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2013年4月30日 星期二

少年派的中國奇幻漂流 Hollywood Pushes Back Against New China Tax

好萊塢抵制中國增值稅新規


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世紀福克斯影片公司(Twentieth Century Fox)的高管們說,由於好萊塢和中國有關部門之間的分歧,該公司目前拒絕接受《少年派的奇幻漂流》(Life of Pi)大約2,300萬美元的中國票房分賬。

Associated Press
好萊塢電影公司正在致力於解決與中國有關部門之間的分歧。上圖為《007:大破天幕殺機》在北京首映後幾名影迷從電影海報前走過。
分歧的焦點是中國正在推行的針對諸多商品和服務的一項新增值稅。幾名參與國際電影發行的人士說,就電影票而言,國有發行商中影集團(China Film Group)最近打算將這項稅費全部從外國制片商的票房分帳中扣減。

這個增值稅新規讓好萊塢錯愕不已。好萊塢認為這項新規是限制美國電影制作公司在中國盈利能力的最新行動,盡管中美政府去年達成了一項旨在開放中國市場的協議。新規削弱了協議中一個增加外國制片商電影票銷售分成的條款。

包 括20世紀福克斯在內的幾家電影公司的高管反對中影集團的增值稅規定。在其他國家,增值稅是在電影制作公司和電影院分賬之前從總票房收入中扣除的。電影公 司的高管們認為,中影集團的新規可能令他們未來幾年從世界增長最快的電影市場院線獲得的營收減少8%,損失可能達到數百萬美元。

參與討論的一名電影制作公司的高管說,這是一個嚴重的問題,我們不知道何時將會解決。

法律專家說,新的稅費規定讓許多在中國運營的企業感到困惑。去年在幾個城市進行試點時,官員們沒有說明新規是否會適用於電影票。本月,中國政府宣布,電影院將從今年8月開始實行新的增值稅規定。

不 過,在上周召開的一個由美國電影協會(Motion Picture Association of America)組織的美國電影制作公司會議上,20世紀福克斯的一名高管對在場的其他國際發行專業人士說,中影集團企圖通過新的增值稅規定,減少為去年 上映的《少年派的奇幻漂流》所支付的費用。20世紀福克斯認為中國支付的費用過少,拒絕在問題解決之前獲得分成。

中國的一名電影行業專家說,由於缺少明確的規定,電影制作公司需要支付多少稅費取決於與中影集團談判的能力。這位專家還指出,國內電影制作公司不需要交稅,除非與外國公司有合作。

中影集團的一名發言人拒絕討論與稅制有關的協議,但是他說,他不知道中影集團與好萊塢工作室之間存在任何爭議。中影集團的發言人蔣德福說,中影集團與外國電影制作公司一直保持著良好的關系,因此據我所知,不存在爭議。

20世紀福克斯的一名發言人拒絕置評。20世紀福克斯與《華爾街日報》同為新聞集團(News Corp.)所有。

這次會議是上周在拉斯維加斯的電影院行業展會Cinema-Con上舉行的,此後,美國電影協會介入了這一爭議。各電影制作公司和美國電影協會正努力沒有美國政府參與的情況下解決這個問題。

前美國參議員、美國電影協會首席執行長多德(Chris Dodd)說,我了解到存在這個問題;我們正在努力解決該問題,電影制作公司也是。

《少 年派的奇幻漂流》是去年在中國上映的最叫座的影片之一,獲得了9,100萬美元的票房收入。由於去年達成的協議規定外國制片方可以獲得25%的票房收 入,20世紀福克斯的分成應該在2,300萬美元左右。根據聽取了解簡要情況介紹的人士說,中影集團的新規將使20世紀福克斯的分成減少大約200萬美 元。

參加了拉斯維加斯會議的另外兩家電影制作公司的高管們說,他們支持20世紀福克斯的立場。這些高管們說,他們擔心如果20世紀福克斯同意減少分成,這個先例將可能影響整個行業。

繼 《少年派的奇幻漂流》之後在中國上映的一些美國電影的票房收入可能因為新的增值稅規定而減少,這些影片包括:索尼影視娛樂公司(Sony Pictures Entertainment)發行的《007:大破天幕殺機》(Skyfall)、時代華納公司(Time Warner Inc.)旗下華納兄弟(Warner Bros)的《霍比特人:意外旅程》(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)、華特-迪士尼公司(Walt Disney Co.)的《魔鏡仙蹤》(Oz: The Great and Powerful)和維亞康姆公司(Viacom Inc.)旗下派拉蒙影業(Paramount Pictures)的《特種部隊2:全面反擊》(G.I. Joe: Retaliation)。

中國放映的幾乎所有外國影片都來自好萊塢。索尼影視娛樂、華納兄弟、派拉蒙影業和華特-迪士尼的發言人拒絕置評。

好 萊塢的電影制作公司長期以來一直想要擴大進入中國的渠道,去年的協議被看做是這一努力過程中裡程碑式的進展。中國是全球第二大電影市場,預計到2020年 將成為第一大電影市場。除了提高外國電影制作公司的票房分成,協議還增加了在中國放映並分享票房收入的外國電影數量,從20部增加到了34部。

但 是此後,好萊塢進入中國的努力又經歷了一些挫折。去年夏天,中影集團在相同的檔期上映了幾部相似的電影,包括《黑暗騎士崛起》(The Dark Knight Rises)和《神奇蜘蛛俠》(The Amazing Spider-Man)。該公司還安排了長達一個月的“封鎖期”,在此期間,電影院不許放映外國電影。

外界普遍認為,這些行動是為了限制進口電影的總票房收入。在中國,進口電影的票房收入曾經遠遠高於本土電影。今年,這一趨勢已經被逆轉。

本月早些時候,中國有關部門在《被解救的姜戈》(Django Unchained)上映首日叫停了這部電影,這讓索尼影視娛樂公司的高管們感到震驚。這家電影制作公司對電影進行了微調並讓審查機構滿意後於上周五表示,該片將於5月12日重新上映。

關注新增值稅爭議的好萊塢高管們說,他們相信這個問題將很快解決,但沒有人認為未來好萊塢在中國會一帆風順。

一名高管說,中國就是中國,永遠都會有某種問題。

BEN FRITZ / LAURIE BURKITT


Hollywood Pushes Back Against New China Tax

Twentieth Century Fox is refusing to accept about $23 million it is owed on Chinese box-office receipts for producing 'Life of Pi' as a result of a clash between Hollywood and Chinese authorities, studio executives say.

The dispute centers on a new value-added tax that China is in the process of imposing on a wide range of goods and services. When it comes to movie tickets, state-owned distributor China Film Group has recently sought to deduct the cost of the tax entirely from foreign producers' share of the box office, said several people involved in international film distribution.

The tax method is causing consternation in Hollywood, where it is seen as the latest in a series of efforts to limit American studios' ability to generate profits in China despite a deal last year that was supposed to open doors. The policy undercuts one of the provisions of that agreement, reached between the American and Chinese governments, which bumped up the percentage of ticket sales that foreign producers receive.

Executives from several studios including Fox are objecting to China Film's approach to dealing with the tax. In other countries, value-added taxes are taken out of gross box-office receipts, before the money is divided between studios and theaters. Studio executives believe China Film's new policy could reduce by 8% their theatrical revenue in coming years from the world's fastest-growing movie market, potentially costing them millions of dollars.

'This is a serious concern and we don't know when it will be resolved,' said one senior movie studio executive involved in the discussions.

The new tax has created confusion for many businesses operating in China, legal experts say. When a pilot program was rolled out in select cities last year, officials didn't specify whether it would apply to movie tickets. This month the government stated publicly that it would apply to cinemas, beginning in August.

But at a meeting of U.S. film studios organized by the Motion Picture Association of America last week, a senior executive from Fox told other international distribution professionals in attendance that China Film was attempting to reduce its payment on 'Life of Pi'岸released last year in China岸due to the new value-added tax. Rather than accept what it believes is an underpayment, the studio is refusing to take any money until the issue is resolved.

One movie industry expert in China said that due to the lack of clear rules, the amount of a tax any studio has to pay may depend on its ability to negotiate with China Film Group. The expert also noted that domestic studios are exempt from the tax unless they are working with foreign partners.

A spokesman for China Film Group declined to discuss to discuss tax-related agreements, but said he wasn't aware of any disputes with Hollywood studios. 'China Film Group always has good relationships with foreign studios, so as far as I'm concerned, there is no controversy,' said spokesman Jiang Defu.

A spokeswoman for Fox, which like The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp NWSA, declined to comment.

The MPAA has been involved in the dispute since last week's meeting, which was held at the Cinema-Con movie theater industry convention in Las Vegas. Studios and the MPAA are working to resolve the issue without involving the U.S. government.

'I'm well aware of the issue,' said Chris Dodd, the former U.S. senator who is CEO of the trade association. 'We're working on it and the studios are.'

'Pi' was one of the most successful films last year in China, grossing $91 million. As last year's agreement allowed foreign producers to receive a 25% share of box office, Fox's share of the 'Pi' box office should translate to nearly $23 million. China Film's imposition of the new tax would reduce Fox's take by approximately $2 million, according to people briefed on the situation.

Executives at two other studios who attended the Las Vegas meeting said they agreed with Fox's position. They said they were concerned that if Fox accepted the lower payment, that could become a precedent that would impact the entire industry.

American films that opened in China after 'Life of Pi' and are awaiting their cut of box office grosses in the country include 'Skyfall,' released by Sony Pictures Entertainment, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' from Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co.'s 'Oz: The Great and Powerful,' and 'G.I. Joe: Redemption,' distributed by Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures.

Nearly all the foreign films that play in China come from Hollywood. Spokesmen for Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount and Disney declined to comment.

Last year's agreement was seen as marking major progress in Hollywood studios' long-running effort to gain greater access to the world's second largest movie market-projected to be No. 1 by 2020. Aside from the increase in box-office share allowed for foreign producers, the agreement increased the number of foreign films allowed to play in China and share in box office revenue from 20 to 34.

But a series of setbacks have followed. Last summer, China Film opened several similar movies, including 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' on the same dates. It also imposed month long 'blackout periods' during which no foreign pictures were allowed to play in Chinese theaters.

Those moves were widely perceived as an effort to limit the total box office of imported films, which were far outpacing local productions. This year, the trend has been the opposite.

Executives at Sony Pictures were shocked earlier this month when Chinese authorities pulled 'Django Unchained' from theaters the day it started playing. The studio made minor changes to satisfy censors and on Friday said it would be rereleased in China on May 12.

The Hollywood executives concerned about the new tax dispute said they are hopeful it will be resolved soon, but none expect to enjoy smooth sailing going forward.

'China's China and there is always some issue,' said one.

BEN FRITZ / LAURIE BURKITT

Kodak Gives Assets to U.K. Retirees

Kodak Gives Assets to U.K. Retirees

這種善待退休員工的處理方式很值得參考
Photography icon Eastman Kodak Co. EKDKQ +30.49% laid plans to emerge from a year-plus stretch in bankruptcy court with a deal that turns over two businesses it was trying to shed to unusual recipients: its U.K. retirees.
The Rochester, N.Y., company has been selling assets and shutting businesses since it filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2012 amid a cash crunch. But it didn't have many offers for the camera-film business that helped make it a blue chip, said people familiar with the company.
At the same time, the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan claims Kodak owes it $2.8 billion, a large sum that was threatening to complicate the company's efforts to reorganize, the people said.

Timeline: The History of Kodak

In a deal announced Monday, Kodak will turn over the "personalized imaging" business, which includes camera film, as well as its "document imaging" business, to the U.K. pensioners—its largest creditor—in exchange for a wipeout of the pension obligations. The deal will also yield about $325 million of cash and other value, including various claims worth another roughly $325 million.
After these moves and the shutdown of its desktop-printer unit last September, Kodak's future is now pinned on selling printing equipment and services to companies.
Some of the funds expected to be raised in the shedding of the imaging businesses will be used to support Kodak's emergence from Chapter 11, in addition to the growth of its commercial printing, packaging and functional printing businesses, the company said.
"We satisfied the requirements of our lenders and took care of our document imaging and personalized imaging employees, suppliers and customers," said Becky Roof, Kodak's interim chief financial officer. She said Kodak and the U.K. retirees are already in discussions about how to separate the businesses.
The transaction is subject to approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Kodak's U.S. pension obligations are still being sorted out in bankruptcy court with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
Some people not involved in the deal called it unusual, especially given its size. Assets in a bankruptcy typically get sold to rivals or financiers experienced in running or selling businesses, not pension-plan managers.
"Cash is the currency when you're settling creditor claims because they're really not equipped to run a business," said Rick Chesley, co-chair of law firm DLA Piper's restructuring practice who isn't involved in the situation. But "pensioners might be better equipped [than other creditors] because they are organized and have fiduciary obligations, and governance structures in place."
In the coming months, the U.K. retirees, about 15,000 total, plan to establish a governance structure and hire executives to try to generate cash flows that satisfy pension obligations, among other objectives, said Steven Ross, chairman of the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan. Down the road, KPP could sell the businesses, he added, but it would be at least 10 years off.
Kodak's largest plant in the U.K. is in Harrow, near London, and manufactures color photographic paper and used to make film products, a person close to the company said. The plant was founder George Eastman's first manufacturing plant outside Rochester.
The pension deal has been in the works since December 2011, before Kodak filed for Chapter 11, said Andrew Dietderich, a restructuring lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, which has advised the company.
Advisers and representatives for the U.K. retirees made trips to New York every two to three weeks for the past 15 months to negotiate the arrangement, said Mr. Ross.
Getty Images
A roll of Kodachrome 35mm film
During that time, advisers designed roughly 25 different models to determine possible outlooks of the deal and to make sure the pension plan felt "comfortable," he said. "We wanted…to prove the likelihood of this being a success in 10 or 15 years time."
Kodak already had reached a tentative deal April 15 to sell document-imaging assets to Brother Industries Ltd. 6448.TO +0.09% for roughly $210 million. But the deal isn't yet approved by a bankruptcy judge and can be abandoned by Kodak if the company can get a "bundled transaction," such as the U.K. pension deal.
Brother said Monday it was evaluating Kodak's announcement.
In August, Kodak put on the block the camera-film business and other businesses, including kiosks that develop digital photos and heavy-duty commercial scanners. The plan was to cut back and focus on commercial printing, packaging and functional printing.
A bankruptcy judge earlier this year approved Kodak's deal to sell a portfolio of 1,100 digital patents for $527 million. Though the patents fetched a lower price than Kodak hoped, the buyers—including Apple Inc., AAPL +3.10% Google Inc. GOOG +2.20% and Microsoft Corp., MSFT +2.58% agreed to end contentious patent litigation.
Founded in the 1880s, Kodak has fallen far from its days of being a technological titan that for decades—1930-2004—was a component in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Despite inventing the digital camera, Kodak has been slow to adapt to new technologies and ended up filing for bankruptcy protection amid a cash crunch.
Separately on Monday Kodak reported a quarterly profit of $283 million,or $1.04 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $366 million, or $1.35 a share. But the profit came only because of a $535 million gain recorded on the sale of the digital imaging patent portfolio, partially offset by a $77 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to the patent sale. The latest period included $120 million in reorganization items, compared with $88 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 8.5% to $849 million.
Gross margin widened to 21.8% from 6.5% as input costs slid 24% to $664 million.
Bottom-line results improved in the commercial imaging and the graphics, entertainment and commercial films segments.
The company's cash balance improved slightly to $1.17 billion at the end of the first quarter from $1.14 billion three months earlier.
Write to Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com and Mike Spector at mike.spector@wsj.com
A version of this article appeared April 30, 2013, on page B1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Kodak Swap Cancels Pensions.

2013年4月27日 星期六

Ang Lee on Films and Life

 Ang Lee 李安 (II):Thank You, Xie Xie, Namaste, "lif...

Film Director Ang Lee: 'Telling Stories Is a Quest for the Meaning of Life'

Ang Lee's first choice of profession was acting. But his Chinese accent made it difficult to get a break in America, where he had gone from Taiwan to study at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York. He turned to directing instead. As a director, his voice is heard all over the world. He has recently picked up a second best-director Oscar for Life of Pi. He had earlier won an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain.
Lee believes that "life is a process of learning." He wants to be a permanent student of film studies, so that "I can always make different films, taste different roles, go to different places and experience various stories…. I want to study my own life and discover myself by making films…. My work is driven by feelings. I follow my feelings and then communicate them to the audience.”
In this interview, conducted by students from Wharton’s Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies, Lee talks about his strong interest in experimenting with new themes, his focus on cultural similarities rather than differences and the influence of his own life on his movies.
Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

China Knowledge@Wharton: The films you have worked on are very diversified. Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Wedding Banquet and Life of Pi are so different from each other. How do you select the theme?
Ang Lee: It’s like traveling; you always prefer to go to a different destination each time.
We learn all our lives. School is just the beginning. All work is a process of learning. I want to be a permanent student of film studies, so that I can always make different films, taste different roles, go to different places and experience various stories…. I want to study my own life and discover myself by making films. For me, filmmaking is not just work; it’s my life.
I have learned a lot of professional skills, too. After my fourth work, Sense and Sensibility, I refused to be stereotyped. I tried diversified themes which needed more effort and also some sacrifice in remuneration. After I tried several different topics, people realized I would not be stereotyped. It’s a big world and there are so many things to do. Why should we repeat the same thing? Of course, there are some people who are getting better and better in one direction. But I love continuous experiments and adventure, and to learn and grow from that.

China Knowledge@Wharton: Given the rise of mainland China, how can Taiwan improve its visibility? Also, many people think that its cultural diversity is a competitive advantage for Taiwan. Do you agree? How can Taiwan build on this?
Lee: I fully understand when you say that Taiwan’s visibility is inadequate. Taiwan has a lot of so-called soft power. We have been nurtured by Chinese traditional culture and have also absorbed Western and Japanese culture to some extent. In addition, I think the Taiwanese are very nice people. Maybe it’s because I am a Taiwanese myself.
The basic quality of the Taiwanese people is very good, which is an advantage. But the world doesn't understand Taiwan very much. So I shot Life of Pi in Taiwan partly to increase its visibility.
On the film industry in particular, I think Taiwan does not have the infrastructure. All the basic elements are there; they are just not very well organized. Our film industry has to become stronger and the government should pay more attention.
Taiwanese people should have a sense of crisis. Young people like you should be alert that we have to try harder because the current advantages will not last too long. I think young people on the mainland are more diligent.

China Knowledge@Wharton: You have built a cross-cultural communication bridge with your international works. Was that your original vision?
Lee: No. It was just survival at the beginning. My original dream was to become an actor, although that failed because of my poor English when, at the age of 23, I came to the U.S. to study drama. I grew up in a Chinese milieu, but was quite gifted in Western drama. Deep in my heart, I am still fascinated by the stage, though I am now telling stories with the camera. I am a mixture of both Eastern and Western cultures. I live in New York, and most of my colleagues -- from idea generation, research and playwriting to post production and film editing -- are American.
My first film in New York was sponsored by a Taiwan film company. That was a hit with the mainstream Taiwan audience. My second work, Wedding Banquet, got me some international recognition. My [early] films were mainstream in Asia, but in the U.S. they were distributed slowly by art houses because they were foreign-language films. After I made some Chinese films, I began to shoot English films. I also joined the global tour to promote Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. This was an international hit.
As a filmmaker, I am a vessel. I feel something and then express it. It is an experiment. We are driven by feelings instead of plans. You have emotions and you express them. We are observed by others. Many artists do not start with a concept. We are more intuitive. My work is driven by feelings. I follow my feelings and then communicate them to the audience.

China Knowledge@Wharton: Leaving aside your family members, who has had the biggest influence on your life and work?
Lee: My family members have had the most influence on me. For example, fatherhood -- the dynamics between father and son -- is a major theme in my work. How does the Chinese traditional culture represented by my father survive in a modern society? How does he adapt to a Western-oriented life?
Apart from my family, James Schamus, my long time working partner, is a very influential figure for me. He is the one who takes care of me at work. From the original idea and research to production, he is involved in everything. He has written many scripts for me and has helped sell my films later on. He is now CEO of Focus Features [a production and distribution company], so he was actually the boss of three of my works. He also teaches at Columbia University.
Many people who worked with me are close partners when we are shooting the film. Their lives get injected into my perceptions and the theme I am working on. When you are so engrossed doing one thing, the story you are telling becomes your own story. The past four years, I have drifted like Pi on the sea. In order to experience that loneliness, I didn’t work with James on this one, which is the first time we were not together on a film. I wanted to taste that loneliness, so that I could finally grow, reach the other shore of the Pacific, and become a man from a boy. My life developed in parallel with my film.

China Knowledge@Wharton: You have won many prizes globally and achieved a lot. What do you plan next?
Lee: As I was saying, I don’t have plans. When I was young and unknown, no one wrote scripts for me. So I wrote them myself. Now, there are people who write for me. I look at what stimulates my imagination. Some directors can shoot different films at the same time. I can’t. I always spend years on one film. Until that is nearly finished, I do not select the next one. I don’t have too many hobbies in life. I just love making films.
Right now, my work is at the crossroads. Life of Pi was more high-tech and visual-arts involved. This was quite novel for me, but also very expensive. In the future, I might go back to low-budget films.
At present, I am taking on a new project -- a TV play. I have never done this before. The first episode is titled “Tyrant” and we are shooting in the Middle East, which should be quite interesting.
My previous nine films were all made from books. I am still reading a lot of scripts both in English and Chinese, so there is no answer to your question yet.

China Knowledge@Wharton: I read an interview you did in 2008 after Brokeback Mountain won an Oscar award. You mentioned that you have experienced a lot of difficulties and challenges. What advice you would offer students like us?
Lee: Life is a permanent learning process. You have to keep learning as long as you are alive. Never think you know the answer; constantly challenge yourself. Life has so much to teach; school is just the beginning.
For [those looking at a career in film], my advice is to write the script yourself. When you are young, no one will write for you. It is especially tough for a Chinese [actor] to find a good role in the U.S. So you have to be able to write and create. The theme has to be novel and connected with your life so that you have true feelings about it. But it has to be above your personal experience and contain some universal value so people around the world can accept it.

China Knowledge@Wharton: Would you tell us which of your films impacted you the most and why?
Lee: Actually every film was an experience for me; it was what I most wanted to do at that time. If you want to me to choose, it’s Lust, Caution. For a Chinese citizen, it’s scary to talk of female sexuality, patriotism in war and treason all in one story. It is easier to portray a gay American cowboy [Brokeback Mountain].
One of the most important missions for drama is to explore human nature. If everyone is calm and life is nice, there will be nothing to examine or reveal. In Lust, Caution, I not only needed to explore a topic I was scared about and unwilling to face, but I also needed to expose a forbidden theme in Chinese culture. That film was a painful, rebellious and unsettling experience. Americans are not as interested in this story because they do not feel strongly on the subject.

China Knowledge@Wharton: You have made films on homosexual subjects. However, I feel that the target audience of these films is mainly Westerners. How would you make a film on that theme for Asian people, especially Chinese?
Lee: As a matter of fact, Wedding Banquet was made for the mainstream audience in Taiwan. I was not expecting it to be a box-office success in the U.S. That script was written by me for the Taiwan Central Motion Picture Corporation. But they didn’t want to make the film because of the homosexual theme. Americans didn’t want to make it because it was too Chinese. So I got the chance to make it only later. The movie was a hit in Taiwan and internationally. Brokeback Mountain was also received well in Taiwan. Some people have watched it more than a dozen times.
I am not sensitive about the nationality of my film. I grew up in Taiwan in a Chinese culture, so my view of the world is more oriental. At the same time, I have absorbed a lot of Western culture and technology; I work closely with my American colleagues on everything.
Take Life of Pi, for example. It is an English-language film. It’s an Indian story. It did best in Taiwan and mainland China. It doesn't make a difference to me. I think you can find people you can relate to in every corner of the world. People are not divided by cultures. Your heart, beliefs and perceptions of art are more important than cultural differences. This is human nature.
As a film director, I have to be able to capture the flavor of a particular place. But the ultimate goal is to explore human nature through the prism of culture, which is universal.

China Knowledge@Wharton: I like Life of Pi and have also read the novel. There are a lot of different interpretations. What is the major theme of your film?
Lee: When I first read the novel, I did not think of religion. I thought of authorship -- the connection between the author and the story. I think Life of Pi is not about religion; it is about God. What is God? It is hard to define. We Chinese think anything beyond three feet above our heads is God. Everything which is unknown to you or not controlled by you is God. I think God is your emotional connection to the unknown. 
Oriental people worship mysticism; we respect things we don’t understand. This book has inspired me to [look at] that unknown. We not only need to know, we but also need to know that we cannot know. Faith is the connection between us and the unknown in terms of our emotional life.
This involves storytelling. Why do we need to tell stories? Because life doesn’t make sense; we can’t give it an artificial, logical interpretation based on our own assumption and understanding. So we need storytelling. A story will contain a structure, including a beginning, a middle and an end. So the story itself is meaningful. I think telling stories is a quest for the meaning of life. Pi is an endless and irrational number. It’s always developing and it represents the impenetrable, meaningless and ridiculous nature of life. We need stories to make sense of our lives.
We are together to listen to a story and to share wisdom. We feel that life has a meaning. But according to Buddhism, this is only an illusion. But do you think illusion has less meaning than what you can touch or verify?

China Knowledge@Wharton: As an international director and producer, you are also a manager of an organization. You have to consider cost, budget, promotion, profitability etc. How do you organize this kind of work?
Lee: China has a saying: “Man’s calculation can never be as good as God’s calculation.”
There are many outstanding MBA and law school graduates working in the film and entertainment industry. If we could calculate which movie will make more money, we can all become very rich. The fact is that most productions make a loss; you subsidize them with a few hits. From the business angle, no one really knows the result [in advance].
You need to have the ability to organize work and control the budget. You have a vision and implement it. You need to be very rational and organized in implementation, which is my strength. I am not only a director but also a producer. So I have to be very organized and efficient at work. I do not think too much about whether the movie will be a hit.
Music has something similar to math. So do films. It is not just intuition. In such a big project, calculation has a role, too. But in the end, you have to make people feel it is one piece – that it has not been calculated. That can make it really touching.
I think the most important things are what you have not calculated -- like emotion. A film is an emotional ride. It has curves. The story needs to be a flow and you have to capture emotions. This is something you cannot get through calculation. You have to devote your heart. Art is abstract; both sense and sensibility are crucial.

The questions in this interview were contributed by Lauder students Charlotte McAusland, Michael Wu, Ying Wang, David Cummins, Kevin Lam, Jeanne Chen, Lane Rettig, Edward Wu and Justin Knapp, and Theresa Jen, director of the Lauder Chinese Language and Culture Program.

Published : 2013.04.24  http://www.knowledgeatwharton.com.cn/index.cfm?fa=article&articleid=2777&languageid=1

2013年4月25日 星期四

Howard Collins 掌雪梨火車公司




  1. Howard Collins, London Underground, discusses the metro rail ...

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTspzZ3mGU
    Jan 9, 2013 - Uploaded by madelaine gibbs
    Hear Howard Collins, London Underground, discuss the metro rail ... BBC Tube documentaryby ...

  Howard Collins 掌雪梨火車公司

據每日電訊報報導,倫敦地鐵公司的現任總裁科林斯(Howard Collins)即將離任,前來悉尼執掌悉尼火車公司(Sydney Train),其年薪為53萬澳元。科林斯在倫敦交通系統工作了35年,從火車司機到信號管理員,他擔任過各種各樣的職位。他在倫敦地鐵公司的年薪為25萬英鎊,折合38萬澳元。

科林斯兩週前來到悉尼,他稱對於悉尼這個海港城市的交通擁擠問題感到吃驚。他告誡其新僱主——紐省政府,如果不投資興建新的基礎設施,比如新的火車線路,將是個錯誤,可能會讓悉尼失去「國際都市」的稱號。他還說在公共交通上的長期投資是保持城市交通脈絡暢通的唯一方式。

科林斯說悉尼交通狀況自2006年以來一直惡化,「悉尼火車在售票、技術和環境方面,讓我回想起25年前坐倫敦地鐵時。這也是我想幫助改進的。」

他表示引進澳寶卡(Opal Card)可帶來很大便利,如同在倫敦使用的牡蠣卡(Oyster Card)一樣。(按:類似悠遊卡)

科林斯主張增加單層火車服務,以取代雙層火車。他表示,悉尼一些地區確實需要使用重型(雙層)火車,然而他們瞭解到不在乎每趟火車可提供多少個座位,而在乎每小時共可提供多少個座位。

科林斯還計劃努力提升客服質量,以鼓勵更多的人乘坐火車。「其中一個改進就是增加無線網絡,這給人們帶來很大便利。

2013年4月20日 星期六

U.K. Nurses 'drowning in sea of paperwork'

Nurses 'drowning in sea of paperwork'

Nurse doing paperwork The amount of paperwork is increasing, nurses say

Related Stories

Nurses are "drowning in a sea of paperwork" with more than one sixth of the working week taken up doing non-essential paperwork, a survey suggests.
The Royal College of Nursing poll of 6,000 nurses found 17.3% of their hours were spent on tasks such as filing, photocopying and ordering supplies.
Most reported the amount of paperwork was getting worse and was now stopping them providing direct patient care.
The government has said it wants to reduce bureaucracy by a third.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has already announced a review of bureaucracy, which is being carried out by the NHS Confederation and is due to report back in the coming months.
The union said its survey showed a culture of "ticking boxes" had developed.
The survey, which is being released on the eve of the start of the RCN's annual conference on Monday, also found more than a quarter of nurses said their workplace did not have a ward clerk or administrative assistant to help with clerical duties.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: "These figures prove what a shocking amount of a nurse's time is being wasted on unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.
"Yes, some paperwork is essential and nurses will continue to do this, but patients want their nurses by their bedside, not ticking boxes."

2013年4月19日 星期五

令人恐懼的《廉價年代 》The Age of Cheap

這些西歐的產業組織大多半遊走法律要求/利用派遣方式/採取:剝削員工薪資和福利//恐懼管理  瓦解其組織工會的可能


《廉價年代 The Age of Cheap》
   消費是拯救經濟的萬靈丹嗎?為什麼我們能用那麼少的金錢買到那麼多的商品?這些大家都愛買的便宜東西,是怎麼來的?對人類社會又有什麼影響呢?尤其是什 麼都漲,就是薪水不漲的年代,廉價物品對維持生活、維持生活品質更是無可取代。但這其實是鮮為人知的「惡性循環」的開端和結果。

  以旅 遊業後起之秀的廉價航空為例,根據統計,目前全球廉價航空公司超過150家,進駐台灣航空市場的有11家,總部設在愛爾蘭的瑞安航空是歐洲最大的廉價航空 公司,擁有830條廉價航線,遍佈歐洲17個國家,165個目的地,是世界上最賺錢的航空公司,2011年獲利增加25%,稅後淨利高達6億5千萬美元, 但公司上下都存在著一種霸凌的文化。

  瑞安航空前空服員維吉妮說,她們執行飛機安全檢查和確認座位下的救生衣,必須在5到10分鐘完 成,而且起飛前的準備工作,從簡報到關上機門完全不計薪,只有飛行時才有薪資。即使如此,他們仍時時處於失業的恐懼中。利用人事權和掌控人事成本,是瑞安 航空節約開支、獲取龐大利潤的利器,不但空服員由委外機構「機組員聯盟」提供,在2600位飛行員中,有1800人不是由瑞安航空直接雇用,而是採業務委 外方式運作,薪資、福利、退休金一一備受剝削……。

  您知道打了「低折扣」的商品是怎麼來的嗎?百元剪髮、廉價航空、低價超市……,您知道這些廉價商品是如何吞噬我們的薪資、侵蝕我們的工作權、摧毀我們的環境嗎?《廉價年代》揭開低價與折扣的迷思。

2013年4月17日 星期三

勞保年金 6成勞工縮水



勞委會建採乙案// 勞保年金 6成勞工縮水

全國勞工聯盟拒絕年金縮水,到行政院抗議勞保年金改革方案的甲案與乙案。 (資料照)
繳多領少 月領最高少千元
〔記者楊久瑩/台北報導〕攸關九百七十萬勞工權益的勞保年金,為確保財務安全,確定朝「繳多領少」的方向微調,直接受衝擊的將是目前約六成、平均月投保薪資三萬元以上的退休勞工,給付金額平均約減二到三%、最高將減領達五.一一%。
儘 管勞工團體一直不願接受甲乙兩案,勞委會最後還是以勞保乙案做藍本;主委潘世偉指出,本週將把新規劃的勞工保險條例修正草案送交行政院,費率最高上限將由 原先的十九.五%降為十八.五%,且於費率達十二%時設立「評估機制」,一旦精算後確認未來二十年保險基金餘額不足以支應給付,每年將上調○.五%,直到 費率達十八.五%為止。
乙案最主要特色,就是平均月投保薪資三萬元以上的勞工,繳得多、領得卻較現在少;所有勞工凡平均月投保薪資三萬元以下的部分,年資給付率維持現有的一.五五%不變,至於勞工月投保薪資超過三萬到投保級距最高上限四三九○○元的部分,則縮水改以一.三%計算年金所得。
白領勞工 預估少領27萬元
此 次改革,虧最大的,將是投保最高薪資級距上限的高階勞工,每月年金所得將減少上千元,少領比率達五.一一%,由於勞保投保薪資有上限,最高僅能投保四三九 ○○元,他們的所得替代率甚至可能低於三十%。勞委會估算,目前已月領勞保年金的近三十二萬勞工,約有十九萬人,因為月平均投保薪資超過三萬元,每月年金 所得將減少。
依乙案計算,投保年資三十年、平均月投保薪資三萬二千元的勞工,每月領取年金將比現制減少一百五十元;月投保薪資四萬三千九 百元的勞工,更將減少一千零四十三元。若以六十歲即將退休、平均餘命八十二歲來算,前者比現制終身少領三萬九千六百元,後者更將少領廿七萬五千三百五十二 元。
平均投保薪資 兩案都拉低
至於平均投保薪資的計算標準,也將由現制「取最高的六十個月(五年)薪水平均」,改為最高一百八十個月(十五年),或最高一百四十四個月(十二年)兩選項供行政院選擇,不論選哪一項,均會拉低勞工薪資的平均值,使得勞保年金所得較現在取六十個月的最高薪資計算領得更少。
潘 世偉強調,新制上路後不論新舊請領對象都一體適用,勞委會新的規劃案是朝三十年財務精算來規劃,也就是最新規劃版本將可確保到民國一百三十二年的財務安 全,且政府必須承擔的「支付責任」條文,也會納入勞工保險條例修法內容,並希望每年財政至少可撥補二百億元,以確保下一代都有年金可領,預計新法上路的六 個月內將擬定完成撥補計畫。
至於投保薪資上限四三九○○元,政府、勞工與雇主的負擔比一︰二︰七,都維持現狀未變動。

健保資源的浪費:醫院處方藥開太多



醫院處方藥開太多 消基會籲健保局改進 【2013/4/17 18:01】

新聞圖片
消基會一項民調顯示,超過50%的民眾認為醫院開的處方藥太多。(記者何玉華攝)
〔本報訊〕消費者文教基金會今天公布一份民調結果,逾50%民眾認為醫院處方藥開太多,而且健保IC卡無法提供病徵以及用藥資訊,質疑健保局沒有改善監察 院糾正的「縱任就醫及用藥浮濫問題惡化」以及「健保IC卡改善計畫嚴重延宕、未能強化重覆領藥、看病的管控措施」2大缺失。

 消基會今天公布民調,發現57.38%的民眾認為醫院的處方藥開太多,認為過少的只有6.26%;而「是否把領到的藥服用完畢?」,雖有58.57%的民眾回答是,但也有高達41.43%的民眾表示沒有全部服用完畢。

 消基會表示,調查顯示,醫院處方藥開太多,民眾也不見得吃完,且藥師公會統計,台灣每年丟棄的藥品高達136公噸,換言之,這些藥物無形中被浪費掉。另 外,調查發現,健保IC卡只能看到就醫日期與時間,對於民眾就診的醫院、病症以及曾經服用過的藥品等資訊都無法顯示,只用一串序號代替。

 該會並提出質疑,認為健保局沒有改善今年2月監察院糾正的2項缺失:「縱任就醫及用藥浮濫問題惡化、未珍惜健保資源有效運用」以及「健保IC卡改善計畫嚴重延宕、未能強化重覆領藥、看病的管控措施」,呼籲健保局盡快改善問題。

 消基會於今年3月14日至25日透過104人力銀行網站的民調中心進行問卷調查,總共有1342名網友作答,男性比例為46.87%,女性比例為53.13%。

Margaret Thatcher: 偉人不須歌功頌德



今天原本該下台中因行程改變才有機會在辦公室看BBC關於Margaret Thatcher喪的實況轉播
經過幾個小時我想起前年的領導力新論選擇集中談美國總統
(文獻太多每位總統傳記都多本`比上十本百本的如林肯羅斯福等也不少) 故意遺漏英國的領導人如邱吉爾和柴契爾夫人--這個禮拜來轉貼了許多她的訃聞和蓋棺論定」,卻覺得直覺的鐵夫人的決斷精神昭然貫穿她的一生行事
參加喪禮的觀眾很多是年青人柴契爾夫人下台之後才出生他們雖未逢柴契爾夫人領導下的英國盛會卻知道他們是柴契爾夫人的兒女國家要偉大需要這種有氣魄的英明領導人

「製造」「造物」服務

「台灣製造」的忠魂 哪裡找?


2013-04-17 天下雜誌 520期 作者:編輯部
年初,日本公視NHK六十週年紀念作,是唐澤壽明主演的連續劇《日本製造》。劇情是日本製造業,受到中、韓挑戰,掙扎奮起的故事,也影射日本電子業目前的慘境。
這部戲首播收視率之高,超過一○%,而且在日本工商界、媒體引起極大迴響:為什麼日本還需緊抓「製造」?日本製造,在「安倍經濟學」大玩貨幣政策救經濟的今天,別有意義。(如果日圓貶破一○○……)

眼見日劇《不毛地帶》中,飾演退伍軍人轉任企業人的唐澤壽明,在劇中向年輕一代解釋,他為什麼非要為「日本製造」奮戰,螢幕前的老財經記者,很難不眼淚奔流。
台灣,何嘗不是面對類似的處境?

今年第一季財報出爐,「台灣製造」神話的主角——科技電子業,出口衰退七.八%。以往呼風喚雨、讓世界「非台灣不可」的電子大廠,也幾家歡樂、幾家愁。
台灣製造,在未來還有競爭力嗎?爆肝、成本的壓力下,誰還願意成為新一代的台灣工程師?

《天下》資深記者王曉玟,感受特別深刻。她的另一半,就是第一線的台灣工程師。二月,她前往矽谷採訪,看到與台灣工程師,完全不同的工作、生活方式。(非台灣不可
即使台灣資通訊業,在全球新一波的製造業大戰中,仍有難以撼動的位置(新F4 群雄爭霸戰),如何找回下一代對製造的熱情,才是維持「台灣製造」神話的關鍵。
意外地,副總編輯賀桂芬在台中,找到一批對「製造」超有熱情的女經理人。她們在男性為主的台灣機械業,「衝衝衝、喝喝喝」出一片全球市場。


家庭、事業兩頭燒,她們都不是鐵娘子。談到家人,幾位黑手業的女神龍,常說著、說著,眼眶便紅了。說完,擦擦眼淚,神情很快又轉為堅定。(台灣精密機械業的黑手女神龍
雖然英國鐵娘子——前首相柴契爾夫人,上週過世,但她堅持「人人應為自己負責」的自由主義精神,是當今主流政見——保護主義、福利經濟的清新解藥(先盡義務才有「應享權益」)。女性,在時代的主流文化中,總扮演叛逆者。

事實上,我們「每個人心中,都住著一個叛逆者」,我們都想爭得自由。但紅遍紐約、柏林的「搖滾仁波切」竹慶本樂,卻提醒,只顧追求自由的重複選擇模式,也是一種不自由。真正的叛逆,是不斷回歸本心、莫忘初衷。(敢於叛逆的智慧
去年剛從世界銀行副行長職位下來,林毅夫最近在博鰲論壇上,就提醒大陸領導人,「經濟發展的主要手段是投資,不是消費。」(經濟發展的手段是投資,不是消費)今年,大陸服務業產值佔GDP的比例,將首度超過製造業。「中國製造」,也將進入新一輪的挑戰。

郝龍斌轉移焦點,首度譴責太極雙星/徵信 郝被指隱匿


太極雙星徵信 郝被指隱匿

【施 春美、許麗珍╱台北報導】投資金額達七百億元的台北雙子星開發案招標疑雲重重,台北市長郝龍斌昨開記者會「釋疑」,坦承投標團隊的財務能力有問題,市府將 檢討招標流程缺失,且未來五十億以上開發案將提高保證金比例。但郝未公布花三十二萬元委託兩家徵信社徵信太極雙星團隊財務的文件,學者質疑有隱匿資訊之 嫌。

增50億標案保證金

北市府昨針對外界十九項質疑逐一澄清,但僅公布一項文件資料,即第太極雙星團隊成員馬來西亞商怡保花園及谷中城公司在台設立分公司,獲經濟部許可的登記文件;委託中華徵信所、美商鄧白氏二徵信公司調查投標團隊財務資料,則未公開。
郝龍斌昨說,為確保得標商能履約,未來五十億以上開發案將提高保證金,與標案金額成合理比例;而為免投標商「以小標大」,將改由符合資格的全體投資人共訂開發計劃書,全體投資人須負連帶責任。
郝昨坦言得標團隊財務能力最受外界質疑,但委託徵信的捷運局以「標案仍進行中」為由,拒絕公布徵信資料。淡大公行系教授陳銘祥認為,北市府昨開記者會僅轉移焦點,無助釐清此案,尤其市府不公布徵信結果,讓人懷疑是否隱瞞重要資訊。

郝龍斌首度譴責太極雙星

針對臺北車站C1D1聯合開發案(雙子星案)外界質疑,台北市長郝龍斌昨日在市政會議後,率市府一級主管對外說明。(記者廖振輝攝)
〔記 者林相美/台北報導〕雙子星開發案爭議延燒半年,台北市長郝龍斌直至昨天才首度主動召開記者會對外澄清雙子星案;至於市府是否被太極雙星蒙騙,郝龍斌表 示,市府已積極查證,太極雙星未付足履約保證金,不負責任逃避,造成市府形象受損、工程延宕,他予以嚴厲譴責,也希望檢調儘速查明真相。
澄清赴日絕未參訪森集團
郝龍斌昨大陣仗召開記者會,包括副市長張金鶚、財政局長邱大展、法務局長蔡立文等人均與會,現場提供每人一份十頁的QA,十九道題庫列出雙子星從招商、招標、公告、評選到議約等階段的爭議及說明,同時提供郝龍斌去年赴日招商的行程表,澄清郝赴日期間絕未參訪森集團。
由於外界質疑馬商怡保花園根本沒有加入太極雙星團隊,簽約對象只是怡保花園在台分公司,北市府首度出示馬商怡保花園繳交投標等相關文件,證明馬商有投資意願。
出示文件 證明馬商有投資意願
蔡 立文出示多份文件指稱,太極雙星繳交的投標、議約文件,涉及馬商簽署部分,均由馬商授權代表簽署,授權係由該公司董事會決議,文件經馬國當地公證人公證, 也由中華民國駐馬來西亞台北經濟文化辦事處文書驗證在案,馬商也允諾若取得議約權,將按照公司法要求,在台灣成立分公司。
蔡立文說,怡保花園、谷中城等兩家馬商去年十一月撤銷在台辦事處,翌月也分別由經濟部許可設立分公司在案,上述都是簽約前必須完成的作業。
不過,根據市府出示我駐外單位的驗證文件,上面記載「僅證明簽字屬實,文件內容不在證明之列」,無法代表文件內容屬實。蔡立文解釋,董事會做成決議時,駐外人員不在場,當然不能驗證其內容,只能驗證簽名是否屬實,但仍有馬國當地公證,程序才完成。
郝龍斌強調,雙子星案最關鍵的因素是「投標團隊的財務能力」,未來對所有大型招標案將提高保證金,包括申請保證金及履約保證金均需與標案金額成合理比例,確保廠商得標後訂約及履約,並防止廠商違法行為,高額保證金可讓廠商訂約、履約更慎重。
郝 龍斌說,外界認為雙子星案是以小標大,北市府則依照慣例,要求成立專案公司,未來針對五十億元大型招標案,將改由符合資格的全體投資人共同研擬開發計畫 書,並承諾合約期限內成立獨立的專案特許公司,全程負連帶責任,計畫書也須清楚納入財務到位、增資計畫,包括財務能力、財務來源及計畫。

2013年4月15日 星期一

Playing To Win, Strategic Transformation

企業戰略入門讀物推薦英國《金融時報》 安德魯•希爾報導
商界領袖正面臨巨大問題。正如雷富禮(AG Lafley)和羅傑•馬丁(Roger Martin)在《Playing To Win》一書中所寫的:“極少有公司擁有清晰、有迴旋餘地和強有力的製勝戰略。”
更糟糕的是,想出某種成功策略的高管往往落入陷阱。 《戰略轉變》(Strategic Transformation)一書的作者曾提到:“之前的優勢源泉變成相反的東西——難以逃脫的隱形牢籠。”
雷富禮和馬丁在他們的書中寫道,評估各項選擇的工作可能很“繁重,甚至令人望而生畏”。在這個問題上,過多的指南可能加劇舉棋不定。不過,以上兩本完全不同的新書提供了極好的起點。
Playing To Win》是備受讚​​譽的寶潔(Procter & Gamble)前首席執行官(2009年卸任)雷富禮與他的諮詢顧問、多倫多大學(University of Toronto)羅特曼管理學院(Rotman School of Management)現任院長羅傑•馬丁兩人合作的結晶。雷富禮曾形容馬丁是他“在戰略上的另一個自我”。這本書有望向讀者展示令寶潔公司在雷富禮領導下如此成功的藍圖。
《Strategic Transformation》的三位作者則是管理學方面的教授,他們分別來自蘇威布魯塞爾經濟管理學院(Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management)、蘭卡斯特大學管理學院(Lancaster University Management School)和中歐國際工商學院(CEIBS),這不可避免地導致這本書更具學術性。三位作者根本不信那些將企業戰略成功歸因於個別領導人影響的新聞分析。他們分析了一個有關長盛不衰的英國公司的數據庫,從中挑出三家公司:零售商特易購(Tesco)、糖果飲料集團吉百利史威士公司(Cadbury Schweppers)以及醫療設備公司施樂輝(Smith & Nephew)。這三家公司不僅在長達20年的時間內表現出色,並且在改變經營策略和高級管理層的同時保持了出色。然後,幾位作者著手尋訪相關過程的目擊者,他們採訪了三家公司的前管理人員,還通過挖掘公司的檔案來尋找種種蛛絲馬跡,研究這些公司如何做到這一點,以及他們為什麼比類似行業的三家對應企業更為成功。
三位教授禮貌地承認,整個研究過程與吉姆•柯林斯(Jim Collins)和傑里•波拉(Jerry Porras)在他們的暢銷書《基業長青》(Built to Last)中所採用的“配對”研究方法(柯林斯在後續著作中與合著者也採用了這種研究方法)類似,不過更為細緻。比起柯林斯的任何著作,《Strategic Transformation》更為平實,該書沒有“驚險、大膽的大目標”之類的驚人之言。
不過,雷富禮和馬丁為企業戰略的實踐者提供了一本操作手冊,曼努埃爾•亨斯曼斯(Manuel Hensmans)、格里•約翰遜(Gerry Johnson)和葉恩華(George Yip)則提供了有關戰略制定這一混亂過程的大部分精彩洞見。
比如說,三位教授的詳盡採訪得到這樣一則逸聞:具有傳奇色彩的特易購創始人傑克•科恩(Jack Cohen)有一次真的和女婿、主管日益重要的非食品部門的萊斯利•波特(Leslie Porter)擊劍過招,當時兩人“抓起會議室牆上用作裝飾的威爾金森(Wilkinson)劍,像決鬥者那樣死磕”。
而在施樂輝,前內部人士將該公司上世紀60和70年代的決策過程描述為“爭論式管理”、“恐嚇式管理”以及“彼此之間盡可能粗魯”。
以上描述聽起來比《Playing To Win》一書中有關寶潔戰略會議的不痛不癢的敘述更接近真實的企業生活。在《Playing To Win》中,管理人員努力想出“將牙線產品差異化以推升利潤率的方法”。雷富禮和馬丁甚至寫道,有一次,來自剛合併的吉列公司(Gillette)、原本持懷疑態度的一名高級科學家,“熱淚盈眶”地意識到寶潔風格的現場消費者研究的智慧
然而,你不必在感情上投入“尿布戰爭”的結果,就可以理解雷富禮和他的顧問用來製定戰略道路的關鍵步驟。他們將這些步驟清晰地列舉出來,還配有圖表,展示企業在各個階段的選擇,包括“在哪裡競爭”以及“如何贏得競爭”之類的問題。
不過,那種認為只要製定了良好的計劃就萬事大吉的想法大錯特錯。雷富禮和馬丁在書中寫道:“不存在永遠不變的完美策略,這就是為什麼培養戰略思考的能力……如此關鍵。”
《Strategic Transformation》一書展示瞭如何培養這種能力。該書作者指出,那些經久的“戰略轉型企業”具有四種共同的“傳統”:連續性、預測性、爭論性和靈活性。這些傳統有助於這些企業充分利用所有企業都會遇到的“意外驚喜”。
幾位教授寫道,對未來戰略深思熟慮的觀點、對競爭環境的理解以及管理運營效率的能力(雷富禮和馬丁也提倡這些)對於長期成功來說是“必要條件,但不是充分條件”。為了避免戰略漂移,還需要添加其他因素。
他們挑選的三個成功故事,都通過培養替代性的管理聯盟,再創在競爭中取勝的歷史模式。這些更年輕的管理人員能夠在高級領導人陷入固步自封之前觸動他們。成功企業的管理人員“鼓勵,甚至歡呼”建設性的緊張關係以及思維多樣化。以吉百利史威士為例,雖然它後來被分拆了,其糖果製造部門被出售給卡夫食品公司(Kraft),但是該集團在鼎盛時期培養了一代崇尚新思維方式的年輕管理人員。
三位教授將該集團與英國-荷蘭消費品集團聯合利華(Unilever)作了比較,後者幾十年來都由一個“專門委員會”統治,這個委員會使用一種過度僵化的辦法來選定繼任者
吉百利從公司內部找到新的首席執行官,而聯合利華為了在2009年啟動轉型,不得不從集團外物色人選——最後選中的保羅•波爾曼(Paul Polman)碰巧曾在寶潔公司為雷富禮工作過。
雷富禮和馬丁也沒有忽視這些教訓。他們強調,思維開放和懷疑對任何戰略性討論都是不可或缺的。但他們在書中很少提到寶潔公司的漫長發展史,而了解這種歷史是成功戰略轉型的前提條件。初出茅廬的策略師可以閱讀《Playing To Win》一書來為規劃會議做準備,而《Strategic Transformation》一書則是面向首席執行官的深入指南,介紹如何隨著時間的推移保持和更新戰略。
兩本書還都提供了另​​一個明確的建議:小心規模和市場霸主地位。雷富禮和馬丁指出,豐田(Toyota)、戴爾(Dell)和微軟(Microsoft)的“贏者通吃”戰略飽受人們攻擊,而蘋果(Apple)和谷歌(Google)以其當前的規模和成功,也無法為它們的將來提供永久保障。在這方面寶潔自身就走過彎路。
正如《Strategic Transformation》一書的作者所提出的,劣勢地位有助於突出企業的戰略優勢。他們問道,一旦那些企業佔據了霸主地位,“他們的管理層是不是注定會忽視公司遺產所帶來的優勢?”歷史表明,這個問題的答案常常是肯定的。
譯者/簡易





企业战略入门读物推荐


商界领袖正面临巨大问题。正如雷富礼(A.G. Lafley)和罗杰•马丁(Roger Martin)在《Playing To Win》一书中所写的:“极少有公司拥有清晰、有回旋余地和强有力的制胜战略。”
更糟糕的是,想出某种成功策略的高管往往落入陷阱。《战略转变》(Strategic Transformation)一书的作者曾提到:“之前的优势源泉变成相反的东西——难以逃脱的隐形牢笼。”
雷富礼和马丁在他们的书中写道,评估各项选择的工作可能很“繁重,甚至令人望而生畏”。在这个问题上,过多的指南可能加剧举棋不定。不过,以上两本完全不同的新书提供了极好的起点。
《Playing To Win》是备受赞誉的宝洁(Procter & Gamble)前首席执行官(2009年卸任)雷富礼与他的咨询顾问、多伦多大学(University of Toronto)罗特曼管理学院(Rotman School of Management)现任院长罗杰•马丁两人合作的结晶。雷富礼曾形容马丁是他“在战略上的另一个自我”。这本书有望向读者展示令宝洁公司在雷富礼领导 下如此成功的蓝图。
《Strategic Transformation》的三位作者则是管理学方面的教授,他们分别来自苏威布鲁塞尔经济管理学院(Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management)、兰卡斯特大学管理学院(Lancaster University Management School)和中欧国际工商学院(CEIBS),这不可避免地导致这本书更具学术性。三位作者根本不信那些将企业战略成功归因于个别领导人影响的新闻分 析。他们分析了一个有关长盛不衰的英国公司的数据库,从中挑出三家公司:零售商特易购(Tesco)、糖果饮料集团吉百利史威士公司(Cadbury Schweppers)以及医疗设备公司施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)。这三家公司不仅在长达20年的时间内表现出色,并且在改变经营策略和高级管理层的同时保持了出色。然后,几位作者着手寻访相关过程的目击 者,他们采访了三家公司的前管理人员,还通过挖掘公司的档案来寻找种种蛛丝马迹,研究这些公司如何做到这一点,以及他们为什么比类似行业的三家对应企业更 为成功。
三位教授礼貌地承认,整个研究过程与吉姆•柯林斯(Jim Collins)和杰里•波拉(Jerry Porras)在他们的畅销书《基业长青》(Built to Last)中所采用的“配对”研究方法(柯林斯在后续著作中与合著者也采用了这种研究方法)类似,不过更为细致。比起柯林斯的任何著作, 《Strategic Transformation》更为平实,该书没有“惊险、大胆的大目标”之类的惊人之言。
不过,雷富礼和马丁为企业战略的实践者提供了一本操作手册,曼努埃尔•亨斯曼斯(Manuel Hensmans)、格里•约翰逊(Gerry Johnson)和叶恩华(George Yip)则提供了有关战略制定这一混乱过程的大部分精彩洞见。
比 如说,三位教授的详尽采访得到这样一则逸闻:具有传奇色彩的特易购创始人杰克•科恩(Jack Cohen)有一次真的和女婿、主管日益重要的非食品部门的莱斯利•波特(Leslie Porter)击剑过招,当时两人“抓起会议室墙上用作装饰的威尔金森(Wilkinson)剑,像决斗者那样死磕”。
而在施乐辉,前内部人士将该公司上世纪60和70年代的决策过程描述为“争论式管理”、“恐吓式管理”以及“彼此之间尽可能粗鲁”。
以 上描述听起来比《Playing To Win》一书中有关宝洁战略会议的不痛不痒的叙述更接近真实的企业生活。在《Playing To Win》中,管理人员努力想出“将牙线产品差异化以推升利润率的方法”。雷富礼和马丁甚至写道,有一次,来自刚合并的吉列公司(Gillette)、原本 持怀疑态度的一名高级科学家,“热泪盈眶”地意识到宝洁风格的现场消费者研究的智慧。
然而,你不必在感情上投入“尿布战争”的结果,就可以理解雷富礼和他的顾问用来制定战略道路的关键步骤。他们将这些步骤清晰地列举出来,还配有图表,展示企业在各个阶段的选择,包括“在哪里竞争”以及“如何赢得竞争”之类的问题。
不过,那种认为只要制定了良好的计划就万事大吉的想法大错特错。雷富礼和马丁在书中写道:“不存在永远不变的完美策略,这就是为什么培养战略思考的能力……如此关键。”
《Strategic Transformation》一书展示了如何培养这种能力。该书作者指出,那些经久的“战略转型企业”具有四种共同的“传统”:连续性、预测性、争论性和灵活性。这些传统有助于这些企业充分利用所有企业都会遇到的“意外惊喜”。
几位教授写道,对未来战略深思熟虑的观点、对竞争环境的理解以及管理运营效率的能力(雷富礼和马丁也提倡这些)对于长期成功来说是“必要条件,但不是充分条件”。为了避免战略漂移,还需要添加其他因素。
他 们挑选的三个成功故事,都通过培养替代性的管理联盟,再创在竞争中取胜的历史模式。这些更年轻的管理人员能够在高级领导人陷入固步自封之前触动他们。成功 企业的管理人员“鼓励,甚至欢呼”建设性的紧张关系以及思维多样化。以吉百利史威士为例,虽然它后来被分拆了,其糖果制造部门被出售给卡夫食品公司 (Kraft),但是该集团在鼎盛时期培养了一代崇尚新思维方式的年轻管理人员。
三位教授将该集团与英国-荷兰消费品集团联合利华(Unilever)作了比较,后者几十年来都由一个“专门委员会”统治,这个委员会使用一种过度僵化的办法来选定继任者。
吉百利从公司内部找到新的首席执行官,而联合利华为了在2009年启动转型,不得不从集团外物色人选——最后选中的保罗•波尔曼(Paul Polman)碰巧曾在宝洁公司为雷富礼工作过。
雷 富礼和马丁也没有忽视这些教训。他们强调,思维开放和怀疑对任何战略性讨论都是不可或缺的。但他们在书中很少提到宝洁公司的漫长发展史,而了解这种历史是 成功战略转型的前提条件。初出茅庐的策略师可以阅读《Playing To Win》一书来为规划会议做准备,而《Strategic Transformation》一书则是面向首席执行官的深入指南,介绍如何随着时间的推移保持和更新战略。
两本书还都提供了另一个明确的 建议:小心规模和市场霸主地位。雷富礼和马丁指出,丰田(Toyota)、戴尔(Dell)和微软(Microsoft)的“赢者通吃”战略饱受人们攻 击,而苹果(Apple)和谷歌(Google)以其当前的规模和成功,也无法为它们的将来提供永久保障。在这方面宝洁自身就走过弯路。
正如《Strategic Transformation》一书的作者所提出的,劣势地位有助于突出企业的战略优势。他们问道,一旦那些企业占据了霸主地位,“他们的管理层是不是注定会忽视公司遗产所带来的优势?”历史表明,这个问题的答案常常是肯定的。
译者/简易

2013年4月6日 星期六

Silicon Valley Fights Restrictions on Chinese Tech

類似的攻防會層出不窮


Silicon Valley Fights Restrictions on Chinese Tech

Reuters
By Amy Schatz 
Business groups raised alarms Thursday about a provision in the recently enacted government spending bill, making it harder for some federal agencies to buy technology made in China.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ten technology trade groups representing some of the large U.S. tech companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ -1.48% andIntel Corp. INTC -0.92%, fired off a letter Thursday asking congressional leaders to ensure future spending bills don’t include the language.
The provision prohibits four federal agencies from purchasing certain tech equipment from China unless they obtain prior approval from the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other law enforcement agency after a cyber-security risk analysis. The affected agencies are NASA, the Justice Department, Commerce Department and National Science Foundation, and it applies to “information technology systems” produced or assembled in China.
The measure was included in last month’s bill funding government operations through September. Tech companies don’t want the language to be included in future spending bills or be expanded to cover other federal agencies. They’re worried an FBI review of tech products would hurt sales to government agencies.
“The requirement to assess every IT product purchase, absent any triggering threshold, will likely slow the federal acquisition process,” the business groups wrote in the letter. The Semiconductor Industry Association and Technology CEO Council were among the groups that signed the letter.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The last-minute addition of the language to the spending bill represents broader unease in Washington that Chinese telecommunications manufacturers increasingly supply vital network equipment here and U.S. computer systems are vulnerable to Chinese hackers.
Although the spending bill’s language appears targeted at purchases from Chinese manufacturers, U.S. tech companies worry it could also cover their subcontractors in China and routine purchases of laptops or other technology.
The bill directs the FBI to conduct a review of the purchase of an “information technology system” that is either “produced, manufactured, or assembles by one or more entities that are owned, directed or subsidized by the People’s Republic of China.” However it doesn’t define what an information technology system is or what technologies might be excluded from review.
Chinese officials have objected to the language. U.S. business groups worry China or other foreign countries could respond by requiring security reviews of their governments’ purchases of U.S.-made tech equipment.
The language, “creates a troubling precedent for others around the world,” said John Neuffer, senior vice president of global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents IBM Corp. IBM -0.90%, Lenovo and other hardware and software makers.

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