Forget the “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu (the most read Asian management book ever), the new strategy to learn from the Chinese is the “wolf culture”. This strategy is created by the telecom Huawei’s president Ren Zhengfei and is now promoted widely among Chinese companies. The wolf spirit is aiming to replace the innovation leaders of the West through three qualities: extreme resilience in face of failure, a strong willingness to self-sacrifice, and sharp predatory instincts. Beware you innovation kings of the West; if business is a jungle where the lion is king, a hungry pack of wolves are looking to take the throne.
Innovation is often driven by change of perspective. And our perspective is often a Western perspective. So, while travelling to the Shanghai Expo I tried to read as much about of innovation as I could, from the Chinese perspective. And I stumbled upon especially one interesting opinion written by Zhang Zhengfu in the Shanghai Daily. While China has become the world’s workshop, its innovation capacity is still not on par with it being the second largest economy in the world. But one company seems to stand out from the rest and has become the new darling of the Chinese business scene, the telecom company Huawei. In a country where failure has been punished and making your own rules might lead to prison, the innovation culture has been harsh. But the media-shy founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, has made his own adaption of Western innovation strategies to fit into the Chinese model by promoting the wolf strategy:
“In the battle with lions, wolves has terrifying abilities. With a strong desire to win and no fear of losing, they stick to the goal firmly, making the lions exhausted in every possible way”, Ren is reported to tell his staff. The lions of course being Western companies like Ericsson, NSN and Alcatel Lucent, and the wolves being Huawei themselves. Originally a low-cost manufacturer of components designed by others, Huawei in the 1990s...
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