How Strategy Works in an Interconnected, Automated World
Leaders already know that the classic approach to strategy--analyze, plan, execute--is losing relevance. But they don't yet know what replaces it. As everyone and everything becomes more interconnected and digitized, how do you operate, compete, and win?
Ming Zeng, the former Chief of Staff and strategy adviser to Alibaba Group's founder Jack Ma, explains how the latest technological developments, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the mobile internet, and cloud computing are redefining how value is created. Written especially for those outside the technology industry or the startup arena, this book introduces a simple, overarching framework to guide strategy formulation and execution in this data-rich and highly interactive environment.
Revealing the revolutionary practices that he and his team have developed at Alibaba, Zeng shows how to:
Automate decisions through machine learning
Create products informed by real-time data from customers
Determine the right strategic positioning to maximize value from platforms and suppliers
Repurpose your organization to further human insight and enable creativity
Lead your company's transformation into a smart business
With insights into the strategies and tools used by leaders at Alibaba and other companies such as Ruhan and Red Collar, in a variety of industries from furniture making to banking to custom tailoring, Smart Business outlines a radically new approach to strategy that can be applied everywhere.
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Ming Zeng was the Chief of Staff and strategy adviser to Jack Ma at Alibaba Group for over a decade (2006-2017) as it blossomed into a $400 billion company. He is currently Chairman of the Academic Council of Alibaba Group and Dean of Hupan School of Entrepreneurship, founded by Ma and other Chinese business leaders. Previously, he taught at INSEAD and, in 2002, he was one of the seven professors who founded Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing. He wrote one of the first cases on Alibaba in 2000. The book he coauthored with Peter Williamson, Dragons at Your Door (Harvard Business Review Press), remains one of the most cited books about the strategies of leading Chinese companies.
Author social media/website info: linkedin.com/in/ming-zeng-7ba269117
ADVANCE PRAISE for Smart Business
Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Microsoft AI and Research Group--
"In an era when artificial intelligence and machine learning-technologies are redefining our entire society, it will be critical for companies around the globe to similarly remodel how they approach business strategy. Ming Zeng's Smart Business is an essential read for all executives and leaders who do not want to be left behind as new trends in AI shape our increasingly interconnected world."
Eric Schmidt, former Executive Chairman, Google and Alphabet--
"Ming Zeng makes the crucial connections between theory and practice, scale and growth dynamics, and changing managerial principles and the importance of creative talent. In my experience, people are hungry for ideas. Ming Zeng has put them in a unifying context and actionable format."
Michael Spence, Nobel Prize-winning economist; professor, NYU Stern School of Business--
"Smart Business is an important book. Most readers will have encountered artificial intelligence, algorithms, machine learning, cloud computing, and automation. But few of us have any intimate contact with how these digital technologies are forming the building blocks of new, flat, networked business organizations and the ecosystems in which they compete and cooperate. Ming Zeng's book closes that knowledge gap."
W. Chan Kim, BCG Chair Professor of Strategy, INSEAD; New York Times-bestselling author, Blue Ocean Shift and Blue Ocean Strategy--
"Smart Business vividly demonstrates why human creativity and innovation will become the key competencies for producing value in the future economy. In this provocative and insightful book, Ming Zeng, who has been a driver of Alibaba's cutting-edge practices, demands a radical new approach to strategy. This book is an indispensable must-read."
Peter Thiel, entrepreneur; investor; and author, #1 New York Times bestseller Zero to One--
"Ming Zeng shows why Alibaba is not just China's Amazon: online commerce looks very different when there are no incumbent retailers and no legacy logistics. In this sense, China has truly started from zero."
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