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.
Related podcasts and articles:
- #32: Adaptation and Resilience
Concepts for this class. The slides discussed in the podcast are located below and correspond to the 4 ideas below.
- Adaptation and Resilience
- SMILE Marathon: Sustained Innovation
Companies for this class:
- Ant Financial / Alipay / Ant Group
Photo courtesy of Alibaba
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