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企业必须寻找独特智慧 The path to enlightenment and profit starts insid|华体会官网
本文摘要:Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.竞争曾多次很更容易。

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.竞争曾多次很更容易。从理论上来说如此,即便实质上并非总是如此。直到旋即以前,多数胜任的公司都确切自己的竞争对手是谁,如何竞争以及在哪个领域竞争。One of the starkest — and scariest — declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: “Kill Caterpillar!”. Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.最露骨也最可怕的竞争意图宣言来自上世纪70年代的日本工程机械制造商小泊(Komatsu)。


员工下班时摔过的脚垫有这样的口号:“歼灭卡特彼勒(Caterpillar)!”。企业不会以竞争对手为对照,取决于自己的业务和市场份额,想到自己处在什么地位。But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.但由于数字革命和全球化,这种战略能见度如今在很多行业显得模糊不清,完全到了看不到的地步。


如今,很难预测下一个威胁将在何处愈演愈烈。WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies’ consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.总部坐落于加州的讯息服务WhatsApp创立于2009年,在2014年以逾190亿美元被Facebook并购时才被多数企业注意到。



Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing “apps on wheels”. Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.汽车制造商于是以很快意识到新一代科技公司包含的威胁,例如特斯拉(Tesla)、谷歌(Google)和优步(Uber),它们都企图研发“车载应用于”。几年前还不为人知的中国和印度企业,于是以迈进国门,兴起为大胆的全球竞争者。As the driving force of capitalism, competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.作为资本主义的推动力,竞争彰显企业目标、愿景和方向感。但企业在这种日新月异的环境下怎么竞争?回应有可能有两个(不几乎的)答案。

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.首先是尽全力理解正在改变世界的科技变革,尽早辨识威胁和机遇。Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. “As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger.”英国电信(BT)首席执行官加文帕特森(Gavin Patterson)回应,企业领导人的职能之一是以前所未有的警觉检视地平线。“作为CEO ,你被迫车站在船舶驾驶室向远处远眺,找寻情况正在再次发生的蛛丝马迹,希望在它沦为危险性之前作好防止。”To that end, BT has opened innovation “scouting teams” in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.为此,英国电信在硅谷和以色列成立了创意“侦察队”,并与中国、美国、阿布扎比、印度和英国的大学进行了科技合作。

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company’s game.即便你预见危险性,也并不意味著你需要对付它。却是,柯达(Kodak)发明者了第一台数码相机,但没能利用这种技术。很多企业的鼓舞结构是为了将风险降到低于,而不是将机遇最大化。

创意往往是年长公司的游戏。The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards. Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.第二个答案是企业必需既专心地向外看,还要向内看。管理有方的企业不具备很多优势:强劲品牌、海量消费者数据、宝贵的历史数据系列、聪明人网络以及资金提供更容易。但他们往往缺少的是新兴科技公司特有的那种雄心、较慢创意的能力以及感动消费者的悟性。


就此而言,很多老牌企业的主要竞争不存在于企业内部。Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders’ Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. “This...leads to irrelevance over time,” he wrote.谷歌牵头创始人拉里佩奇(Larry Page)大大呼吁他的员工维持敢想敢干。在他2013年的创始人信函(Founders’ Letter)中,他警告称之为,企业往往显得符合于他们仍然做到的事情,只不会作出增量变革。

他写到:“随着时间推移,这……不会造成显得无足轻重。”Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?谷歌实施70/20/10规则,员工被希望将他们70%的时间用作核心业务,20%用作与另一个团队合作,10%投放试验性的保守项目。有多少传统企业不会把这么多注意力放到保守项目上?Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. “The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves,” he says.印度IT集团Infosys首席执行官史维学(Vishal Sikka)回应,内部局限的破坏性往往要比外部威胁相当严重得多。他回应:“竞争的传统定义已不最重要了。

我们于是以更加多地与自己竞争。”Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: “Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot.” He adds: “Every company has to find its own unique wisdom.”史维学援引德国作家赫尔曼·黑塞(Hermann Hesse)的著作《悉达多》(Siddhartha)中的话坚称,不管市场压力如何,企业依然是他们自己救赎的主人:“科学知识可以交流。