Eight Principles for Global Businesses – How One Company Grew from $3 billion to $39 billion
From The Lenovo Way, co-authored by Gina Qiao, president of human resources, Lenovo
From its humble beginnings in an abandoned guard shack in China, Lenovo has grown to become the #1 personal computer company in the world. As we made the decision to become a global company and subsequently purchased the IBM PC division and its iconic ThinkPad product line in 2005, we had to learn how to navigate between the East and West in culture, language, and thought processes, in order to work together toward a common goal.
Working side by side with our Eastern colleagues to compete globally made us stronger and better. It wasn’t easy, but embracing and blending our international roots has given us a distinct competitive advantage in an increasingly global business landscape.
We have lived by these business principles, which have helped us grow into a $39 billion company:
- Great minds can create a business out of a vacuum. When you start with nothing, there are no limits. Bring together your brightest minds, and put them in a position to innovate.
- Stretch beyond your comfort zone for maximum growth. Recognize the gap between where you are and what you intend to become, and think long-term when considering how to reach your goals.
- Address issues head-on. Identify what works and what’s broken, and then use every internal and external resource to fix it.
- Walk the talk. You can’t expect employees to embrace change unless the leaders are already living it.
- Protect and attack. Safeguard your core strengths with one hand, and attack new high-growth opportunities with the other.
- Invest in your culture. A healthy, thriving corporate culture is not a document that gathers dust in a drawer. Keep it alive with specific action steps.
- Show personal commitment. Commit on a personal level for true cultural integration. A personal presence can have a powerful ripple effect in the workplace.
- Be a pioneer. Be aggressive and quick to adapt. Continue seeking new ideas, design innovations, and technology to thrive in an evolving global market.
Although we looked completely different, spoke different languages, and came from opposite sides of the world, we learned we have more similarities than differences. By living these principles, we broadened our minds and became truly global leaders. We don’t just say nice words about cultural diversity; we live it.
That is the Lenovo Way.
Learn more in The Lenovo Way.