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多元化和可持续发展

(2010-07-06 15:15:26)
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杂谈

分类: 专栏作家EricXu

多元化和可持续发展

华尔街精英彼德·林哥奇鉴别企业有一套自己的标准。其中一条即过度多元化或称“多元恶化”绝不是好企业。对此股神巴菲特亦有同感,指出必须“专注”。
 
中国企业的多元化是举世闻名的,做药的投资盖房地产,纺织企业又去投资餐馆。种种与本行业无关的投资不一而足,与其说是多元化,不如说是病急乱投医,或盲目投机。眼见一个有意思的多元化例子,大约最具代表性。前不久在北京去一家山西餐馆就餐,北京的山西餐馆不少,好的不多。晋阳饭庄最有名,因用了清代大学士纪晓岚的故居而闻名。虽是国营,但菜的质量和花色都不错。眼前这家山西饭馆硬件尚可,但是软件就大打折扣,女服务员个个站无站相,坐无坐相,门前的迎宾女孩,一袭红色旗袍,却在里面穿了条牛仔裤,许是初夏,女孩毫无顾忌敞开领口,其他服务员见大堂客人不多,不是勾肩搭背用当地土语聊天,就是嬉笑打闹完全没有餐馆里服务生的勤勉,倒像是在自己的院子里和朋友聚会。客人进门,服务生竟然能瞪着眼看顾客,全然不知招呼,更别说服饰不整,使人联想到这个饭馆大概是山西煤矿老板业务多元化的产物。一问同样讲一口大同味普通话的领班,果不其然。餐馆老板是大同煤老板,招的服务员都是同村的年轻人,缺少培训,不谙世故,做的菜也是山西菜中的大同菜,称是特色,优点是分量很足,但颇油腻,如牛肉面鱼。整个餐馆朴实有余,服务欠奉,对解决农村剩余劳动力有帮助,却是极不成功的多元化。老板的初衷希望为企业的可持续发展找出路,但又跳不出土园子的局限性。

 

山西煤老板是今天社会经济生活中的一个特殊现象,他们的多元化是在不自知的被动中进行的,有的投房产,有的在蒙古、印尼继续挖煤。但是企业的复兴重振却乏善可陈,概因失去方向的多元化是走不远的,也达不到使企业持续发展的目的,只能是彼得·林哥指出的“多元恶化”。

 

Peter Lynch, the Wall Street elite has his own standard to evaluate companies. One of his principles is that a company of over diversification, or in other word, diworseification can’t be a good one. Warrant Buffet shares the same opinion and has emphasized the importance of concentration.

 

Chinese companies are widely known for their diversification, as the pharmacy companies invest in real estate, or the textile enterprises run restaurants. Investments in totally non related industries to their own have become cliché, trying anything in a blind speculation rather than diversification. I’ve been observing an interesting example of this when I had dinner at a Shanxi restaurant in Beijing. Only a few of the many Shanxi restaurants in Beijing are worth recommending, among which Jinyang Fanzhuang is the most famous one, named after the former residence of Ji Xiaolan, a peerless scholar of the Qing Dynasty. The dishes served in this state owned restaurant can be described as delicious and presentable. Compared to the good hardware, the software of this restaurant isn’t in the same breath at all. Waitresses stood or sat casually, and the usher girl, wore a pair of jeans in her red Chinese dress, unbuttoned at the neck perhaps because it was early summer. Other waiters and waitresses were either chatting together in their own dialect or laughing and jesting, more like friends hanging out in their own place instead of dedicated waiters they should act like. When the guests came in, these waiters and waitress just watched them walking in without any words of greetings, not to mention the improper dress. It occurred to me that this restaurant might be a part of the “diversification” of a private coal mine owner’s investments, and the answer from the manager whose mandarin has a strong Datong accent proved my conclusion. The restaurant owner is a coal mine owner from Datong in Shanxi, and he hired young people without sufficient training and experience from his hometown, and their cuisine is from Datong as well, featuring hearty portions of slightly greasy dishes such as the beef noodle. This sincere and plain restaurant without qualified service might help to absorb the surplus labor in the rural area, but it’s definitely not a successful diversification. The boss wanted to establish a sustainable development strategy, but couldn’t cast off the ideological mode limitation of the private enterprise owners.

 

Private coal mine owners in Shanxi have gradually become a symbol of a very special phenomenon in social and economic life nowadays, who proceeded their diversification in a passive way unknowingly. Some followed the real estate rush, others bought more coal mines in Mongolia or Indonesia, most didn’t perform well to rejuvenate their companies. Because diversification without directions won’t work out, neither will help the sustainable development of a company. Well, that is just the “diworseification” that Peter Lynch was talking about.



 

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