Adaptation, Innovation and Resilience at Alibaba. A Discussion with BCG’s Martin Reeves. (2 of 3) (Jeff’s Asia Tech Class – Podcast 48)

 

This is Part 2 in a three part series about Alibaba and Ant Group. The focus was on Alibaba’s ability to continually adapt to new markets, consumer behaviors, technologies and opportunities. The idea of adaptability and innovation are increasingly discussed as key competitive abilities. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

To investigate that, I spoke with Martin Reeves, who is Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute. And has long written about adaptability and rate of learning as critical parts of strategy. Here is his summary from the BCG website:

“Since joining BCG in 1989, Martin has led a broad range of strategy assignments in the Financial Institutions, Consumer Goods, Industrial Goods and Health Care sectors. He has particular expertise in the areas of adaptive strategy, strategy for multi-business systems, sustainability strategies, ecosystem strategies, collective learning and innovation, corporate vitality, and trust.”

Specifically, we spoke about his paper with Ming Zeng about Alibaba as a self-tuning enterprise. Although we did go off to other ideas pretty quickly. The main question was how Alibaba had been so successful for two decades in business after business.

You can listen to this podcast here or at iTunes, Google Podcasts and Himalaya.

Related podcasts and articles:

This is part of Learning Goals: Level 8, with a focus on:
  • #32: Adaptation and Resilience

Concepts for this class. The slides discussed in the podcast are located below and correspond to the 4 ideas below.

  1. Adaptation and Resilience
  2. SMILE Marathon: Sustained Innovation

Companies for this class:

  • Ant Financial / Alipay / Ant Group
  • Alibaba

Photo courtesy of Alibaba

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I write and speak about digital China and Asia’s latest tech trends.

I also teach Jeff’s Asia Tech Class, an online course and daily commentary for busy executives on Asia tech and China’s digital leaders.

  • My online class offers:
    • Deeper insights into workings of the tech giants of China and Asia.
    • Executive training in the strategies and tactics of advanced digital strategy.
    • A unique view from the ground – and behind the scenes – of digital China.
  • And the class is condensed to just 70 minutes a week – so even very busy executives can do it.

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