Middle Managers Are Often Biggest Obstacle To Innovation For Big Tech Enterprises, Said Baidu’s President

摘要: Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu Group, attended the “Entrepreneurs’ DNA Summit” of 2017 Boao Asia Forum on March 23rd and shared his opinion over the resignation of Wu Enda, Baidu’s chief scientist. He was sorry for losing Wu, but pointed out that Baidu was honored to have attracted Wu and was stepping up efforts to recruit more AI talents.

(Chinese Version)

Editor’s Note:

2017 Boao Asia Forum justed opened yesterday in Boao, a southern China town in Hainan Province. Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu Group, attended the “Entrepreneurs’ DNA Summit” and shared his opinion over the resignation of Wu Enda, Baidu’s chief scientist. He was sorry for losing Wu, but pointed out that Baidu was honored to have attracted Wu and was stepping up efforts to recruit more AI talents.

In the speech, Zhang also talked out the innovation trend in China and pointed out that for the past fifteen years China’s innovation model was about achieving competitiveness through new technologies. For example, user experience of both WeChat and all kinds of mobile payment products is much better that that of foreign products. Still, he mentioned that these products only reflected business model innovation, while American tech companies still took the lead in emerging technology area.

At present, deep learning and artificial intelligence are the most popular cutting-edge technologies in the world. Although many companies rushed to these areas, Zhang pointed out that there was no shortcut in order to achieve differentiated development and stand out.

Speaking of talents, Zhang mentioned that China was not only nurturing talents in cutting edge technology area, but also attracting lots of foreign talents. However, only by focusing on the basic study can one takes the lead against such environment, he said.

At the same time, Zhang responded to queries about the resignation of Baidu’s chief scientist Wu Enda. He believed that talents were crucial for tech companies, especially amidst fierce competition in the AI area. He was honored to have attracted leading scientist like Wu and was sorry for losing him.

At last, Zhang talked out the paradoxical attitude for innovation in any enterprise, whether Microsoft or Baidu. The senior executives often like innovation, but middle managers often constitute the biggest obstacle, since they generally prefer to maintain the status quo. In any large-sized enterprise, convincing middle managers is the most challenging task. Therefore, many enterprises achieve innovation through bypassing middle managers.

Zhang also shared his opinion towards the relationship between innovation education and educational structure revolution. For him, people with real entrepreneurial spirit often have three features: first, real entrepreneurs all love critical thinking; second, they often have some really refreshing thoughts; third, they are able to find all kinds of resources and methods.

(For more information about the “2017 Boao Asia Forum”, please download TMTpost APP and subscribe the the column “Nictation” and follow the “Boao Asia Forum” feature report on the homepage.)

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Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.

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