijing won be a place I want to revisit.
Susan’s provocative addresses are geared toward helping people and organizations use conversation strategically to achieve no less than the transformation of their businesses, their careers, and the world. Learn more about Susan