Managers' 18 Problematic Behaviors According to Huawei
1. Rest on laurels and refuse to move forward
A small number of managers at Huawei would rather rest on laurels and refuse to move forward. As a manager, do you challenge yourself in new areas, with new problems or new targets? If your answer is No, then you are resting on laurels and you are refusing to move forward.
2. Play safe, avoid offending others
Some managers clearly see what is going on and appear well articulated, yet they dare not speak up, raise problems, or take actions. They are afraid of offending peers, superiors, or even subordinates. How can we, within an organization as big as Huawei, expect such managers to take initiative in solving problems, in shouldering responsibility, and in making continuous improvements, while our business processes still need improvement?
3. Being superior-centric, not customer-centric
Making PPTs is now detested at Huawei. In some cases, a manager holds countless meetings to have his subordinates work out a PPT, before he reports to his superiors. President Ren said, he would rather not give prior notice before doing something or going somewhere, so that managers do not get a chance to gather many and waste time on a report-presentation for him. In Ding Yun's Letter of Self-criticism & Promise, he added, "Our BU will stop using PPT as report format". In my opinion, we should not hold a rigid understanding in addressing this. If the process of making a PPT presentation inspires more thinking, more discussions, helps to reach consensus, and encourages to find directions, it is worthwhile doing so; if we completely say no to PPT presentations, this would be too rigid. In any case, managers should not involve too many people. If it takes ten or twenty people to make one PPT, we are being superior-centric and not efficient at all. Normally, managers are expected to write their own report-PPT. In most cases, I write my own PPTs before reporting at EMT meetings. Generally, it takes only a few slides, as long as I can explain clearly my point of views. I plan, write and then present, this helps me to remain clear in my logic.
President Ren writes all his speeches himself first. He then seeks advice and comments from EMT members. Can't managers at Huawei learn from President Ren? Can't you write your own report-PPTs? You can have a meeting to review your PPT like President Ren does. If you do it by yourself, I do not think you will come up with a PPT with many slides or over-decorated templates. It adds no value at all to waste so much time just to beautify your PPT. We should never be superior-centric, nor should we commit too much manpower in making PPTs. Do everything to add value and avoid anything that adds no value.
We have talked a lot on "not being customer-centric". We even held a seminar last time discussing on "customer centricity" for two days. The BSS made for AIS by Huawei Software Company was a typical case of not being customer-centric. The demands from AIS have been met in our bid. After, being so self-conceited, we replaced the original solution, causing customer's dissatisfaction. That was such a typical example.
4. Shirk responsibilities, blame something/someone else rather than oneself in case of a problem
The case of Telekom Malaysia shows that some senior managers have formed a habit when facing problems: Make sure it is someone else's fault and then they can stay clear of problems. Suppose that managers learn to systematically examine themselves to find what they have done wrong in any case, then the problem could be solved rather quickly. Yet, we are most used to checking on someone else first, rather than on ourselves. In some other cases, managers worry that others cannot handle the issue, without ever worrying about themselves. Here is a fresh example from yesterday's meeting. A manager said, "I doubt whether this policy can be well implemented by others". I replied him immediately, "Think first about how to do it well yourself". Managers are supposed to do their own part, take good care of their own business before putting out for others. Many people now habitually speak of others' problems, never their own.
5. Take stop-gap measures instead of finding the root cause of a problem
Quite a few managers have developed a very bad habit. Whenever something goes wrong, they will call someone, "You must deal with it". When they are asked whether they have dealt with the matter, they would answer "Yes, I have". At this point, I repeat over and over again that we should learn from Madame Sun, our Chairlady. When something happens and Madame Sun gets involved, she would inquire and dig deep to find the root cause of the matter and then have it solved. This is the case with both Telekom Malaysia and AIS. What we have heard throughout the entire process are all complaints and blames. We had no idea at all of what happened. Only after Deng Biao went to the site and restored what had actually happened from beginning to end in the BSS project, did we know the truth. Had managers at different levels tried to find out the root cause? Probably not. They might have made several phone calls, or given some sort of instructions. But, how, like this, can we know the truth, find the reason, and resolve the problem?
6. Focus only on theinterest of individual Department, rather than on overall corporate interest
The case of TelekomMalaysia has been clearly laid out. What a pity, we see cases like thiseverywhere. Some managers know mighty well that something is against corporaterules or may do harm to the corporate interest, still they invest lots of timeand energy to plan something in defense of the interest of their ownDepartment. This is particularly evident when it comes to business splitting& consolidation, division of teams and manpower. As a matter of fact, superiors are well awareof all this. How can they be trusted with greater responsibilities? When theyare, and they continue to put their department's interest as the first priority,who is then supposed to ensure Huawei's corporate interest? Do not ever thinkyou can always keep your plan a secret. What is done by night, appears by day.
7. Dare not get rid of the lazyemployees, dare not widen the gap, advocate egalitarianism.
In reality, managers arequite conscious whether or not their team members are lazy. But they are unableor feel embarrassed to deal with them, especially with the long-servingemployees. Sometimes, these people are previous superiors or colleagues of themanagers. Under such circumstances, failure to act properly means disrespect tohigh-performers and hard-working members. We have been talking about one casethese days: Department A got rid of an unproductive employee without hesitation.Everyone says this is the right thing to do. However, we get to find lazy staffhere and there, are we brave enough to lower their position/grade/salary? Iwould like to share a story: Employee A is at Grade 18, which does not complywith his job requirement, as Grade 18 is far above his current responsibility.But his manager is afraid of degrading him and has no idea to which GradeEmployee A shall be positioned. I asked the manager to make a list of all histeam members according to their performance. After he was done with listing, Iasked him who were the two employees above and below Employee A and in whichGrade were they. The manager said, they were both in Grade 15. It meantEmployee A should be positioned to Grade 15 then. As simple as that. When youhave difficulty in grading one of your team members, make a list in order, andrefer to the grades of employees above and below him/her in the list. Thenthings become clear.
Have managers at all levelsmade a list and put your men in order, especially those incompetent andlow-contributing employees, who fail to fulfill the qualification requirements? After you work out a list, youwill be able to decide on their grades. In particular, in view of staff ofGrades 13-17, we have not clearly graded them according to their job positions.The biggest impact from degrading is that the capped value will be lowered inthe Capped Share Distribution. We originally thought a cut of RMB1000-2000 insalary could be irritating. No way. But when someone is degraded, his cappedvalue in share distribution will be lowered accordingly, probably a biggerirritation to him. Can't you degrade all those low-performers before anotherround of Capped Share Distribution? After degrading, the average capped valueof employees may not probably go up, but go down instead. Members in each teamshall be listed and ordered based on their performance, so that a manager getsto see a whole picture of his team, and to see where unproductive members areon the list. In doing so, those slacking off at work can be rationally graded,or degraded when necessary. If they choose to stay, it is okay. If no, they arefree to leave.
8. Constantly complainabout processes, but never try to improve
Some managers constantlycomplain about surplus or complicated processes. When you actually detect someproblem in our process, would you please point it out: Which process isunnecessary, or which process has a problem? We expect you to give yourfeedback to Quality & Operation Dept. or QA of the related BU, so as to helpmake improvement in process. We hope to hear your feedback on how to do abetter job. Still, we get complaints most of the time, and complaints begin to evolveinto some catchphrases: Processes are surplus, processes are too long,processes impede development. These complainers never try to do something to contributeto improvement. Without pointing out which process is unnecessary, whichprocess is way too long, or which process has a problem, how can you expect anyprogress?
9. Dare not embrace newchallenges, refuse to leave comfort zone
Conditions in R&D are lookingbetter as nowhere is actually really bad. However, some managers do not want towork elsewhere, or take any challenge. An important direction for this year isto encourage managers and key talents to try new areas. Some people are just tooconcerned with their personal gains and losses.
10. Do not have the courageto speak up for employees who have been wronged
Some managers do not havethe courage to speak up for their subordinates who have been wronged, becauseif they do so, they may be labeled as "sophistic". If you do believethat your man had been wronged, why can't you just speak out? Either becauseyou are not taking responsibility for your man, or because you are afraid ofbeing criticized or offending someone. How can you then protect them if youfail to stand up for them?
11. Be a relayer, insteadof a filter
Many managers work like a relayerinstead of a filter. They forward right away the messages they receive, regardlessif it is something they should take over or not, as long as they do not have tohandle it themselves. This becomes hard to bear for those working under them, causingthem to lose focus on their own duties.
12. Be highly interested indiscussing existing problems instead of solving them
I see a number of managers talkon and on about existing problems, but they never attempt to solve them,whether these are problems concerning PSST's hidden rules, or defects inprocess, or difficulties in implementing current policy. As a manager, if youare able to iron out all the problems falling within your duties, then you are savedfrom many troubles, especially from hidden rules. For the problems beyond yourduties, how can you expect them to be solved without any input from you, or from other managers?
13. Focus on indicatorswhile neglecting objective
In 2008, PSST startedoptimization of performance management, reminding us not to neglect objectivefor the sake of indicators. PSST's essential objective is to sharpen thecompetitive edge of our products and solutions and ensure low cost, to satisfycustomers' demands. Some managers are much concerned about how well their KPIindicators are met, without knowing which purpose KPI indicators serve. Forexample, there used to be a platform at Huawei on which the related KPIindicators were very good. The KPI indicators involved quality, progress,online trouble-shooting, etc. But little by little, this platform somehow waseliminated. What is then our ultimate goal, to build an excellent andcompetitive built-in operating system, or to have a platform free of troubles? Theanswer is evident. Of course, it is also necessary to make sure it is trouble-free.Therefore, managers at all levels should ponder over the ultimate purpose ofour duties, which are far beyond some indicators. When we work for KPIindicators, we are not being accountable. An accountable manager recognizes histarget clearly.
14. Overdraft one'saccomplishments during the current term, and leave problems to the successor
Take R&D for example,managers are focused on short-term rather than on long-term benefits, onpresent rather than on future. They are not brave enough to make necessaryinput in new area or product. They are reluctant to invest in something thatbrings benefit only in a long run, e.g. architecture, platform, etc. They lookfor striking victories, while ignoring such things that bring long-term benefitas organizational competency, process optimization, employee competencyimprovement, and so on. When we focus only on the present, we will lose ourcompetitive edge. Managers like this are not being responsible at all.
15. Report only good news,afraid of exposing problems
It is not unusual to coverup the truth in PSST, we find. Either in written summary or oral report,managers are quite expressive when speaking of achievements and successful experiences.When it comes to problems or inadequacies, they leave only passing comments.What worries us most is that sometimes managers try to cover up the truthregarding quality, they introduce afalse sense of "harmony" by not exposing problems in quality, or inprocess implementation. In some cases even, they choose to cheat in order topass the TR. In case that we dare not expose problems and wait until problems exposethemselves, "Toyota Story" may happen to Huawei. Supposing that we turna blind eye to a problem, and do nothing about it, we can never guarantee thequality of our products and then lose both our credibility and customers.
16. Be conservative,inactive in learning and increasingly unproductive
Some managers work by ruleof thumb. They follow their previous experiences. We are transforming ourselvesfrom "irregular troops" to "regular army". Experiencesaccumulated in the past do not present a directional landmark for the future.We must stay open-minded, be self-reflective, and have a willing heart to learn.Our success in CT does not necessarily ensure our success in ICT.
17. Avoid decision-making, fearaccountability, and push back responsibility to Huawei. Who is Huawei anyway?
This is similar to thecomplaint about processes. Last year, we had some discussion on "hiddenrules". Who made these hidden rules? It is every one of us. For example,is Performance Review supposed to evaluate outcome linked to responsibility, orevaluate merits and letters of praise? Openly, we all agree to evaluate outcomelinked to responsibility; but in the actual review, we focus on merits only.Who can correct such phenomenon? Again, it is every one of us.
18. Take responsibility forprocess, but not for result
This one is easy tounderstand. It is similar to focusing on indicators while forgetting aboutobjective. Some managers emphasize on "I did it" but do not careabout what it will turn out to be. When you take responsibility for process, butnot for result, this is called formalism. This attitude can easily cause thingsto become complicated. So the presentation may be beautiful, but the results canbe poor.
This reminds me of Nappoleon's words: ''If you have an army of 100 lions and their leader is a dog, then these 100 lions will die a dog's death. However if you have an army of 100 dogs and their leader is a lion, these 100 dogs will fight like a lion !''
Leaders or managers are very important to a team, recommend a very exciting video to you:
One of the bitter truth in Huawei unfortunately!
Some managers act as lackeys only and they think the more information they provide, the more successful they become.
I have come across a manager who at a point of time could not hold work pressure and threaten to resign. Later, the same manager threaten to resign because of a specific benefit was going to be removed from him. It's like they have been disturbed in their comfort zone.
KPI performance is all part of our PBC process, it's the same where ever you work and this whole approach distracts people from doing a good job , and is a waste of a lot of energy. It's always difficult to give rewards to people who aren't directly impacting the profit of the company, but a good manager will bring out the best in people. Rewards are not just financial, a reward can be giving more responsibility to a person which will lead to increased knowledge and trust. Developing people is also a very worth while exercise, but few managers give enough time to every member of their team to keep them motivated........................Make the work place interesting and people will be interested in their work.
Agree. Mercenaries receive only material incentives. Sometimes a mercenary army is much more formidable than a regular army. However, without a sense of mission, a sense of responsibility, or the spiritual drive, such an army cannot sustain its capabilities. Only the sense of mission and sense of responsibility of a regular army can drive long-term dedication.
I am glad to see you mention a sense of mission. I think a mission and vision statement are vital, along with values and objectives to realise the vision. These should be communicated all the way down into departments who define their own objectives to contribute to the greater vision and mission. This is worthy of a post and discussion in itself!
As usual Ren Sir, stands tall inspiring all of us with his actions.
hope his actions and knowledge give our Managers to improve us and work towards excel in our performance.
the problem is Mangers themselves are not convinced and confident on there capabilities and worried of there position. with this uncertainty they may not focus on the People and customer and they start working for themselves to survive.
4. Shirk responsibilities, blame something/someone else rather than oneself in case of a problem - this is true
Managers should always Inspire, Engage, Challenge, Trust, Coach and Support their employees - not sure this is really can happen when Manager himself not cared by his manager. many of the negative listed is reflecting the current situation. but as a Reportee and a Manager its would be my responsibility to make it happen align to the Management requirements and execute with effective people Management
Take a look at this one, very inspiring and it will answer a lot of questions..
As man says, it is important that someone guards your back to feel secure. Secure people are not afraid of mistakes. Security leads to success.
This company need to improve management, there are serious issues in system.
1) Parellel Governance ; Chinese members are having superior power they decide and rest will be a seperate tribe ruled by some care takers. This Care takers only have permission to listen only
2) Centralized power : Lack of power at the roots .As company grows more powers should be decentralized , else dispersed actions/improvement will not be business centric.
This company should evolve to a level where leaders can function in decentralized yet centralized manners . Now poor and late decisions stall the progress.
3) Lack of invovation : Local employees are not respected or their careers . I think huawei to be multinational or world leader , it can be chasing another company,but how long.
How it go forward to the top if the innovation are not there from the roots . Check other multinationals companys how they are able to best get scientists ,managers ,CTOs from other countries,does the company suceed or not?.
I think Huawei will soon see its end , if don't innovate and get rid of chinese centric management practices.
4) For local employees Huawei is a punishment company , who will take risk to do better , if they are not encouraged to do different.
I have seen very good Managers leave the company , just because they don't get any respect from Chinese Managers , even though did very good work for Huawei.They just do and leave. May be that is only required ?!
3 year experienced chinese employee can decide the 10 yr experienced non chinese employee work or future in huawei. Hay or C&Q nothing will matters for the local, it is the way of street control .
So non chinese Managers are tooth less .
C&Q and Hay level all are align towards chinese only mindset . They decide but will it get results? . Be global in all matters ..
The 10 shortcomings have become 18 now. It seems the managers of Huawei arent doing even one thing right. Perhaps, other than writing these articles.
The PPTs and endless meetings to no end are one of the biggest problems with no solution in sight.