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Innovation Content Zhang Ruimin, chairman and CEO of the Haier Group, took charge of a struggling refrigerator factory in the s and turned it into a global powerhouse of consumer electronics Haiers culture home appliances.
Rendanheyi, he says, allows every employee to connect with the end users, understand their needs and create value for them. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.
If you think back to the beginning of your leadership journey, who were your earliest role models? What lessons did you learn from them that have stood the test of time?
I read a lot of books by Peter Drucker. That was a time when his books were not yet available in Chinese translation. I had to get a copy from Taiwan. One book that I remember very clearly was titled The Effective Executive, where Drucker talked about what kinds of things an executive should do to make his work effective and what are the ineffective things that should Haiers culture be done.
Whereas, back in China at that time, people thought there should be a lot of exciting things happening, there should be a lot of activity going on. So that struck me as a very distinctive idea.
I admire Drucker and his ideas. He approached management not just as different management models, but focused on people.
We think we should focus internally on our employees and externally on our customers and users. One lesson I learned from Peter Drucker is that managing, or being a manager, is not about how many people you are managing or how large your team is, but about the results and value that you can create.
You can be very highly skilled. You can have very high-ranking positions in the company, but if you do not produce any real results, it is still ineffective. I have used his idea in our Rendanheyi model, where we encourage members of our team to become entrepreneurial and start their own micro-enterprises.
The micro-enterprises are not about having power or having a high position. They are about creating value for the user. I think this is the most important thing.
When you spoke at Wharton inyou told this story about how you took over a struggling refrigerator factory at the age of What were the biggest challenges you faced at that time, and how did you overcome them? The challenges were two-fold.
First, there were financial challenges. We were a collectively owned enterprise and not a state-owned enterprise.
Banks were unwilling to lend to us and I had to find other means to borrow that money. The second set of challenges was even more important: We lacked highly skilled and high-caliber talent.
This was a problem that was widespread in the Chinese corporate world. Even large, state-owned enterprises had this problem. When we tried to import advanced technologies, there was a gap between the people who could operate them and the technology that we could get.
We took a long time to solve this problem. How did you solve this problem, and what are the lessons you learned from this experience? Many large companies, especially state-owned companies, could turn to the government to ask for more college graduates or highly skilled technicians to help them.
That was one way to solve the problem. But we turned inward. We turned to our own people and we tried to help them grow and train them — especially to help them change their mindset, their attitude towards working. Drucker has said that a mindset change does not change the fact itself.In the management practice, Zhang integrates the essence of China’s traditional culture with western modern management concept, insisting on “taking in everything, growing .
In , he added Cartoons and Captions by Haier Staff into the management case study of Kobe University; since then, Professor Hideki Yoshihara has added another 4 Haier cases into the textbook, namely, Haier’s Culture, Haier’s Human Resource, Haier’s marketing, and Haier’s Management.
Abstract. This dissertation is a qualitative discourse analysis study.
The study seeks to understand roles of organizational discourse and management discourse in stimulating strategic organizational change, and facilitating organizational culture dynamics and identity development.
NEW YORK, Oct. 6, /PRNewswire/ -- Reporter learned from an international water treatment company yesterday that the company, which headquarters in North America, was working together with. Haier pioneers the art of refrigeration not only in the household sector but also in the commercial sector.
Haier’s range of deep freezers, polar freezers, visi coolers and wine cellars is . Haier's Culture Essay. Haier is not only a brand of greatest value in China, but also the forth manufacturer who produce white household electric appliances around the world - Haier's Culture Essay introduction.
Haier from a small business who was at the verge of bankruptcy, grows into a prestigious business group whose products are sold across the world and employees from around the world.