Book Review - "The Lenovo Way" by Gina Qiao & Yolanda Conyers
January 21, 2015
“BUILD YOUR COMPANY INTO A GLOBAL GIANT - THE LENOVO WAY
A powerful book that shows the step-by-step evolution of a new kind of global technology powerhouse, The Lenovo Way is indispensable reading for leaders and managers who deal with strategy, innovation, branding, and HR at any kind of company. It also tells the remarkable story of how two women from very different backgrounds rose to become leaders in Lenovo's journey to the top.
The Lenovo Way shows business leaders how to gain market share and develop new business models. The strategies driving Lenovo’s ascent to the leading position in the PC industry have been in motion for years, and this book shows how Lenovo, with roots in both East and West, did it.
Based on unprecedented access to former and present CEOs and other top managers, The Lenovo Way tells the fascinating story of the rise of this remarkable global brand. It also provides invaluable business lessons for how to use Lenovo’s success strategies to advance your own company's success.
The Lenovo Way, written by Gina Qiao and Yolanda Conyers, two senior management team members of Lenovo nowadays, explains how Lenovo achieved a worldwide renowned status as innovative global company made in China. The book not only includes the early days of Lenovo but also covers events till the year 2014 in which Lenovo for instance acquired Motorola. The whole book is written from the perspective of Gina Qiao and Yolanda Conyers, two senior managers of the company who had a huge impact on its success through cultural transformation and integration. A unique access to upper management levels also gives interesting insights into the way the presidents, CEO and vice presidents think about their business and expansions into diverse markets. The main focus of the books story line focuses on how to grow a company by acquiring industry leaders and smaller competitors to strengthen market positioning and extend product portfolios. The most important key to those successes are the company's people as well as how people of newly acquired companies are merged into the company's culture.
3 Key Learning
Cultural diversity can be a leverage to growth and profitability
Elevate a company and yourself by stretching beyond your comfort zone
Acknowledge that you may be part of the problem
Lenovo's history clearly shows that one of the key's to their success is cultural diversity. Diversity in this case was about much more than just demographics and equal opportunity and supported the growth of the business. Through different genders, nationalities and points of view problems can be solved in much faster and creative way as people from different situations in life can contribute based on their various experiences. Hence diversity, for business, for a country or even in private life is always a leverage to grow yourself or your business. Please also refer to Philippe Legrain's book "Immigrants, Your Country Needs Them".
As outlined in many business books, coaching seminars or blog posts, stretching beyond a company's or your comfort zone will always have potential to grow yourself (your company). Stretching beyond a comfort zone is never easy as it means that you will touch an area you never touched before. This will likely result in failure or embarrassment but most certainly in an opportunity to learn and widen your horizon.
Working in different, new situations most of the time is also connected to failures at one point or the other. By acknowledging that you might be part of the overall problem or the reason for failure you open up room to reflect on yourself and others. This will help you and others to improve, learn from your mistakes and solve future tasks even better.
A very interesting read due to the company's roots in China. Especially interesting for people working in Asian companies that might want to expand into Western markets. Nevertheless the book has to be read cautiously as it is written by two Lenovo employees, hence bias may play a role.