Universal lessons businesses can learn from Alibaba – Part 2

I continue to share the universal lessons we can learn form Jack Ma & Alibaba which can inspire us to become a better professional!

Disclosure: I have sourced these lessons from a fascinating book I had the privilege of reading- Alibaba’s World by Porter Erisman:

1. Strengthen relationship with customers: The most important relationship a company can build is with its customers. Relationship with every other stakeholder is critical but with the customers it is both critical & vital.

2. Love the authorities but never marry it: Many companies ‘marry’ authorities believing that a strong relationship with them will guarantee them sustained business success. In the short term this strategy will bear fruits – but is unlikely to succeed over long term.

3. Honor & respect the work of people before you: Sir Isaac Newton had confessed that if he has seen further than others it is by standing upon shoulders of giants. Great companies build upon the legacy of all the people associated with them & make sure that people presently engaged in the company build upon it!

4. Actions speak louder than PowerPoint presentation: A USA General, at the end of PowerPoint presentation, had candidly confessed, ‘We have met the enemy & he is PowerPoint!’ Many companies favor analysis over action. Alibaba encourages people to act more than just make & present PowerPoint analysis.

5. Encourage people to achieve results while conforming to the company’s Values: Reward people, not just for achieving results at any cost but by complying with the Values which are dear to the company.

6. Never be scared if your people talk back to you; but be scared what people see you doing: Because people will mimic what you do & not what you say.

7. Spread the wealth: Share ownership with people (employees) through equity & stock options. When people have real ownership they start feeling ‘its my company’ & start working, behaving, feeling & acting like an owner – this mindset bears qualitatively better results.

8. Assemble a team not a collection of stars: When there are stars in the team, they tend to do to things, which will help them shine at the expense of the team. They do this to justify their high salary. Rarely do they integrate with the team & tend to lace their sentences with “I” more than ‘We’. They want the company’s strategy to be building around them & there strength. Result – strategy, which should be crafted to help the company achieve its business objective, gets high jacked & gets crafted to suit the stars convenience & strength.

9. Have the people work for the company not the boss: In many companies bosses expect people to work for them. Change that – get people to work for & display their loyalty towards the company’s interest & its prosperity.

Do these lessons inspire you? Do share how you feel about these universal lessons!

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