New book Reveals Haier’s Unique Innovation, Strategy and Leadership

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A compelling profile of an emerging Chinese competitor

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When it comes to success as a global corporation; bigger, faster and cheaper is not always better. Instead of falling into the trap of continuing current practices only with more efficiency and on larger scale, a company must continually reinvent itself if it wishes to succeed in the global market. In China, firms are doing just that: reinventing their business models, their corporate cultures and themselves to become global competitors and join the ranks of the "world's best" companies.

One of the most ambitious of these emerging Chinese competitors, the Haier Corporation has grown from a struggling refrigerator factory to the world's largest manufacturer of home-appliances.

In Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier Has Changed the Way Big Companies Transform (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-60223-2; April 2013), authors Bill Fischer, Umberto Lago and Fang Liu provide an exclusive look within the Haier Corporation and reveal how the giant company of 70,000 employees transformed itself through repeated reinvention and embracing the contradictions of being both structured and entrepreneurial, disciplined yet flexible, tactical and strategic, all at the same time. The authors explore three decades of choices linked by a common vision that enabled Haier to achieve five main characteristics responsible for the company’s success:

  • Innovative: Haier exhibits cutting-edge innovation in their products, business model, and corporate culture.
  • Fast: Haier acts more quickly than competing companies.
  • Customer-centric: Haier effectively communicates with customers and takes

action based on their input.

  • Talent engine: Haier attracts and unlocks talent.
  • Leadership: Haier’s possesses the high-quality leadership essential for success.

Incorporating actual work reports and author Liu’s “on the ground” experience working at Haier, the book helps managers rethink their own business models, and accompanying corporate cultures, equipping them to apply the lessons of Haier directly to their own organizations and become formidable global competitors.

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Meredith Stanton
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