Chairman Michael Zhu
New core values:
An outstanding team:
The time between Lan-bridge’s founding (May 23, 2000) and now, its 17th year, has passed in the blink of an eye! For a person, being 17 years old is an exciting time in one’s life, when one feels fearless and full of hope for the future, and one’s whole body exudes youthful vigour. But for an enterprise, the 17 year point may alternatively represent youth, middle age, or old age. Fortunately for Lan-bridge, this is still her romantic and vibrant youth.
In our early days, Lan-bridge established a people-oriented corporate culture based around a team concept of “simplicity, sincerity, and friendship”. Our translators and other workers were all told to respect the human-centred premise stated on their employee manual’s first page, and this precept has always remained with us.
Later, as the company developed, new partners and colleagues who joined us brought with them a number of new elements, which enriched Lan-bridge’s culture. These included mottos such as, “happy at work, happy to exchange and interact”, “Grow with Lan-bridge”, “Being active is wonderful, growth creates happiness “. These new concepts reflected the psychological demands on our employees, and encourage individuals to grow, the company to develop, and working lives to be happy.
The company’s acceptance and incorporation of these new concepts helped us develop a more three-dimensional model of nurturing talent, enriched by its people-oriented emphasis. Such a model has become an important point of the company’s human resources management, where it played a leading role in gradually building a relaxed and happy working atmosphere. When our employees come to work, they know they aren’t there solely to please others, they can simply focus on their own tasks and work with and alongside their colleagues in a sincere and productive way. This simple approach to work is popular amongst our employees, because it helps avoid office politics. It is this type of environment that facilitated Lan-bridge’s growth from a small company in Chengdu with just a few people to an industry-leading one with hundreds of employees all over the country and beyond.
Another aspect of our philosophy is tenacity. In my personal experience, this not only reflects my dedication to the company and embodies the “never give up” entrepreneurial spirit, but also reflects Lan-bridge’s day-to-day mentality, where we energetically try every means to achieve a goal. At its core, this mentality is about finishing things – and doing so well. It places a certain emphasis on toughness and endurance, and although this may not always be enough on its own to lead to earth-shaking changes for the company, it certainly gives us an added edge in a number of areas and provides a strong foundation with which to advance steadily into the future.
An enterprise’s culture should be multifaceted. These different aspects can reflect its values from different perspectives. The “corporate culture of simplicity, sincerity and friendship” is a part of Lan-bridge’s internal or introverted psychological pursuit, and it is also a safe, stable and sustainable view. This simple culture can be recognized and internalised by Lan-bridge’s employees.
However, a corporate culture should advance in-step with the times, rather than remain immutable. Lan-bridge is a very different company to what it was 17 years ago; the world is a different place and our staff is made up of new people, so of course we need to continue to change our outlook. As the founder of the company, it is important for me know that it is possible to consciously introduce new cultures or new elements when necessary, and the introduction of these are usually synchronized with the introduction of new talent. The introduction of new talent, in turn, has to come within an open and inclusive culture. Otherwise, the old culture and environment may find it difficult to accommodate the new talent, and the new culture simultaneously won’t gain a foothold, let alone thrive.
In 2016, Lan-bridge made remarkable progress in the fields of team-building and business development. Our partnership system is increasingly clear and our management team and the structure of our organization are maturing. All of these factors have contributed to our main business’s steady development, and they are the foundation for our next stage of rapid development.
At the beginning of 2017, Lang-bridge’s management team put forward its new core values in a collective resolution: “Customer first, quality priority, execution paramount“. We also outlined the blueprint for the next three years of development: both quality and quantity; scale, but also profits; to transform the business and profits within three years and achieve top position within the industry. Why three years? Because it will mark the 20th anniversary of Lan-bridge’s establishment.
New values mean new changes, new goals mean new challenges. As mentioned above, the traditional values of Lan-bridge are based around a pursuit of an inwardly perfect and stable development, rather than the notion of actively taking the initiative and enterprising, striding forward in leaps and bounds with development. And to achieve our goals for the next three years, we must adopt new values.
Lan-bridge employees are gradually changing from a inward-looking to a customer-centric stance; from being concerned about their own growth to focusing on customer needs; customers would like to feel assured that Lan-bridge workers will focus on their work and meeting their needs. This is a big change that isn’t merely the replacing of one motto with another; it is a new mind-set in which the key lies in empathy and the ability to help customers solve practical problems.
‘Customer first’ is the principle at the core of Lan-bridge’s new philosophy. By wholeheartedly emphasizing the customer’s needs from the outset, we can ensure that their problem will be solved in the end.
‘Quality priority’ is our second core principle. It is derived from the collective consciousness and self-motivating mentality that we have managed to achieve over the years. Quality does not necessarily have to be emphasised by an enterprise. But when you realize what it represents (excellence, honour, pride and dignity), you can rest assured that everything will be done to our customer’s satisfaction. This chimes in tune with our tenacious spirit, and it’s in these aspects that Lan-bridge employees pursue excellence, which is more important than the mere pursuit of money.
‘Execution paramount’ is Lan-bridge’s third and final core principle. This stage has three levels. Firstly, one has to reaffirm the first two principles, and check whether we really are putting the customer first and fully prioritising quality. Secondly, emphasise must be placed on the power of implementation and “getting things done”. And thirdly, one has to emphasize the role of excellence in the implementation, of how to go from simply completing a task to completing a task in an outstanding manner.
To achieve excellence, one must patiently practice and develop skill. Step-by-step one can make smaller and then larger breakthroughs. Perhaps some of you have read The Rebirth of the Eagle, where a 40-year-old eagle faces the difficulties of life and death and deals with the pain of choice. The same can be said of business, where there is the need to constantly adapt in order to break through barriers again and again, a process which leads to a kind of constant rebirth.
Lan-bridge’s development over the past few years shows that with progress comes change and adjustment. Most of these changes are forced and passive, and a few are spontaneous and active. This shows that with past developments, Lan-bridge hasn’t always been as fast to adapt and take the lead as it could have been. The habit of change requires paying upfront; its returns often come later. If you stick with old ideas and focus on old market forces, inertia will trap your business in a dead end. To put it more philosophically: change is life, staying the same is death; only change can create new life, and only change itself doesn’t change, it is the eternal truth.
The time has arrived for Lan-bridge to grasp a great opportunity for development! With the innovative, sustainable, and never-give-up ethos of the entrepreneurial spirit, Lan-bridge will maintain personal and collective values, and work hard towards gaining the position of industry leaders whilst promoting the internationalization of Chinese enterprises!
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Translated by Kain Jagger