“Wolf culture” contributes to Huawei’s success. However, absolute “Wolf” may cause trouble at the same time. Like the saying “every coin has two sides”, the glorious culture and tradition of Huawei still have some sad effects. “Sheep culture” on the other side, represent gentle and sedulous. It may not as strong and fast as “Wolf”, but its sense of soft is more warm and humanistic. As a Chinese traditional value of “Zhongyong”, the Doctrine of the Mean delivers，one should try to maintain balance and harmony from directing the mind to a state of constant equilibrium. This concept here represents moderation in business competition both within the organization and with other companies. Here we take a careful look at Huawei’s “Wolf culture” deficiency and what they did to improve. Detailed characteristics of the “wolf culture” and their flaws （1）Mattress culture
The well-known “mattress” culture encourages employees to work overtime. However this tradition is not suitable for a established company expanding overseas. （2）Staff（work） number culture Everyone in Huawei has a staff number including Ren himself. People use this to recognize positions of each other and treat them differently in work. This culture builds a rigid class concept within the company and brought some harms. （3）Strict discipline
The so-called “basic law” and other strict rules raise a great spiritual pressure and rational tension among employees. They are all overwhelming and anxious everyday. （4）Military management
This management method forced the entire enterprise full of a sense of crisis and preventive psychology. There are endless battles in front of everyone and employees could never rest their nerves. （5）Culture brainwashing
By inculcating the company’s value in every minute of the employee’s life, Huawei had successfully constraints employees’ personalities. Joining Huawei is like entering into a fixed model, whether you become one of them, or you may leave the organization. （6）Leadership effect
A good company may not has constant growth relies on a good entrepreneur. The motivate power should be come from system and culture. Ren as the absolute leader of Huawei affects the company in everything. After all, the whole company culture is build by him. （7）“The company is not our home”
In 2008, Huawei made a revolution encourage old staffs to resign and apply positions again. The company asks employees to have a sense of staff – awareness. This is good for the company and new employees but may break some old employees’ hearts. （8）Put all eggs in one blanket
The once proud decision of not entering PAS (personal access phone) market was proved unwise by facts. Miss judged the market situation with too conventional strategy, loss profits and been laughed. （9）Culture conflict
The conflict in culture is apparently presented in Huawei’s global subsidiary. With some culture basement and examples of old employees, Huawei’s “wolf” characters are successfully plant in Chinese employees. However, Oversea staffs have their own values and beliefs that made them hard to accept some of Huawei’s traditional culture. Several cases exposed the problem
Wolf culture may ignore the human nature, which is not conducive to cross-culture management and control In June 2006, a 25-year-old software engineer in Huawei died because of Viral encephalitis. This event attracted huge attentions and discussions in China since Hu, the unfortunate young engineer was too devoted into his work that has no time to rest and pay serious attentions to his poor health condition. Huawei was condemned for its “mattress culture” that encourages work overtime, and its high-pressure evaluation system that push employees too hard. Shortly next year, a Huawei employee became a victim in a plane crash in Kenya on business during the Chinese legal vacation days. Huawei again faced a public relationship crisis relating to its overwhelming workload. The two tragedy may not caused directly by Huawei’s “Wolf culture” and the overtime working tradition, however it was a incentive, this tradition does has some flaws. Behind the “Wolf culture”, a brutal and ruthless value, ignoring human nature, exists in order to achieve the purpose.
This subtext could lead to a total lost in culture of the employees in the end. As for oversea subsidiaries, especially in western countries, employee value more on freedom and leisure. Their unions are powerful and united. Compare to headquarters in China, they are reluctant to keep the overtime working tradition regardless generous bonus. Obviously, Huawei’s such culture is not conducive to cross-culture integration and control, and long-term development of the enterprise. This spirit of “Wolf culture” is a deadly poison rather then a catalyzer to Huawei’s future. Wolf culture lead a separation within the employees, harm the overall management in the corporate. The aftermath of Huawei’s “Wolf culture” is frequently leaving employees – its high turnover rate. Among those, the most famous one is Li, a believed successor of Ren, left Huawei with plenty of core employees and build a new company. Not satisfied to be a distributor as Ren first agreed, Li and his new company Harbor becomes a driving competitor of Huawei.
Ren on the other side was raged, he used a series of movements to ruin Harbor’s deals with other foreign companies. This crucial strike was unhealthy for both sides, but it is the cold blood “Wolf culture” – act with no scruples and punish betrayers with any cost, that leads to the result. Young wolves are not satisfied with old wolves holding high positions, several lawsuits are revealed between Huawei and its employees. This is certainly not a good way for internal control, in fact, a disaster for any companies. “Wolf culture” hinder the step of Huawei’s globalize development Huawei have met several failures in the way of expanding overseas.
The most shocking one is the lawsuit in 2003 with “Cisco”, the American competitor. 2002, Huawei started their “bottle” in North America. As the advertisement on TV shows, Huawei’s product has similar quality with Cisco’s with a lot lower price. Cisco then sue Huawei copied their software. The case ended with secret reconciliation but people believe that it is Huawei’s aggressive “Wolf” character that draws the trouble. Moreover, the acquisition of the British telecommunications giant Marconi was interfered by British government even provided with irresistible terms. Huawei’s aggressiveness was unwelcomed by many companies and countries. We came to know that: the wolves may not always win. Wolf to sheep – Solutions and revolution
All these stories and experience have taught Huawei a lesson: As Huawei expands to an established international enterprise, the environment of acting “wolf culture” has changed. When a company grows to this phase, it especially needs an open attitude in the global market. When “wolf culture” starts to become an obstacle on the way, it is time to rebuild the company’s core culture. The goals and measures of gradually changing Wolf culture to Sheep culture 1. Huawei starts to focus on people – oriented culture: employees are the most crucial resources of the company, Huawei tried to balance their company doctrine with individual values by lessen the color of strict rules and the word “Wolf”.
2. A healthy and free environment was attached in the company: Ren had reconciled the “staff number” system in the early 21 century. Further, Huawei came out with policies with limit overtime working, adding Chief Healthy Officer in the company and introduce EAP plan to help employees with their pressure. They even force staffs to take a break after finishing a project, provided with five-star hotel. 3. Build a flexible company culture: to become a successful cross-country enterprise, Huawei tried to lower the tune of its early culture and came out with universal – accepted concepts to adapt local environment and terms.