Strategic Week 2019
Strategic Week 2019
Each year colleagues from 1421 Consulting Group gather in Beijing to review the past year and plan for the upcoming years. We have not missed a single strategic week since 1421 was founded 8 years ago. The goals for this week are always about strategy and building relationships. This year was different on multiple levels. It was the first strategic week where Peter was no longer CEO, the first week without Nathan and three new talents joining us: Qian, Benoit & Jack. Moreover, we shortened the strategic days to only half a day, while simultaneously increasing the desired output. This required a lot of extra effort from all of us.
Looking back to the past year, 1421 Consulting Group has seen a lot of challenging opportunities which we were able to grasp and turn into successes. Our growth expanded even further due to a successful content marketing strategy and through serving new upscale clients which required teamwork and personal growth from everyone. Our team experienced an increase in expectations through internal and external drivers which were handled successfully through transparency, alignment and focus. At the same time, we successfully paved the way for our expansion plans, however we were unable to achieve our goal of opening a third office in the past 9 months.
While we are proud of the growth of the previous period, we also realize our priorities need focus to ensure our ambitions are achieved. Therefore in the past months we have worked hard to built a foundation to properly execute our strategy and align our operational excellence.
Considering all our growth, this year we decided to go back to basics and define who we are, what we are good at, and what our ambitions are. These three factors combined have given us a clear path to follow towards the future. All of our ambitious goals can be divided amongst success strategies and operational excellence:
By combining our strengths and ambitions we have set clear goals for 2020. These goals contribute to our aspirations towards 2029 and require focus and strong teamwork.
- Develop an automated and personal sales process for all our future clients;
- Create a long-term content strategy aligned to future online developments;
- Initiate a structured research approach as the foundation for a knowledge centre;
- Develop a China business strategy masterclass to inspire people;
- Set up a structured recruitment process including a Chinability test;
These goals can only be reached as long as we are able to maintain a stable operational machine which helps our clients succeed in China.
All of our processes are aligned to ensure our clients are able to succeed in China and remain compliant. To ensure we are able to deliver on these promises, we will improve the 1421 client journey. Our major focus is on creating a better understanding of all our clients. Both existing and new. As soon as we have a clear grasp on who our clients are, what their ambitions are and how we can contribute to their success, we are able to align our processes to the needs of our clients.
At the same time, we want to invest in our family culture. This crucial component of our organization needs constant nurturing and development. We want to become the most attractive employer in China for both Chinese citizens and foreigners. Therefore, 1421 needs to have a clear understanding on the things that connect us. These connections will ultimately be the driver to our success.
Alexander visited China for the first time in 2002 to visit the province where his sister was adopted from. In 2017, Alexander joined the 1421 Consulting Group team as Growth Manager. He helped prepare the team for extra growth by aligning processes and people to a common goal and implementing a structured work method. Furthermore, he became responsible for the ongoing marketing activities. Executing this content strategy is the foundation on which 1421 has experienced growth in the past years.
What happened in the year 1421?
From 1421 to 1423, during the Ming Dynasty of China under Emperor Zhu Di (朱棣) the fleets of Admiral Zheng He (鄭和), commanded by the Chinese captains, discovered Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Antarctica, the Northeast Passage; and circumnavigated Greenland.
Due to this endeavour we can conclude that “1421 is the year that the Chinese discover the world”.