It happens that people look at The Tao of Business as a book that could help them understand and navigate the Chinese market. But this book was never written with this intent in mind.
If you want to have a quick guide to understand how modern China ticks businesswise, you better take to the The One Hour China Book series by Jeffrey Towson and Jonathan Woetzel.
The original idea for The Tao of Business was to take the concepts regarding leadership and management that you can find in the Tao Te Ching and present them in a modern context that is easily accessible for busy modern readers looking to insert more or deeper meaning into their business activities.
The Tao of Business and the related article “Leadership & Organizational Patterns in the Daodejing” in the Journal of Management Development want to present alternatives to the ways people and things are all too often dealt with in business as well as in politics. A Taoist approach is to do things together with people and for people and not above people’s heads, to protect the natural environent we are a part of instead of exploiting nature.
Excellent YouTube clip: “Monkeys and Bananas or ‘That’s just the Way It Is’”
My take on this clip is that it is a perfect description of the framework that leaders with low EQs create for innovation, engagement and performance in any organization.
Fred Kofman’s Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values is a great book.
I wholeheartedly recommend reading it – no matter your background. It beautifully links Western scientific research with philosophy and spirituality. What I especially like about Conscious Business is its giving various possible versions of the discussions it reviews – between “players” and “victims”, “learners” and “controllers” and so on. Fred Kofman very clearly shows how differently discussions can develop and how vastly different the results can be, depending on the modes of acting and reacting. The multitude of examples he gives in all their variations are incredibly informative and enlightening.
Fred Kofman. Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2006.