16 Opinions About Start-up Factory — Our Newest Book
For the last two years, we've been working on a book about Haier, the Chinese manufacturing firm reinventing management as we know it. Writing this book was a long, interesting, and intense process, but we managed to wrap up the final manuscript of the book earlier this year, titled "Start-up Factory." Although the book will only be published in September 2022, we gave Corporate Rebels Academy community members early bird access to the final manuscript. Here is a selection of their reactions to the book.
16 opinions about Start-Up Factory
We not only asked for reactions to the manuscript of Start-up Factory from Corporate Rebels Academy members, but we also solicited opinions from respected Haier experts like Bill Fischer, James F. Moore, Danah Zohar, and Stuart Crainer.
“A delightful book, which has managed to make a complex, and often confusing, story easily understandable.”
- Bill Fischer, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management; Author of Reinventing Giants
“This is the best management book I’ve read in our current era. This is the one I recommend my sons read. But that is not why you should read it. You should read it because it describes human values, philosophies and practices that will open new expanded possibilities to you. It is a book about enabling our human potential and creative freedom to change life around us — which we all know is important today. Uniquely, it is a book about doing this yourself, and about doing it across business ecosystems of global scale. It is a book to give your friends, to read in your book club.”
- James F. Moore, Author of The Death of Competition
“This is a must-read for every business to get inspired, learn and develop your organisation’s future way of working by common principles of user-centricity, decentralisation, and focus on humans!”
- Jochen Goeser, Expertise Owner People & Culture at Bosch Power Tools; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
''A remarkable real-life story of transformation, entrepreneurship, and belief in the power of people. Philosophically elegant, Haier’s Rendanheyi model unleashes the entrepreneurial desire of each employee and harnesses this energy to create a flourishing business of micro-enterprises operating as close as possible to the customer. To an outsider, this eco-system seems mind-boggling, complex and difficult to understand – Start-up Factory is just the antidote. This book provides a direct window into how Haier operates; well thought-out, clear, direct, and full of humorous moments that we have come to expect from Corporate Rebels. It’s a fun read, and a book you will be thinking about long after you finish the last page. For anyone who believes bureaucracy is something that is unavoidable in a large company, this is for you!''
- Meghan Kirkland, Talent & Org Design Specialist; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“I have visited Haier HQ many times, spent time talking with its managers and leaders worldwide, and been to a number of its production sites, but still I have always struggled to make sense of the scale and scope of Haier’s innovations in management. Start-up Factory provides the answers. It brings together many different experiments, processes and systems at Haier to make sense of what this remarkable company actually does. It is as inspirational as it is practical. Managers should read it and then re-think everything they and their organisations do.”
- Stuart Crainer, Cofounder at Thinkers50; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“The exciting and revolutionary Rendanheyi management model has enabled China’s Haier Group to rid the company of the stranglehold of bureaucracy, empower the creativity of employees, and bring better service to their customers. Start-up Factory is a well-researched, accessible, and detailed book that effectively captures both the spirit and method of Rendanheyi, and will surely inspire corporate leaders to give serious thought to following Haier’s pioneering lead.”
- Danah Zohar, Visiting Professor at Chinese Academy of Art School; Author of Zero Distance
“This book is a shining example of what students studying management should absorb and what management in traditional companies should adopt. It is an inspiring read for young entrepreneurs, who must learn from the ground-breaking journey of Haier. The in-depth study and analysis of the organisation has broken down its complex functioning in an easily comprehensible way. The best part about the book is that it beautifully describes the relation of human values and philosophies with management function. It humanises the practicality of management and emphasises organisational evolution.”
- Nand Kishore Chaudhary, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director at Jaipur Rugs; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
"It's easy to become lost in the complexities of Haier's business model innovations but this book demystifies and humanises it all. Corporate Rebels have created a treasure trove of stories from Haier employees and the legendary philosopher-CEO Zhang Ruimin, as well as a guided tour through the remarkable evolution of this company and its influence on the business world."
- Lisa Gill, Author of Moose Heads on the Table; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
"Must-read for CEOs: it’s not about you! It’s all about the customers and employees!"
- Willie Lagraauw, Founder at Will-b Different; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“Every now and again a book comes along to rock the old adage that there’s nothing new under the sun. For any forward-thinking, entrepreneurial company that needs that final nudge towards the future of work, this is a highly engaging yet practical must-read. Forty years after 'the Semco way', we are now gifted 'the Haier way' — a monumental achievement, and a final nail in the coffin of industrial-age thinking. My favourite takeaways: ‘external adaptation with internal perseverance’, ‘always be close to customer’, and ‘everyone here is an entrepreneur’.”
- Ed Capaldi, Strategic Advisor & Transformation Coach; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“Finally, the book we have all been waiting for! Dive into the fascinating case of Haier and learn how a small, failing factory in China was able to transform into a global ecosystem leader with worldwide entrepreneurs innovating at scale. An exceptionally well-written, detailed breakdown of how you can make this happen."
- Scott Newton, Managing Partner at Thinking Dimensions; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“We have often been presented with books or case studies describing a CEO's gait in achieving organisational success. This is still a dominating source of inspiration and gives an idea of how a company leader should, more or less, be a ‘hero’ for the organisation. But you will get and learn different things from this book. Leaders still have a crucial role, but they are not alone; all employees can really be heroes for their company. The question is: What is the role of top leadership in making their organisation a home for these heroes? You will find the answer here!”
- Pande Kadek Yuda Bakti, Chief Strategic Officer at PT. Fajar Benua Indopack; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“Success is to move with the times. The story of Haier is a fascinating tale of a highly competitive organisation that uses emergent leadership to allow employees to bring more of themselves to work. At Haier, they say success is to move with the times. This book describes how that can be done using Rendanheyi philosophy and the latest technology to be very close to customers."
- Arne Åhlander, Founder at Aqqurite AB; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“After reading so many vague snippets about Haier this is a fascinating deep dive into the inner workings of the organisation. Corporate Rebels have brought clarity to the mystery surrounding the Haier model and the company's culture and philosophies.”
- Dani Bacon, Founder at Distinction Business Consulting; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
"A truly inspiring read, one which has turned a complex story of a pioneering company into an understandable and practical guide on how to eradicate bureaucracy, unleash human creativity and generate more value to customers. Just what all current and aspiring leaders should read so they can re-think what they do and how their organisations generate value"
- Gerry Grattan, Cofounder at Impactara Ltd; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
“Start-up Factory by Joost Minnaar, Pim de Morree, and Bram van der Lecq puts you, the reader, in the passenger seat on their exploration of an ever-evolving, yet always new, take on work and on life. The book focuses on Haier, a Chinese company that was a failing refrigerator manufacturer in the 1980s; today Haier is a multinational home consumer appliance and electronics manufacturer whose success is based on the home-grown and Rendanheyi business model. The authors break down the principles and practices that make up Rendanheyi and Haier’s evolution to this unique way of working in a way that is both illuminating and surprising, presenting their story as a travelog to another planet or civilisation. Much of what you’ll learn is not in any way typical of business practices here on Earth — prepare to take on a revolutionary way of working that values and trusts people over all else. Start-up Factory is a remarkable lens into the hearts and minds of revolutionary business thinkers creating, nurturing, and evolving workplaces that thrive — because the people who work there thrive.
- Dotti Cummings, Enterprise Coach, New Ways of Working Advocate; Member of Corporate Rebels Academy Community
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