Professor Emeritus of Innovation Management

Talk Title: Haier’s Rendanheyi: Organizational Transformation on a Large Scale

Abstract: Imagine taking Steve Denning’s Three Laws of Agile (“the Law of the Small Team; the Law of the Customer, and the Law of the Network”), and stretching them to their limits; that is the Haier transformation story. Seventy thousand employees, working in what would be considered a classically old-economy industry, and yet playing with new rules, and succeeding. Everyone expected to be a part of this from start to finish, building an organization that is explicitly “outside-in”, and radically open; not so much decentralizing as unorganizing.

In this introduction to Haier’s Rendanheyi, we will find an organization driven by three guiding principles and trace its transformation journey of nearly forty years. Haier is an important guide to large scale organizational transformation because of its continuity over four decades, the boldness of its transformation activities, and the scope of employee involvement.

Bio: William A. Fischer is Emeritus Professor of Innovation Management. He co-founded and co-directs the IMD program on Driving Strategic Innovation, in cooperation with the Sloan School of Management at MIT and also authors a regular column for Forbes.com entitled “The Ideas Business“.

An engineer by training, American by citizenship, Bill has lived much of his life in Asia and Europe. He held a full – professorship and endowed chair on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1976-1998), first moved to China in 1980, and later became the President of the China Europe International Business School [CEIBS], in Shanghai (1997-1999). He has been awarded the Silver Magnolia award, Shanghai’s highest award for foreigners contributing to the city’s development, in 1999. He first joined IMD in 1990, and was part of the IMD team that developed the Managerial Deep Dive process for improved innovation conversations. His most recent books include: Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier has Changed the Way that Big Companies Transform [with Umberto Lago & Fang Liu], The Idea Hunter (2011) and Virtuoso Teams (2005) [both coauthored with Andy Boynton]. All of these books address issues of innovation and talent development and expression in a variety of organizational settings.

Over the past few years, Bill has been recognized by a variety of sources for his professional presence on Twitter and as a leading innovation blogger.

William holds a DBA from George Washington University in the USA.

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