When the business day winds down at 6 pm in New York, we're just thinking about a 6 am breakfast in our rooms in Shanghai. When we're ready to turn in at 11 pm local time, the work day is in full swing on the East Coast.
Having lived and worked in different countries, I believe you can't truly understand a culture until you buy groceries there. It was this notion that served as the genesis for moving our entire Senior Leadership Team to China for a month.
There are two Chinas, one falling and one rising. At the Shanghai Zoo, both are on display. Pessimists will shake their heads at stultifying bureaucracy. Optimists are reassured by the unquantifiable, relentless energy of the people.