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TED演讲:怎样让企业持续运行100年?

2017-07-28    来源:普特英语编辑部    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

英文对照字幕:

00:12

Imagine that you are a product designer. And you've designed a product, a new type of product, called the human immune system. You're pitching this product to a skeptical, strictly no-nonsense manager. Let's call him Bob. I think we all know at least one Bob, right? How would that go?



00:35

Bob, I've got this incredible idea for a completely new type of personal health product. It's called the human immune system. I can see from your face that you're having some problems with this. Don't worry. I know it's very complicated. I don't want to take you through the gory details, I just want to tell you about some of the amazing features of this product. First of all, it cleverly uses redundancy by having millions of copies of each component -- leukocytes, white blood cells -- before they're actually needed, to create a massive buffer against the unexpected. And it cleverly leverages diversity by having not just leukocytes but B cells, T cells, natural killer cells, antibodies. The components don't really matter. The point is that together, this diversity of different approaches can cope with more or less anything that evolution has been able to throw up. And the design is completely modular. You have the surface barrier of the human skin, you have the very rapidly reacting innate immune system and then you have the highly targeted adaptive immune system. The point is, that if one system fails, another can take over, creating a virtually foolproof system.


01:54

I can see I'm losing you, Bob, but stay with me, because here is the really killer feature. The product is completely adaptive. It's able to actually develop targeted antibodies to threats that it's never even met before. It actually also does this with incredible prudence, detecting and reacting to every tiny threat, and furthermore, remembering every previous threat, in case they are ever encountered again. What I'm pitching you today is actually not a stand-alone product. The product is embedded in the larger system of the human body, and it works in complete harmony with that system, to create this unprecedented level of biological protection. So Bob, just tell me honestly, what do you think of my product?


02:48

And Bob may say something like, I sincerely appreciate the effort and passion that have gone into your presentation, blah blah blah --


02:57

(Laughter)


02:58

But honestly, it's total nonsense. You seem to be saying that the key selling points of your product are that it is inefficient and complex. Didn't they teach you 80-20? And furthermore, you're saying that this product is siloed. It overreacts, makes things up as it goes along and is actually designed for somebody else's benefit. I'm sorry to break it to you, but I don't think this one is a winner.


03:27

If we went with Bob's philosophy, I think we'd actually end up with a more efficient immune system. And efficiency is always important in the short term. Less complex, more efficient, more bang for the buck. Who could say no to that? Unfortunately, there's one very tiny problem, and that is that the user of this product, you or I, would probably die within one week of the next winter, when we encountered a new strain of the influenza virus.


03:57

I first became interested in biology and business, and longevity and resilience, when I was asked a very unusual question by the CEO of a global tech company. And the question was: What do we have to do to make sure that our company lasts 100 years? A seemingly innocent question, but actually, it's a little trickier than you might think, considering that the average US public company now can expect a life span of only 30 years. That is less than half of the life span that its employees can expect to enjoy.


04:39

Now, if you were the CEO of such a company, badgered by investors and buffeted by change, we might forgive you for not even worrying too much about what happens 30 years out. But here's something that should keep you awake at night: the probability that your company will not be around in five year's time, on average, is now a staggering 32 percent. That's a one in three chance that your company will be taken over or will fail within just five years.


05:13

Let's come back to our tech CEO's question. Where better to turn for advice than nature, that's been in the business of life and death for longer than any company? As a lapsed biologist, I decided to immediately call a real biologist, my friend Simon Levin, Professor of Biology and Mathematics at Princeton University. Together, we looked at a variety of biological systems, ranging from natural tropical rainforests through to managed forests and fisheries. And we asked ourselves the question: What makes these systems resilient and enduring?


05:55

And what we found was that the same six principles that we saw underpinning the miracle of the human immune system actually cropped up again and again, from redundancy through to embeddedness. In fact, we saw these principles not only in biologically enduring systems, we also found them being very characteristic of long-lived social systems, like the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church, believe it or not. We also went on to look at business, and found that these very same properties also characterized businesses that were resilient and long-lived, and we noted their absence from ones which were short-lived.


06:38

Let's first take a look at what happens when the corporate immune system collapses. This beautiful building is part of the Shitennoji Temple Complex in Osaka, Japan. In fact, it's one of the oldest temples in Japan. It was built by a Korean artisan, because at the time, Japan was not yet building temples. And this Korean artisan went on to found a temple-building company. Amazingly, his company, Kongō Gumi, was still around 1,428 years later. In fact, it became the oldest continuously operating company in the world.


07:21

So how is Kongō Gumi doing today? Not too well, I'm afraid. It borrowed very heavily during the bubble period of the Japanese economy, to invest in real estate. And when the bubble burst, it couldn't refinance its loans. The company failed, and it was taken over by a major construction company. Tragically, after 40 generations of very careful stewardship by the Kongō family, Kongō Gumi succumbed to a spectacular lapse in the ability to apply a principle of prudence.


08:00

Speaking of company failures: we're all familiar with the failure of Kodak, the company that declared bankruptcy in January 2012. Much more interesting, however, is the question: Why did Fujifilm -- same product, same pressures from digital technology, same time -- why was Fujifilm able to survive and flourish?


08:30

Fujifilm used its capabilities in chemistry, material science and optics to diversify into a number of areas, ranging from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals, to medical systems to biomaterials. Some of these diversification attempts failed. But in aggregate, it was able to adapt its portfolio sufficiently to survive and flourish. As the CEO, Mr. Komori, put it, the strategy succeeded because it had "more pockets and drawers" than the rivals. He meant, of course, that they were able to create more options than the rivals. Fujifilm survived because it applied the principles of prudence, diversity and adaptation.


09:21

A catastrophic factory fire, like the one we see here, completely wiped out, in one evening, the only plant which supplied Toyota with valves for car-braking systems. The ultimate test of resilience. Car production ground to a screeching halt. How was it, then, that Toyota was able to recover car production? Can you imagine how long it took? Just five days. From having no braking valves to complete recovery in five days. How was this possible? Toyota managed its network of suppliers in such a collaborative manner that it could work very quickly and smoothly with suppliers to repurpose production, fill the missing braking valve capacity and have car production come online again. Toyota applied the principles of modularity of its supply network, embeddedness in an integrated system and the functional redundancy to be able to repurpose, smoothly, existing capacity.


10:33

Now fortunately, few companies succumb to catastrophic fires. But we do read in the newspaper every day about companies succumbing to the disruption of technology. How is it, then, that the consumer optics giant Essilor is able to avoid technology disruption, and even profit from it? And yes, technology disruption is not only a big deal in software and electronics. Essilor carefully scans the competitive environment for potentially disruptive technologies. It acquires those technologies very early, before they've become expensive or competitors have mobilized around them, and it then develops those technologies itself, even at the risk of failure or the risk of self-disruption. Essilor stays ahead of its game, and has delivered spectacular performance for over 40 years, by using the principles of prudence and adaptation.


11:35

OK, if these principles are so powerful, you might be thinking, why are they not commonplace in business? Why do we not use these words every day? Well, change has to first start in the mind. If we think back to our pitch to Bob, in order to apply the principles that underpin the miracle of the human immune system, we first need to think differently about business. Now typically, when we think about business, we use what I call "mechanical thinking." We set goals, we analyze problems, we construct and we adhere to plans, and more than anything else, we stress efficiency and short-term performance. Now, don't get me wrong -- this is a splendidly practical and effective way of addressing relatively simple challenges in relatively stable environments. It's the way that Bob -- and probably many of us, myself included -- process most business problems we're faced with every day. In fact, it was a pretty good mental model for business -- overall -- until about the mid-1980s, when the conjunction of globalization and a revolution in technology and telecommunications made business far more dynamic and unpredictable.


12:49

But what about those more dynamic and unpredictable situations that we now increasingly face? I think in addition to the mechanical thinking, we now need to master the art of biological thinking, as embodied by our six principles. In other words, we need to think more modestly and subtly about when and how we can shape, rather than control, unpredictable and complex situations. It's a little like the difference between throwing a ball and releasing a bird. The ball would head in a straight line, probably towards the intended target, and the bird certainly would not.


13:35

So what do you think? Sounds a little impractical, a little theoretical, perhaps? Not at all. Every small entrepreneurial company naturally thinks and acts biologically. Why? Because it lacks the resources to shape its environment through brute force. It lacks the scale to buffer change, and it's constantly thinking about the tough odds for a start-up to survive. Now, the irony is, of course, that every large company started off as a small, entrepreneurial company. But along the way somewhere, many have lost this ability to think and act biologically. They need to rejuvenate their ability to think biologically in order to survive and thrive in today's environment.


14:28

So let's not just think about short-term performance. Every company I know spends plenty of time thinking about the central question of strategy: How good is our competitive game? In addition, let's also consider the second, more biological and equally important question: How long will that game last?


14:48

Thank you very much.


14:50

(Applause)


中文对照字幕:

00:12

把自己想象成一个产品设计师。 你设计了一种产品 一种叫做人体免疫机制的新产品 你在向一个持质疑态度 不容许讲废话的经理推销这种产品 让我们叫他鲍勃 我想每个人都至少认识一个鲍勃,对吧 将会发生什么呢


00:35

鲍勃,我有了一个美妙的想法 我要做一种全新的个人健康产品 它叫做人体免疫机制 我能从你的反应看出你不太相信 不要担心,我知道这不好理解 我不会赘述令人肉麻的细节 我只想告诉你这种产品的几个惊人之处 首先,它巧妙地使用了庞大性 它拥有上百万备用的同种组织 ——比如血白细胞—— 来制造应对突发情况的 有效方案 其次它有着多样性 不只是有白血细胞, 还有B细胞、T细胞、 自然杀伤细胞和抗体 重要的不是它的组成部分 重要的是合在一起 这种有着不同种类的多样性 几乎可以解决进化中出现的所有问题 而且它的设计十分模块化 有着人体皮肤的表面保护 不仅有与生俱来的反应敏捷的免疫机制 还有着适应力极强的高效免疫系统 即使一种机制失效 另一种也能及时补上 创造出十分安全的系统


01:54

我知道你开始听不懂了,鲍勃 但请听我说完 因为现在才是产品的杀手锏 这种产品具有极强的适应力 它可以针对从未见过的病原 制造出相应的抗体 它还十分精准 发现并对每种危机做出反应 并且记住每一次外界入侵 以防再次遭遇同种危险 我今天想和你们讲的 其实不是一种独立运作的产品 这种产品与整个人体相结合 并且和整体和谐共处 创造出了史无前例的生物保护机制 鲍勃,请你诚实地告诉我 你觉得这款产品怎么样?


02:48

鲍勃可能会说 我真挚地赞赏你在展示中 所表现出的努力和热情 啦啦啦啦……


02:57

(笑声)


02:58

但是讲实话,简直是胡说八道 你似乎在讲你产品的买点 是它的极其低效和冗杂 你难道没有学过80/20法则吗? 而且你还似乎在说这种产品很浪费 它反应过激 制造出东西又无的放矢 效益明显不高 很抱歉让你遗憾了 但它肯定没有希望


03:27

如果我们同意鲍勃的观点 我们实际上肯定了一种更为高效的免疫系统 而且效率在短期来说往往十分重要 少些复杂,多些效率 更合算些 谁会拒绝这些好处呢? 不幸的是,有一个小小的问题 那就是如果你我有着这样的免疫系统 那么在遭遇新型传染病毒时 你我可能活不过下一个冬天的头一周


03:57

我第一次对生物与商业 以及持久性和抗压性赶到兴趣 是在被一个全球科技公司的CEO 问了一个问题时 那个问题是 怎样确保我们的公司能够持续运作100年? 看上去是一个幼稚的问题 但是问题远没有你想的这么简单 美国现在普通的公共公司 通常只有30年的寿命 这几乎是它的员工 工作寿命的一半


04:39

现在,如果你是这样一个公司的CEO 被投资者纠缠不放 因变化而遭受打击 可以理解你不为 之后30年的事操心太多 但有些事可能会让你难以入眠 你的公司在5年后倒闭的可能性 平均在32%上下浮动 也就是有三分之一的几率 你的公司会在5年后被转手或是倒闭


05:13

又来说说科技公司老板的问题 哪里有向比大自然求教更好的呢? 大自然已经在生死轮回的游戏中 比任何公司存活得都要久了 作为一个不务正业的生物学家 我马上联系了一个更专业的生物学者 我朋友赛门·莱文 普林斯顿大学的生物学和数学教授 我们共同研究了许多生态系统 从自然热带雨林 到人造森林和鱼塘 我们问了自己一个问题 是什么使这些系统具有抗压能力 和持续性


05:55

我们发现恰恰是支撑着人体免疫系统的 六条规律 一次又一次地表现出来 从庞大性到镶嵌性 事实上,我们不只是在生物持久的系统中 发现这些规律 我们还发现 它们在寿命长久的社会系统中 也表现得十分突出 就像在罗马帝国 和天主教堂中的表现 ——信不信由你—— 我们还研究了商界 也发现它们在坚韧且长久的企业中 表现的非常明显 并且发现了短命的企业中这种 品质的缺失


06:38

先来看看当企业的免疫机制失效时 会发生什么 这栋美丽的建筑是日本大阪 四天王寺寺庙的一部分 事实上它是日本最老的建筑之一 它由一个韩国工匠修建 由于在那时日本还不会修建寺庙 这个韩国工匠创建了一个 修建寺庙的公司 十分神奇的是,他的公司 Kongō Gumi 在1480年后仍然存在 实际上,它成为了世界上持续经营的 最古老的公司


07:21

Kongō Gumi现在怎么样了呢 恐怕不是很好 在日本经济泡沫时期 借了很重的债 来投资房地产 当经济泡沫破裂时 它不能偿还债务 公司破产了 被一所主流建筑公司收购 可悲的是,在 Kongō家族40代的 苦心经营之后 Kongō Gumi最终屈服于在精准运营上 的巨大失败


08:00

讲到公司倒闭 我们都熟悉柯达公司的失败 柯达在2012年一月 宣布破产 然而更为有趣的是: 为什么富士胶片 ——同样的产品,相同的数码科技界的压力 同样的时间段—— 为什么富士胶片能够存活下来 并且欣欣向荣?


08:30

富士胶片运用了自己在 化学,材料科学和光学上的造诣 将自己的涉及领域多样化 从化妆品到医药 到医学系统、到生物材料 有一些多样化的尝试失败了 但是总体来说 它能够充足地转换自己的组合 从而幸存并且繁荣 就像其CEO, Komori先生说的 这种策略之所以成功 是因为它比同行有更多的“口袋”和“抽屉” 他的意思当然是 他们比同行创造了更多的选择空间 富士胶片存活了下来 因为它采用了这些规律:精准 多样化 和适应能力


09:21

像我们看到的这张图 一场灾难性的工厂大火 在一个晚上完全地摧毁了 为丰田刹车系统提供阀门的唯一 一个工厂 这是对抗压能力的终极考验 汽车生产进入了中断 之后怎么样了呢?丰田是否 能否重整旗鼓恢复汽车生产? 你能想象这花了多长时间吗? 仅仅只有五天 从没有刹车阀门到完全恢复生产 只用了五天时间 这怎么可能呢? 丰田用一种合作的方式组织 供销商网络 因此能够与供销商 迅速顺利地合作 来重振生产 弥补缺失的刹车阀门生产能力 让汽车生产重新运作 丰田运用了供给网络的模块化原理 在相互结合的系统中的镶嵌原理 以及有效的庞大性 来达到顺利重整 现有生产能力的效果


10:33

幸运的是,很少有公司 因大火而破产 但我们却每天在报纸上读到 有公司因为科技的干扰而倒闭 光学巨头伊视路 是怎样避免科技干扰 甚至从中获利的呢? 是的,科技干扰不仅仅在软件和 电子业上 意义重大 伊视路仔细地在竞争环境中 审查了可能存在的干扰科技 在这些科技的价格变得高昂 或者同行得到它们之前 伊视路很早就获取了这些科技 然后它自己发展它们 甚至冒着失败 和自我干扰的风险 伊视路保持在了前列 通过运用精准和适应的法则 在近40年内 它表现了出色的成绩


11:35

好了,既然这些法则如此强大 你可能会想 为什么在商界不常见到它们呢? 为什么它们还不是老生常谈? 好吧,改变首先得从思想开始 如果我们回想对鲍勃的推销 为了运用支撑人体免疫机制的 几条法则 我们首先得从另一个角度 来思考商业 通常,当我们想到商业的时候 我们使用我所谓的“力学思考法” 我们制定目标 分析问题 制定并执行计划 最为重要的是 我们强调效率和短期表现 现在,请不要搞错 这是一种在相对稳定的环境中 解决较为简单的问题时 十分有效和实际的方式 这是鲍勃——还有包括我在内的 我们中许多人—— 处理我们每天面临的大多数 商业问题的办法 事实上,这曾是一种良好的 商业思想模型 总体地—— 直到20世纪80年代中期 全球化和科技革命、通信技术的结合 使得商业变得 比以往更具活力、更难以预测


12:49

那么当我们现在面临更具活力和 不可预测性的情况时 该怎么应对呢? 我认为除了力学思考法外 现在我们得掌握生物思考 的艺术 就像我们的六条守则所传达的一样 换言之,我们得更为谦虚和细致地考虑 何时、怎样 塑造而不是控制 不可预测的复杂情况 这有点像扔一个球 和放飞一只鸟的区别 球可以直接以从上方观察的直线 飞向既定的目标 鸟显然不能


13:35

你们怎么想呢? 听起来有点不切实际 有点纯理论化了,是吗? 一点也不 每个小型企业 都自然而然地生物化地思考和行动 这是为什么呢? 因为它们缺少通过自身能力 塑造周围环境的条件 它没有能够迎接改变的规模 并且它不断地在思考 起步时渺茫的生存机会 现在,讽刺的是,当然 每一个大型公司都开始于 一个小型企业 但是在发展的某一阶段 许多公司丢失了生物化思考 和行动的能力 他们需要重拾生物化思考的能力 以便在今天的环境中存活并繁荣


14:28

让我们不要再只考虑短期表现吧 我所知道的每一个公司 都花大量的时间 思考他们的战略核心: 我们的竞争力还有多少? 除此之外,为什么不考虑 第二个,更为生物化 而且同等重要的问题: 我们还能坚持多久?


14:48

谢谢

 

 



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