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領導力、文化軟實力

前些時候去了大師趨勢論壇,主講嘉賓是哈佛大學甘迺迪政府學院前院長約瑟夫∙奈伊 (Joseph Nye, Jr.) 教授,分享•「軟實力,改變世界原動力」的前瞻思想。 大師約瑟夫∙奈伊曾任卡特政府助理國務卿、克林頓政府國家情報委員會主席和助理國防部長,其著作包括《軟實力》、《靈巧領導力》、《權力大未來》、《巧實力:權力、個人、企業和國家》等。約瑟夫∙奈伊為經驗豐富之政治家,早於1990年提出「軟實力」學說,對全球政治環境不但有深刻了解,更對如何透過「軟實力」影響個人、企業、以至世界等領域有深刻體會。論壇中大師透過與嘉賓的互動分享,進一步解說了軟實力所包括那幾個方面的特質及條件:

1• 具有吸引力和親和力

2• 打動人心的說服力

3• 有著願意共同達成願景的合作者及追隨者

4• 有形、無形實力之間的互動

1963年,馬丁∙路德金在林肯紀念堂發表著名的演說《我有一個夢想》(I Have A Dream)時,沒有發邀請函,也沒有做聲勢浩大的宣傳,卻有25萬人到現場聆聽。為什麼? 大家僅僅為了湊熱鬧,還是因為馬丁∙路德金富有學識和魅力?我相信是《我有一個夢想》的主題引起了大家的共鳴,加上馬丁∙路德金的精湛的演說能力,把大家藏於心坎日久的感動釋放出來,自此大家心悅誠服的追隨。因為由共鳴所衍生的認同和支持是堅不可摧的。

成功的領導者擁有眾多追隨者,正是因為他們用自己的言行傳達出自己的價值觀,使追隨者產生了共鳴。這種自然生成的吸引力和親和力,正是領導力的本源。而領導力的發展,就是提高創造共鳴的能力。

在實踐上,許多公司的領導、管理人都意識到了價值觀和企業文化的重要性,有些優秀的領導者甚至說,做企業其實就是做文化。問題是,這些文化是否能感染員工?是否能引發、創造共鳴?

事實上,領導力及企業文化是不可分割的,企業需要思考的是如何激發企業上、下在價值觀上的共鳴,從而上下一心,達成目標。價值觀和企業文化,通常比較「形而上」,或者說比較「虛」,難以量化和捉摸。正如優秀的高爾夫球手不需要用儀器計算揮杆的力度和方向,都能一桿入洞;在狀態的騎手同樣不需要場邊提示何時作起跳,都能成功跨欄一樣,一切都因熟練而熟悉,是「心中有數」的。同樣地,領導者也需要準確地根據不同的環境和狀態把握好各方面的平衡。從這一點看來,領導力是因勢而異的,更是一種藝術。

企業發展是一種硬實力的展示;同時,企業承傳是靠軟實力引申的一種價值觀和企業文化的承傳。在有形和無形之間的互動,實在是大有學問。

數據時代來臨

這兩星期,剛好在杭州,看到出租車這個再傳統不過的行業,在過去發生的變化,互聯網究竟怎樣細緻而深刻地改變世界,逐漸清晰地展現在了我們面前。

今天,打開打車APP,以乘客為中心,可以看到,在他的附近有多少輛出租車正在待客;以司機為中心,可以看到,他的附近有多少人正在打車,其中又有多少人願意加價。乘客、司機不再是在互不相知的情形下隨機遇到,而是可以在一個APP工具上互相找到。上線,就好像一把鎖匙,輕巧一轉,就打開了數據時代的大門。

聯接:在線與否,生存或死亡

上線(online)之後,偶遇將被發現、找到、匹配這些詞替代。所有人都從中受益,惟有出租車公司將忐忑不安。管理者們將不得不考慮,自己能給乘客、司機提供什麼樣的額外價值。這樣的忐忑不安,將不是出租車公司獨有的焦慮。

互動

用打車APP打完車,司機和乘客互相給個評價,這就是互動。在線之後,至關重要的下一步就是互動,是人與人、人和物的相互反饋,喜歡、不喜歡、評價、交談,以及接下來的改進、反饋,是一個用戶和服務提供者通過產品交互的過程,是有來有往。

上線為互動提供了技術上的可能,在線之後,企業第一次與海量用戶有了直接互動的可能。同時,互動是在線的基本驅動,沒有互動,聯接就只是表面文章。

在傳統商業中,企業成功與否,絕大多數時候取決於其對用戶需求的猜測是否準確,而在互聯網時代,通過互動,用戶的態度在第一時間就看得見了,因為用戶跟你“說話”了,這才使任何一家有“以用戶為中心”的意願的企業真正具備了“以用戶為中心”的能力。

互動為何如此重要?互動關乎用戶體驗。所有時代的商業都注重用戶體驗,但只有在互聯網時代,用戶至上、極致的用戶體驗第一次成為了商業競爭的惟一支點。用戶給了反饋,產品就能及時優化;而一款產品優化,海量用戶又能第一時間體驗,再給出反饋……這一過程不斷往復,產品不斷迭代,極致的用戶體驗因此有了可能。有了互動,才有了走向C2B的可能性。

聯網

仍然是打車App,乘客和司機在線上可以高效地互相找到,但APP可以提供的價值可以遠遠不止於此:如果與導航打通,司機或許就能根據乘客需求規劃最優路線;與物流打通,精準匹配,司機載客的同時或許就能同時投遞小件包裹;與餐飲打通,乘客或許能即時收到合口味、順路線的餐廳推薦……這就是“聯網”。

對絕大部分傳統商業來說,一旦“在線”,它們才進入到了互聯網時代;而只有它們才得以融入互聯網時代,在數據價值的聚變中,獲得更寬廣的商業空間。

About Childhood and Dream A Little Dream

From the age of one, I was suffered from cerebral palsy, a neurological disease affecting motor skill development.  In my case, the disease is non-progressive but chronically weakens use of my lower limbs. Most of my childhood was spent in and out of hospitals. An exploratory spinal tissue operation when I was seven years old, in primary grade III led to a nine-month hospitalization. The smell of disinfectant causes me muscle tight and getting nervous easily. Having said that, I was lucky that during that nine months, I had more than enough time to think about myself and my future. I started to ask myself questions – what do you want? For a long time, I have a dream, a simple and luxurious one – to study in a University with open-and-free campus, four big pillars at the main gate and I can taste the sweet air, light breeze under blue sky with white clouds. After the surgery operations, I knew I have to walk with two walking sticks and these walking sticks has served me well as my bothers do. Since then, I have got four legs. J

Seeing is believing – Faith

I still remember when I was young. I understand my parents’ economic situation was precarious, I helped very frequently in my parents’ light fixture business at home, even before doing homework. I know there is something I got to do and have the situation improved. Despite their financial constraints, my parents supported my dream of attending secondary school whilst I worked hard to strive for the financial assistance like scholarship from school and one local newspaper. I want from a young age to go to university. Seeing is believing. [Faith] How you see your life shape your life. I enrolled at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and chose to live in a dormitory to learn how to be independent and climbing the hilly campus with four legs, sometimes, with wheelcharis. Since there was too little time between classes, I was always late. My first semester grade point average was 1.79 – barely above 1.7, the minimum passing requirement. My early college years rank among “the most challenging” in my life. Life is full of challenges and eventually I learn to organize my time efficiently, graduating with a degree in statistics and computer science.

After college, I obtained two master’s degrees: an M.A. in quantitative analysis in business from City University of Hong Kong, and an M.B.A. from Chinese University. Those penchants served me well in my early professional life, first as a researcher for Chinese University’s faculty of medicine, where I heal myself by working with medical professions day-in and day-out, then at the University of Hong Kong in the position of information executive. If I asked myself why I invested heavily in education, I would think it’s probably my mission to learn more, get myself more solid and to be able to help people realize their potential.

Eager to see others succeed as well, engaged with NGOs in the field of rehabilitation and then co-founded Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power, a non-profit organization, to empower the disabled to develop – mainly help disabled people find their potential and employment opportunities. The effort led to establishment of my current business, EP Venture Company Limited, which was established in 2005.

In 2001, when I was in rehabilitation power I received a promotional leaflet from Riding for Disabled Association (RDA), a Hong Kong non-profit organization whose purpose is to teach children and adults how to ride horses, often for therapeutic benefits.

From the first time I went [riding], I knew it was something special. It gives a good sense of freedom. It recalled my best memory – I can taste the freedom, the sweet air, light breeze under blue sky with white clouds.

Starting from a complete beginner, driven with interests, every single step of improvement takes a lot of time, discipline, patience, and work. Began riding once a week: Thursdays at 11 a.m. to ride 2 times a morning five days a week at RDA’s riding center in Tuen Mun. It takes time, discipline, patience to level-up bit by bit and day by day. For a long time, I have a dream a simple and luxurious one since my childhood – to ride on a really big yarn and green countryside with freedom. To start riding in RDA (Riding for Disabled Association) of Hong Kong for two years since February 2000, my dream becomes reality in last Summer Riding Camp in Wales. The trip from Hong Kong to Clwyd Special Riding Centre in Wales was finally accomplished followed by a few months planning and it went as one of the most exciting journey in my life – riding on the superb all-weather track independently in complete safety and lovely place. My interest sharpened in 2002 at a riding camp in Wales, where I met the Welsh champion in para-equestrian. There was so much to discover and learn – walk & halt, tacking, mounting, steering & control (especially when going up and down-hill), balance, the trot and preparing for the surprise from Basil (the name of horse), navigating obstacles on trails etc, in the most leisure, pleasant, natural ways.

When returned to Hong Kong, embarked on regular practice sessions.  In 2003, I met Nick Rodgers, a respected rider then affiliated with the Hong Kong Jockey Club.  Rodgers, who would later become one of my favorable coaches, suggested me join a para-equestrian competition in Japan later that year.

It was first competition ever, and, to my astonishment, I scored the highest total score and won.  In 2005, I entered another competition, in Australia, and won that, too.

2006 proved to be a turning point. That July, I joined a strong field in a U.K. competition and fared well enough to think seriously about qualifying for the Paralympic Games in 2008.  Two months after the U.K. competition, I competed in Vancouver at the International Para-Dressage Competition, a qualifying event for the 2008 Games.

Paralympics qualifying is based on a predetermined score.  In Vancouver, the standard to qualify for the 2008 Games was 60%.

Mine scored 61%. I am very proud to have chance in representing my country. But there is still a long way to go. From sports I learn it is not about how good you are, it’s about how good you want to be.

I still remember one of my favourable coaches Poynohen how she said about my development “from being led around the paddock” to that of world-class para-equestrian shows “he gives 110%.” She also said with a smile, “He has a great sense of humor, but he can be a bit stubborn.”

Equestrian judges award points to riders based on aspects of their presentation, and every point counts.  To earn a medal in the Paralympics, a rider must score roughly 76%.  In the bottom of my heart I think I would more likely contend in the 2012 Games. In year 2012, I didn’t join the game but instead I founded another charitable organization – Unleash Foundation.

It is a fitting mantra for a paraplegic man unfazed by a daily walk up stairs.

In my life I have learned to be persistent. When my colleagues and I face a challenge, I always tell them: ‘one step at a time, one step at a time.’ – simple and tirelessly executed. Accept the challenge without reservation or doubt. Risk the depression of losing so that you may experience the exhilaration of victory.” This’s what I learn from General George Patton

How you can make the right decision

1
When confronted with a new idea, do you:

  • Consider the cost of switching before you consider the benefits?
  • Highlight the pain to a few instead of the benefits for the many?
  • Exaggerate how good things are now in order to reduce your fear of change?
  • Undercut the credibility, authority or experience of people behind the change?
  • Grab onto the rare thing that could go wrong instead of amplifying the likely thing that will go right?
  • Focus on short-term costs instead of long-term benefits, because the short-term is more vivid for you?
  • Fight to retain benefits and status earned only through tenure and longevity?
  • Embrace an instinct to accept consistent ongoing costs instead of swallowing a one-time expense?
  • Slow implementation and decision making down instead of speeding it up?
  • Embrace sunk costs?
  • Imagine that your competition is going to be as afraid of change as you are? Even the competition that hasn’t entered the market yet and has nothing to lose…
  • Emphasize emergency preparation and the expense of a chronic and degenerative condition?

Calling it out when you see it might give your team the strength to make a leap. It is common to be confronted with new idea and we are posed a question if we should make a change which leads us to think of what’s the right decision for us. The key is how you can make the right decision? In the sixteenth century, the principal founder of the Jesuit Order, Ignatius Loyola, came up with the following simple method for making the right decision: first, spend three days as if you had made a decision. During these three days, make a note of all your thoughts, feelings and dreams. Then go through the same process with an alternative decision. Compare your notes at the end. And then decide.