In the business world, Yang Guoan plays a unique role.He is part of Tencent’s top 16-person decision-making team, diagnosing the company’s pulse and pushing for change, as well as mentoring numerous entrepreneurs.He goes deep into the core power structure of the enterprise, and has a natural barrier to “power”.He calls himself an outsider within.The role gave him freedom and an objective view of what was wrong with the business.
We spoke with Yang Guoan, a senior management consultant at Tencent, for the first time to detail the whole process of Tencent’s transformation — how does a giant company with so many businesses diagnose itself and get to the bottom of the problem?How do you get 60,000 people to come to a consensus and move from wait-and-see to support?How to deal with it when it comes to interests?What is the meaning of Yang Guoan’s role as an “internal outsider” in the revolution?
As a management professor, Yang guoan applies “management” to everything.He tutored entrepreneurs, as well as outsiders, himself and his children.He leads an extremely disciplined life that seems dull, but he enjoys great pleasure.Yang Guoan’s point of view is that the so-called management is to create the greatest value with limited resources. This is true for enterprises, and the same is true for life.
Q: You helped push through two major changes at Tencent. There were some conflicts behind the changes. Can you tell us the background of these two changes?
Yang Guoan: At the beginning of 2012, I had a diagnosis. After that, I had some feedback with Pony (Tencent CEO Ma Huateng) and Martin (Tencent President Liu Chiping).That year was identified as the year of change.Later, five or six members of the general office chatted with each other for about two or three months and made the “May 18 reform”.
The general background is that the era of mobile Internet has come, resulting in unclear internal strategic track and overlapping business between different teams.At that time, we had a wireless department, which connected with China Mobile and China Unicom and managed all the wireless business.Other departments are responsible for PC side business.But the era of mobile Internet has come, everyone wants to do mobile terminal, games to do mobile game, QQ also want to do mobile QQ, so there is a lot of overlap with the wireless sector.Later, we broke up the wireless business and each line of business made its own mobile terminal.
In addition, a bigger contradiction is that in 2018, the industrial Internet comes into the wind. Everyone knows that AI, 5G, Internet of Things, every track and every BG (business division) are trying to make industrial Internet, but each has its own way.Facing the same customer, different BG are competing for business, causing back-end chaos and internal chaos.The characteristics of industrial Internet are as follows: First, the resources to be invested are very heavy.Second, the chain is long.Third, it’s slow.Therefore, we must concentrate our efforts on doing great things, instead of dispersing them.
The second challenge comes from the outside – stricter regulation of games, the impact of public opinion and so on.
The third paradox is that we have been successful for too long and have lost some of our fighting spirit.Therefore, the external environment change in 2018 has caused some chaos in the internal organization. In addition to the falling stock price, the confidence of internal employees is not enough.
From both my one-on-one interviews with the head office staff and the results of the employee satisfaction survey, there was a lot of stress and anxiety at that time, which triggered the “September 30 Revolution”.
Q: You have a one-on-one interview with each head office member every year. How far do you go?
Yang Guoan: You’ll find that the head office members talk to you more directly on a one-to-one basis.It is not convenient for them to talk about some contents with Pony and Martin, and they will talk more clearly in the interview.Because I am an outsider inside the role, can talk very thoroughly.In the face of the boss, naturally there will be some constraints, complaints are difficult to speak directly.