Transcripts

China

Ep. 54 Bill Fischer and Simone Cicero on Haier and the entrepreneurial organisation

...re perfectly sellable. People would buy them because they could get them fixed. So quality might not have been a great differentiator at that time in China. But there was a wonderful ‘fix it’ community that could change anything. And that was the beginning of Haier’s commitment to thinking further and bi...more
...ing of Haier’s commitment to thinking further and bigger than the rest of the people in the industry, and very dramatic. Even today when I go back to China and talk to people my age who recall that event, I mean…everybody remembers it, it was “where were you when they smashed the refrigerator?” So, you k...more
...l organisation probably because of the leadership that it has. Not just when you compare it with other traditional Western organisations, but also in China. This mix of thinking that Zhang Ruimin has put together… really it’s like a puzzle of great ideas, and strong approaches to work and life and everyt...more
... that you are there and he quotes** **Thales or Apollo’s oracle at Delphi... And on the other hand, it’s really, I think, one of the few companies in China that is really attached to a very strong Taoist approach to thinking about work and life and engaging with the world basically. And I think that thi...more
...ery powerful. -L Gill: And what about you, Bill? B Fischer: So, well, I’ve always been fascinated that when people talk about the exciting firms of China’s future, it’s always it’s always the same collection — it’s Alibaba, it’s Huawei, it’s Xiaomi perhaps Lenovo and Haier — and you know, the other fou...more
...ake over existing companies… Zhang Rumin once said to me that they don’t really do helicopter management, or they don’t bring you the management from China, which is fairly common when Chinese companies are taking over European companies. So these are the three pillars. It’s a kind of simplification of ...more
... unlocking people’s potential. **This is the simplified version that you can, you can use. And of course, you know, there will be challenges because China and the West today are different. They are different in many, many ways. And one, I think, of the most important ways we are different is, well, actu...more
... perceived the failure of capitalism to some extent, the failure of modernity. So we are leading postmodern, or post-postmodern, societies. While in China, they still believe capitalism can make it. So they still believe that we can come up with a techno, let’s say, techno-political utopia that can mana...more
... can manage society in a way that that is enduring. So, you know, you can have a very enthusiastic, you know, capitalistic society on the one hand in China. And you know, in the West you have this kind of confused, post-postmodern society. And it’s going to be hard for us to go to employees in western or...more
...isations and tell them, “You can become an entrepreneur’, you know…people don’t buy this anymore I think. So I think, even if RenDanHeYi was born in China, I think, bringing it to Europe, it can really help us now to find a synthesis, and to bring these ways of organising beyond just creating the next u...more
...hat he says completely. I think it’s kind of interesting that traditionally we have this culture in the West of being independent, and the culture in China in particular as being collective. And yet the behaviour that we’re seeing in Haier is, in a sense, almost the reverse of what we see in the western ...more
... we’ve just talked about, that help, you know, bend people towards that kind of way of behaving. And I imagine those people who have been in Haier in China have kind of evolved with the organisation. So it’ll be interesting to see those people who haven’t come up in that world, fresh from the source, so ...more
... create maybe part of your bonuses through the structure. When it comes to Haier, you get, I think it’s easy to be hired to some extent, you know.In China, your stipend or basic income is set by the state. So then if you don’t find an opportunity, in three months you are out. But when you enter the sys...more
...to make washing machines. I think it’s also depends on the policies that organisation operates within. It’s a completely different world. Of course, China does not have the same compliance rules that you may have when you run an organisation in the US or even in Europe. Even worse, I would say, in Europ...more