Cultural lessons from HTC

Peter Chou, CEO of phone maker HTC, according to Bloomberg, recently sent out an email to employees complaining that “we have people in meetings and talking all the time but without decision, strategic direction or sense of urgency,” and he also said that when HTC employees did decide to do something, they “either didn’t do it or executed it loosely.”  Also, that employees needed to unshackle themselves from the culture of bureaucracy and just get things done regardless of whether they’re done exactly according to company rules and regulations.  “Don’t let the processes, rules and norms to impact our important goals,” he wrote. “Of course we have to follow certain rules and criteria but don’t let small things kill the major goals… Please make sure that we kill bureaucracy… Stay firm with the hero innovations and make them even bigger and deliver them.”

It isn’t unusual for people to feel that meetings are a waste of time or that rules get in the way of productivity but I can’t recall a CEO publicly saying so before.  Clearly there is a culture that encourages conformity and avoids risk-taking, and it is his job to change that to one that is more productive.  HTC have a good reputation and a good product line that in many ways rivals Samsung’s very successful phones, but it has been having financial problems despite this. 

Far too often in business leaders, as well as workers,  lose sight of what is important, and why they are doing things and how these contribute to their overall goals. 


  1. Bloomberg

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