01 March 2011

Management According to Confucius 3 – Love & People Centered

In Understanding The Doctrine of the Mean in One Minute,  I covered a key teaching of Confucius’ Ru School. We can apply the his teaching on government to business. Managing a business is similar to governing a country.  One may argue that business is more challenging because business needs to make a profit. However, if a government cannot run the country well to create wealth, and to share the wealth appropriately, the government will be replaced as we seen in the recent events of people revolutions. I would argue that the principles for governing a country is applicable to running a business.
The foundational principle is love or compassion. Confucius called it Ren Zheng, 仁政, compassionate government. This foundational principle can be broken down into greater details, into 9 laws of government. The 9 laws are covered in the post and I will convert the 9 laws of government into 9 laws of management for creating a successful corporation.

The 9 Laws of Management for creating the Lasting Corporation:
  1. Leadership begins with Moral Character Development.
    A leader must be grounded in love and righteousness. He must be able to rule himself first, have self-control and self-motivation, before he can rule others.
  2. Pick People with Both Attributes – Ability and Integrity.
    He should weight rightness more than money. Capable people without integrity will be a grave danger to the long term success of the corporation. We have many such stories like Enron etc. Nevertheless, integrity without ability is of little use.
  3. Pick and Develop a  Committed Key Team.
    A team that share your mission, vision, values and beliefs. You must put such committed people into key positions.
  4. Empower them with authority and resources.
    This is what respect means. Value their views, opinions, and give them the power to make decisions and the budgets to execute the projects. Share with them the why of the missions and leave the how to the capable and coach those under development.
  5. Love your Employees. Put them in the right jobs and pay them well and fairly.
    Help them to do their work better.
  6. Love your Employees ( & Customers) like your children.
    Enable them to do their jobs well and don’t over burden them with distractions and over control them. There are seasons for the tasks. Pushing don’t make them earlier but spoil them instead. Don’t over-tax them nor exploit them.
  7. Employ the talented and skilled people
    Monitor and coach them for high performance and reward them accordingly. Be generous.
  8. Treat Foreigners (Customers) well.
    Welcome them to create a wow experience for them. If the want to go,  send them off well. The departing customers may come back again to be your faithful customers.  If you truly address the needs of the complaining customers, they may change their mind and stay with you. Complaining customers are giving you a 2nd chance. Go back to old customers and understand why they left you. You may have the solutions that they need now.
  9. Treat your partners and competitors well.
    Consider their proposals seriously. Pay them more that their other customers. Give them more than they deserves. They will be even more committed to you. Think about co-creation. As a market or industry leader, you help your suppliers and even your competitors to enlarge the pie, share your knowledge, fund the pursue of common interests. They will support you. e.g. Toyota sharing hybrid technology with other companies. Many companies doing Hybrid make it an acceptable alternative. Google’s Androids as the platform for phone manufacturers to grow their business and fight off competitors.
Bvotech Copyrighted 2011 March.

See also:
  1. Management According to Confucius - 10 Keys
  2. Management According to Confucius 2 - 5 Good & 4 Bad
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