With leadership in several areas of innovation affecting housing and urban development, China offers lessons that are important to consider in the path to new and different. The process in China has been fine tuned to speak to an impatient and sophisticated consumer along with a process called "cost out" or eliminating all waste that may hurt the bottom line.

How can these unique and successful processes be adopted?

With all the talk about trade tensions between the United States and China, currency manipulation by the Chinese, and U.S.-North Korea-China military brinkmanship , it’s worth noting that there’s another way to think about China: as an innovation role model.

“Anybody involved in international business needs to treat China not just as a place to sell, but also as a place to learn,” wrote Edward S. Steinfeld and Troels Beltoft in the Summer 2014 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review. “In our view, companies need to lean in rather than pull back.”

Just to be clear, the authors don’t sugarcoat the many criticisms of Chinese companies. In the article’s first two paragraphs, the authors acknowledge Chinese companies’ “unfair competitive practices, discriminatory regulation, and intellectual property theft.” In the three years since the article was published, these practices continue to be pain points in the global market.

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