Spring 2013

Let’s talk about ‘weiji’.

The global commercial landscape is overshadowed by crises. Debt wrangles in the US, the Eurozone bailouts, slowdowns in the BRIC economies and unpopular austerity measures across the globe. As a result, successful businesses need be smarter, nimbler and more creative than ever before. To do so, whilst recruiting less frequently, their need to attract, recruit and hold onto the very best talent is hugely amplified.
In fact, the uncertainty has brought many things into sharper focus, including the fact that the margin of error in the recruitment of senior talent is now slimmer than it has ever been. Not only do organisations need new leaders to perform beyond expectation and anticipation in the longer term, their new talent has to hit the ground running, quicker than ever before. Time and global slowdowns wait for no man.
So the thought of making an incorrect senior appointment is unconscionable. Get it wrong when confidence is high, spending is strong and returns are assured, is likely to have a major, but not terminal impact.
Make a mistake when confidence is running for the hills, every penny of customer spend has to be chased down and any sort of return means hard choices, then the result can be catastrophic.
But there’s another side to the current situation. In Chinese the word for “crisis” is “weiji”. But that doesn’t mean just “crisis”. It actually translates as “crisis and opportunity”. Therefore, what the English speaking peoples describe purely as a crisis, the mindset of the Chinese speakers is more positive and constructive – a crisis and an opportunity.
Recruiting senior talent at any time is risky. In a crisis, it can be hazardous. But get it right… oh those opportunities!