订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

管理

诺基亚启示录:企业巨头缘何应变乏力

Julian Birkinshaw 2013年05月10日

企业失败的根源往往平淡无奇,而且可以避免。诺基亚从全球手机巨头的位置跌落,至今仍在苦苦挣扎的经历就是一个鲜活的例子。

    上周,我给MBA班的学生上了一节案例分析课,探讨诺基亚(Nokia)的衰败。我问他们:“为什么诺基亚在短短不到五年的时间里,从曾经的行业领袖堕入现在如此落魄的境地?”学生们的答案不外乎以下几点:

    有人说:“诺基亚与消费者的需求脱节了。”没错,但有意思的是,在本世纪初,诺基亚正是因它以客户为中心的营销和设计能力而广受赞誉(这一点似乎无需赘述)。

    也有人说:“他们没能开发出必要的技术。”不尽然,诺基亚在iPhone上市前就已经有了一款触屏手机样机。而且他们当时的智能手机技术要胜过上世纪90年代的苹果(Apple)、三星(Samsung)和谷歌(Google)等公司。

    还有人说:“他们没有意识到竞争已经从硬件之争转到手机生态系统竞争。”同样,也不尽然。“生态系统”之战从本世纪初就开始了,当时诺基亚联合爱立信(Ericsson)、摩托罗拉(Motorola)以及Psion数字技术公司建立了塞班系统的技术平台,用以牵制微软(Microsoft)。

    那个时期,诺基亚人已经意识到了周围发生的变化,他们内部不乏尖端技术和出色的营销人员。困难在于,诺基亚一直无法将这种意识转变成行动,缺乏果断坚定推动变革的能力。

    企业巨头无法随着环境的变化而灵活变通,这一直是商业界的一个基本难题。有时候,一项真正“颠覆性”技术的到来能摧毁整个行业,如数字成像技术。但失败的根本原因往往平淡无奇,而且可以避免。它们是:对已开发出的新技术置之不理;对客户需求变化的傲慢漠视;对新竞争对手的自得松懈。

    在这些情况下,失败的最终责任在于企业的CEO。但如果要避免这些失败,很明显不能单靠CEO一个人。公司的全体员工都应该留心业界的变化,主动推进新想法,挑战现有的工作方式。做到这一点显然并不容易,但如果能对问题有更好的理解,就更有可能进行改进。

    那么在企业中应该注意哪些可能影响应变的障碍呢?我列出以下“五大类”:

    僵化的管理制度。大公司都是通过管理制度运行的,这些制度涵盖预算与规划、绩效管理以及接班人计划等。这些制度的建立使工作简单有序,但也同时不断自我强化,变得根深蒂固。例如,几年前,我受邀出席为一家大型出版公司举办的网络研讨会。他们让我签一份长达20页的合同,才允许我用一小时的时间介绍我的研究。这么做的原因并不难理解,他们那墨守成规的图书出版流程完全是“无人驾驶”模式,最大化地扼杀了基于网络的各种新计划可能带来的生机。那么该怎样应对这样的僵化管理制度呢?首先,找出、剔除那些不再创造价值的制度,然后在现有制度框架以外试验所有的新计划。

    Last week, I taught a case study on the decline of Nokia to my MBA students. I asked them, "Why did Nokia fall from industry leadership to also-ran status in the space of less than five years?" Their answers were predictable:

    • "They lost touch with their customers." True, but almost tautological -- and interesting to note that this is the same Nokia that in the early 2000s was lauded for its customer-centric marketing and design capabilities.

    • "They failed to develop the necessary technologies." Not really true -- Nokia (NOK) had a prototype touchscreen before the iPhone was launched, and its smartphones were technologically superior to anything Apple (AAPL), Samsung, or Google (GOOG) had to offer during the late 1990s.

    • "They didn't recognize that the basis of competition was shifting from the hardware to the ecosystem." Again, not really true -- the "ecosystem" battle began in the early 2000s, with Nokia joining forces with Ericsson (ERIC), Motorola, and Psion to create Symbian as a platform technology that would keep Microsoft (MSFT) at bay.

    Through this period, the people at Nokia were aware of the changes going on around them, and they were never short of leading-edge technology or clever marketers. Where they struggled was in converting awareness into action. The company lacked the capacity to change in a decisive and committed way.

    The failure of big companies to adapt to changing circumstances is one of the fundamental puzzles in the world of business. Occasionally, a genuinely "disruptive" technology, such as digital imaging, comes along and wipes out an entire industry. But usually the sources of failure are more prosaic and avoidable -- a failure to implement technologies that have already been developed, an arrogant disregard for changing customer demands, a complacent attitude towards new competitors.

    In such cases, the ultimate responsibility for failure rests with the CEO. But if such failures are to be avoided, it is clear that the CEO cannot do it on his or her own. People across the firm must keep their eyes open to changes in their business, and to take responsibility to push their new ideas and challenge existing ways of working. Obviously, this isn't easy to do, but if there is a better understanding of the problem then there is a chance for improvement.

    So what are the enemies of agility you should be looking out for in your organization? Here are my "big five":

    Ossified management processes. Things get done in big firms through management processes -- budgeting and planning, performance management, succession planning. These processes create simplicity and order, but they also become entrenched and self-reinforcing. One example: I was asked to put on a webinar for a big publishing company a couple of years ago, and they asked me to sign a 20-page contract for the right to talk about my research for an hour. The reason wasn't hard to fathom -- their antediluvian book-publishing process was running on autopilot, and doing its best to suck the life out of any new Web-based initiatives. What's the solution here? First, identify and kill off the processes that no longer add any value. Second, pilot all new initiatives outside the existing processes.

1 2 下一页

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏