The Eight Section Brocade

Author Charles Yeung

Translated by Soula Lo

As someone in charge of an enterprise, or an entrepreneur, one must practice some basic skills, that conclude his/her many years’ experience is called, “The eight section brocade of enterprise.”1. To seek truth from facts   

A useful person must have the quality of reliability. If his reliability is disqualified, we may say he is a useless person. What is reliability? The basic qualification includes these two commandments: (1) No stealing, (2) No false language. Stealing or robbery is against the law; it is a crime. If one commits a crime, one might be put in jail. False language means lying. A liar cannot be trusted, and there is an ancient saying: “One cannot stand without reliability.”

Public credibility is most important for a government. Without public credibility, it would be hard to govern the general public. As for an enterprise, public credibility is also a premier quality, otherwise it cannot cohere any power. 

2. The system of introspection

The success of an enterprise is in its introspection and reflection. Only through introspection, can one know its advantages and disadvantages, then understand how to keep those advantages and overcome the disadvantages. By gradually accumulating good qualities, and forming momentum, then the power will become much greater. If one can bring these qualities into use in an appropriate time, then one can create a certain amount of good effects. That’s why there is an ancient saying:  “Supporting soldiers a thousand days, means to use them at the critical moment.” 

3. Know how to plan, put it into practice, and summarize

If an enterprise wants to be successful, it must have some goals. At the beginning of the year, it must establish the goals it is seeking, which is called planning. Throughout each year and every month, everyone in the enterprise should work hard to realize these goals and also engage in introspection every month and at least once in the middle of the year. And then summarize the goals at the end of a year; keep the profitable and promising companies, and close the ones that have serious deficits or are hopeless companies. Use this summary to keep the useful employees, or to better train or terminate the useless people. Only in this way, an enterprise can grow healthily. 

4. Focus

Some enterprises have the problem of distraction. They have too many goals. People are easy to make one mistake, which is “fastidious and demanding but inept”; which means, they want to do too many things, but they are inept and have limited time, as a result, they cannot achieve their goals. The solution is “to catch the big ones and let go of the small ones” and “focus all the soldiers and power to fight the battle of the annihilation.” 

5. Willing to put all efforts in work

There is a song called, You will win only if you love to work hard. The lyrics say, “The success of life depends upon three parts luck, and seven parts hard work.” It claims that, if one puts all effort, diligence, and hard work into everything they do, the result will be success. 

6. Creativity and technology

Some cases in history have told us, “It is better to support oneself by one’s intelligence rather than by one’s labor.” Working smart is better than working hard. We may depend on labor and effort at the early stage of an enterprise, but the energy to develop an enterprise depends upon brainpower, creativity, and technology. It also means to depend on talented employees instead of depending on laborers. Talent is the foundation of an enterprise’s development. Only when we obtain talented people, train talented staff, and attract talented people, can an enterprise stand upon an invincible ground. 

7. Team work spirit

In unity there is strength. This is an ancient proverb. We can be successful only when we work together. We need to be aware of having democracy when working within the team; thus, there must be a good balance of unity and democracy without being partial to any side. We must establish a united conscious and attitude when we work together. If only we don’t have the heart to split up, speak fewer words that would destroy unity, do fewer things that would harm unity, then in time, we would be able to maintain a united environment. As for different opinions, we should put aside minor differences so as to seek common ground, learn to discard the idea of either this or that; that is, the idea of if it is not good, then it must be bad. If we really cannot unite different opinions, we should learn to manage them separately. Each one may use any kind of concept to govern an enterprise, then see what is the effect. Maybe all roads lead to Rome?

In modern society, there is more than one method leading to success. So just as the old saying, “There’s no two ways to return to origin, but there are many doors leading to it.” The goal can be one, but the methods can be many. 

8. Business performance

The goal of an enterprise is profit. If there is no profit, or the company has no future, it must reduce itself to a smaller scale, perhaps even shut down. Business performance is the indicator of an enterprise, that is to say, “Practice is the only standard to examine truth.” Or, “no matter a black cat or a white cat, the one who can catch mice is a good cat.” And “Empty talk destroys a country; actual practice builds a nation.” It is that simple. Before China reformed, there was a period of time of ongoing arguments about theory. The result was, everybody had his own opinion, but none of the theories could claim an absolute advantage. After Mr. Deng Xiaoping took charge, he executed, “Let the facts speak, and let the numbers speak.” He wasn’t eager to unite all different opinions in a short time, but later people gradually understood where they needed to go before the facts. It is easier for people to come to a common consensus in front of the facts.


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