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船大也好掉头?掌握这三个商业策略就行

Beth Kowitt 2016年11月17日

通用电气、通用汽车和DDB的高管分享心得。

通用电气、通用汽车和广告公司DDB合起来已有大概299年历史。然而,面对当下的数字革命,又身处“一不留神就要倒闭”的时代,这三家业界巨头都有股不服老的精神。

不久前,对以上三家公司转型起到关键作用的高管齐聚《财富》2016年最具影响力商界女性峰会,探讨如何从公司的悠久历史中汲取智慧,勇敢迎接行业巨变带来的挑战。以下是她们分享的杀手锏:

通用电气副董事长贝丝·康斯托克:不能只添加新的创意和新业务,还必须摆脱旧的。

金融危机后,为专注于工业领域的业务,通用电气的管理层级增加,也投入更多资源。但康斯托克指出,由于“加了新东西”,公司架构变得臃肿,行动太过迟缓。她补充说,接纳好的新创意是一方面,必要的裁汰也不能忽视。

康斯托克说,要加快行动步伐,大企业就应该与客户和初创公司联手推进业务发展,而不是孤军奋战。她指出,大企业容易坠入“嫉妒初创公司”的陷阱,但“有些事在大公司确实做不了,最好是相互合作。”

DDB北美区首席执行官温迪·克拉克:消除一切拖累步伐的阻碍

“速度现在是均衡器。”克拉克说。为了让DDB迅速行动,这位今年1月走马上任的领导者非常强调协作。她指出,过去人们常说,在广告业工作“要小心翼翼地跟着不擅长团队合作的人相处”。但其实投身广告的人都是颇具创意的。克拉克解释说:“如果太保护某些员工的自我,就跟不上市场的速度了。”

克拉克说,团队合作等原则从来都在,但“近来企业界有些走偏。”她相信,之所以现在团队合作精神有所回归,是因为担任领导的女性增加,而女性在职场比较擅长合作。通过与其他广告公司合作,让客户参与自己的项目等方式,她努力在DDB打造团队合作的文化。

克拉克还在实践“将难讨论之事拿上台面。”她说,不该把棘手的问题留到会后,在洗手间或是过道里讨论,应该开诚布公地商议。

主管都市出行项目Urban Mobility and Maven的通用汽车副总裁朱莉娅·斯泰尼:规划新业务架构时要格外留心。

斯泰尼负责通用汽车的共享用车服务Maven。该项目正在让这家传统的汽车业巨头从制造商变身为服务商。“汽车一直是自由的象征,如今我们要用全新方式展示自由的含义。”她说。

刚上任时,斯泰尼“对在一家大企业内部经营初创公司感到惶恐不安。”她希望能专注Maven的事务,同时充分利用通用汽车深厚的知识储备。斯泰尼将重心放在寻求平衡上,“既要从大企业汲取养分,又要用不同的方式加以利用、确立核心并执行。”为了达到平衡,通用汽车后来将Maven改造成一家全资持有的子公司。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

Together, General Electric, General Motors, and advertising agency DDB have been around for a total of 299 years. But amid a digital revolution and an era of “fail fast,” all three are trying to defy their age.

Speaking at the Fortune Most Powerful Summit on Tuesday, executives key to each company’s transformation discussed how to benefit from a long legacy while still embracing disruption. Here are their top tips:

Beth Comstock, vice chair, General Electric : Don’t just add new ideas and businesses. You have to strip away the old, too.

After the financial crisis General Electric added more layers and resources as it focused intensely on the industrial parts of the business. But in “just putting on the new stuff” the company became too slow and cumbersome, said Comstock. As you take on shiny news ideas, don’t ignore what needs to be cut, she added.

Comstock said that companies should incubate businesses in tandem with customers and startups to move faster, rather than going it alone. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “startup envy” but “certain things are not going to work in our company, and it’s better to partner,” she noted.

Wendy Clark, CEO, DDB North America: Remove anything that slows you down.

“Speed is the equalizer now,” said Clark. To move fast at her ad agency, which she’s run since January, Clark is stressing collaboration. She noted that advertising used to have a reputation of “tiptoeing around people who cannot play well together.” They were given a pass as just being creative. “You can’t meet the speed of the marketplace if you’re trying to protect people’s egos,” she explained.

She said that these principles, such as working together, have been around forever but “business drifted away from that.” She believes that’s changing as women, who represent a collaborative way of working, take on more leadership roles. At DDB she’s trying to foster a team-oriented culture by working with different agencies and embedding clients in their own projects.

She also practices what she calls “discussing the un-discussable.” Tough issues shouldn’t be tackled in the bathroom or hallway after meetings but right at the table, she said.

Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven: Be intentional about how you structure new operations.

Steyn runs GM’s car sharing service Maven, which is turning the iconic automaker into a service provider rather than a manufacturer. “Cars used to mean freedom and now we need to reinvent what that really looks like,” she said.

Steyn had “trepidations on how to run a startup in a big company” when she took on the role. She wanted to be able to focus specifically on Maven—while still having access to GM’s enormous knowledge base. Steyn focused on walking the line between what “you take from the main organization and what you leverage and pivot and execute in different ways.” To strike that balance, General Motors ended up structuring Maven as a wholly owned subsidiary.

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