Business in the Shadow of the Fuwa

In the Hutong

Conference calls: the scourge of globalization

0931 hrs

Was walking through the lobby of the IBM building on my way up to the office the other day I ran across something quite cool: a giant carpool map behind a desk attended by two IBM staffers who were signing people up for carpools.

Carpools? In Beijing?

In the wake of the pre-Olympics anti-pollution restrictions, the options for the building’s workers were simple: carpool, or public transport.

All of which served to remind me that if necessity is not the mother of innovation, she is certainly a midwife.

The precautions being taken to ensure a safe and secure Olympics for all involved are inconvenient – especially for business owners near the venues. But for the vast majority of us, a little planning and ingenuity produces workarounds that can work out well for everyone. Several companies are taking the opportunity to experiment with telecommuting, carpooling, remote sites, and the like.

Anyway, a few other thoughts about the fun of doing business around the Olympics – courtesy of Marketplace Radio and Scott Tong – are here and here.