Learning to Lead in China: Antonio Scarsi Takes Command
This case, presented in an interesting cartoon format, describes the first week after Antonio Scarsi (disguised), an expatriate executive, takes on the role of CEO in a poorly performing and demoralized domestic Chinese company. Although Antonio had extensive China experience, including considerable language capabilities, he knew little about this company, in which he was the only non-Chinese employee, and had never before worked outside of the support network of a major multinational corporation. He aimed to turn around the company in six months. His challenge was how to learn about the firm as quickly and effectively as possible and signal his intentions to revitalize it to the employees. This case might be used in conjunction with the case titled "Michael Faye Goes To China" (IMD322). Together the two cases focus on the theme "Learning about Leading in China", and encourage participants to consider the very different learning styles and common leadership traits of two expatriate executives facing compelling managerial challenges in growing their Chinese business. The cases stimulate participants to reflect on: 1) what their own leadership and learning styles are like, and their implications; 2) what they could do to become more effective and efficient leaders and learners in any new assignment; and 3) how to learn from one another during class discussion.