Building trust and a safe environment to produce better work and accelerate excellence

Our Challenge:

There is an unaddressed Chinese shift in the global workforce that brings new efficiencies and new challenges. Massive numbers of Chinese nationals educated outside China are finding jobs abroad and the numbers keep increasing. Foreign companies continue to invest in China while Chinese increase their interests abroad.[1] Both are establishing sole or joint ventures and making purchases on foreign ground. Companies in China and abroad rely on a combination of non-mainland, foreign born and foreign-educated Chinese as the obvious bridge, but quickly learn that language proficiency may be the only contribution. These groups often lack deeper cultural understanding and managerial skills to bring the sides together quickly.

Merging ideas between China and the outside world remains an issue due to the basic differences in values and motivations. Companies with top down management styles traditionally fit Chinese expectations, but performance relies on the abilities of the leader. A strong leader can push work through but has no legacy of developing independent, accountable and proactive employees. Bottom up management style empowers teams with freedom to act, but often leaves Chinese without clear direction and enough time to embrace the leadership style. Even when both sides have the same goal and skills to achieve, their exhibited behaviors can contradict expectations, creating confusion and doubt. The impacts are frustration, delays and even turnover of staff or dissolved agreements.

Pressure for quick results and cost constraints make filling China’s void of highly experienced/skilled employees even more difficult. Companies run the risk of paying top dollar for foreign “experts” whose experiences may not have the same result in China.  The other option to promote younger locals, with impressive resumes and less experience, risks repeated underperformance and being poached to a competitor after time and money spent on their development.

Companies are operating, but they can absolutely improve their international team efficiency.


Our Work:

China Foundations (CF) fundamentally believes that forming a base of trust from an environment safe from judgment will produce better work and accelerate excellence. When opinions are valued and appreciated, people contribute more experiences and information so we can reach clearer alignment, quicker task completion, and more robust support for employees and families.

We can improve the ways we talk and act to better exhibit our values, competencies and abilities. This newfound transparency forces us to recognize incorrect past assumptions. Acceptance of legitimate information builds trust

with those we work with. We shrink the gap between cultures, continents and levels of the management hierarchy.

Our philosophy has permitted us to build consulting, coaching and certification of the most interesting and relevant employee growth and development techniques for China. Informed employees are more self aware, work together more happily and are motivated to stay and grow with their company. Our work was recognized this year in 4 of the 2013 EMMAs Global Forum for Expat Management Awards.

China’s segmented population evolves so quickly that CF is compelled to continually seek new information that will simplify the way we engrain this belief into company culture. Traditionally, cultural theory and historical data are used to help international coworkers align.  Technology and increasing personal awareness have spawned discussions, public talks, apps, blogs, and blasts of detailed content, providing deeper context into people’s experiences. Analysis of these experiences has made sole use of traditional data incomplete or obsolete. We use this data and the input from global thought leaders who are influencing our world, psychologists and educators involved in understanding traditional and current Chinese behaviors and trends, current local and foreign industry leaders with at least a decade of on the ground experience, and individuals willing to expose themselves to share their personal experiences for the good of bringing China and the world closer together.

CF was born in 2006 supporting the largest expat mobilization to a Chinese tier 2 city for China’s single largest private investment. We excel at building trust with Chinese and global expatriate clients in multinational, government, foreign joint venture and local companies in China. Our customers and support partners reach across industries, regions, and local/foreign government offices. We spend our time aligning joint venture strategies, developing local and foreign talent, and helping local offices and Global HQ better understand their local customers and how to best support each other. We value relationships, time spent together, and patience to learn about each other. We strive to always be present, sincere, thoughtful and as enjoyable as possible.


CF trains and coaches customers in various industries such as:

Beauty & Cosmetics
Financial services
Oil & Gas


Global Relocation Company reviews CF as the “highest reviewed training program for all of greater Asia Pacific”

Global Forum for Expat Management EMMA: Best Family Support Program, Best Global Mobility Program in the Technology/Media Sector, Best Practice in Challenging Locations, Most Effective Relocation Management Strategy


Valued feedback:

“Gained confidence to improve communication and relationship management for better cooperation”

“Developed a better understanding of how to build trust resulting in increased quality feedback and time saved executing strategies”

“Best training we’ve had with our company in over 20 years”