Paul Fang: 2016 Belongs to Those Who Swim Upstream
To mark the end of 2015, Midea Group Chairman & CEO Paul Fang gave a speech at Midea Group Annual Business Conference, here are some of the key points.
Throughout history, man's greatest achievements have been made by those who persevered because their hearts were filled with desire.
"The journey is the reward" - Steve Jobs
To be a first-class enterprise, we need to continue broadening our horizons. We need to believe that there are no barriers. We cannot stop moving forward. We need to learn the rules so we can break them, find the boundaries so we can cross them.
Constant change is the only way to achieve stability. Change need not be feared as stagnation is a far greater danger.
As we enter the future, we must be flexible with our strategy to build new competitive advantages.
On one hand we need to channel our energies into our own products, but at the same time we must embrace the changing times and have the courage to innovate.
"It's a bit like surfing a wave — you might fall off and find yourself embarrassedly paddling back to shore, but great surfers get back on that board. So too with great companies. They move from wave to wave of competitive advantages, trying not to stay with one too long because it will become exhausted, and always looking for the next one." - Professor Rita Gunther McGrath, Columbia Business School
4. Why must we "swim upstream"?
The three main things we need to set ourselves apart are industry-leading products, efficiency, and a global strategy. We must have a vision but also be adaptable when it comes to implementing it.
5. How can Midea stand out?
1. Cometh the hour, cometh the manufacturerLike a shark we need to move forward or die; like a flower we need to blossom or whither; like an athlete we need to understand the difference between self-belief and arrogance.
2. Innovation is a fundamental property of any good companyWe have a large number of both internal and external pressures. The industry is going through changes and this gives us a window of time in which to alter our products and business model. We must respond to these changes by moving away from traditional modes of thinking. We must beat out new paths that we can walk down.
3. Three developments are called for: product capability, market development, and industrial upgrades.All of these things are heavily affected by the rise of the Internet of Things. Reforms will inject a new lease of life into Midea by releasing our colleagues' potential.
Our business will revolve more around product and user. Our employees will have more autonomy to get involved in business activities.
"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves!" - Edmund Hilary, first man to conquer Everest
4. Keep an "original mind"Stay young, stay pure, stay eager. Be impulsive and fearless. This is the very spirit of entrepreneurship, it is an instinctive desire everyone has but so many of us lose with age. Maintaining this spirit is essential to achieving our goals.