The company came to Arians

Take control of the whole scene

How does it feel to have an Aliens around you?

For Xiao Zhang, is a magical force, the surrounding relaxed atmosphere quickly pumped away. “A former colleague of mine can, with one already, turn a friends’ dinner into a business meeting. “

We all just graduated recently, get together inevitably to talk a little workplace topics. “She will generally speak more backward, ‘It’s all very normal. In our Ali …… ‘next, is swish list a few suggestions, three start. “

Over time, the chapter summed up the experience, the friend who went to Ali, is hoping to use the “Ali experience” to such a mediocre discussion “Open light empowerment”, “strange, she was previously in Bytes, we can still discuss some phenomena, now completely unable to communicate, the tone is not the same. “

Xiao Zhang is confused, why friends went to Ali, it is like a different person. A number of large Internet employees have the same questions as Xiao Zhang.

“Pro experience to know, Ali flavor hurtful not small, extremely contagious. “Style strong, like data management, keen to meet, overtime in the volume, fancy PPT enthusiasts …… is a number of large factory employees to our memories, Ali people left them the impression.

In their view, the “Ali flavor” spillover of a set of standard process is: good at summarizing statements, sharing experience, control the process, and then control the whole scene.

Put to the office, this ability seems particularly outstanding.

“Ali out of friends love to control the whole scene – ‘this is the conclusion, then I separate I’m going to tell you’! “In the Jingdong work of Ah Xin said, if a project at the same time rowed two of the same property department support, that Ali people in the department will certainly start from the first meeting to master the right to speak. “Even if he has little idea. “

If there is PPT, of course, more like a tiger.

Lin Xi, who works in Poundland, said that in a weekly meeting, a colleague from Ali, made a 50-page PPT, “from 10 minutes to finish the meeting, the whole day. “

For the advancement of the project, Ali people also often have “their own ideas”, in order to be able to firmly grasp the entire project progress.

“I do not agree with the point, is the set of Ali’s way of working copied to other companies. “Lin Xi believes that his Ali leadership “control desire is very strong “, obviously the department before a set of their own system, but in order to “show their own professionalism”, and specifically find a PMO The person in charge of project management.

Ah Xin also encountered the same situation. She said that her colleagues complained privately that the leader who “loved to cue the process” had disrupted their own rhythm. Even if the team’s default DDL is only a week later, he will go from one to another to press the executive and ask for progress.

Of course, the most effective means to control the process or Ali people are proud of the “data management”.

Lin Xi said, the leadership almost every day to urge the team to update the progress of the system, hoping that all data. But in fact, we are not working on the e-commerce side, you can directly query the background data, the evaluation of many projects to integrate multiple data and effects, data pile up is meaningless. “

Finally one day, the “internal volume” was also data. Xiao Zhang found that an invisible table hanging over the heads of the group: overtime ranking table of various departments – this is also regarded as “data management This is also seen as an achievement optimized by “data management”.

This created an absurd scene: at 8 p.m., the office area was still full of employees who were afraid to leave work.

The most “political”

The first company founded by Xiao Zhang’s former boss was acquired by Ali, and three years after it was merged into the big system, he once again brought the core team (including Ali’s HR) out to start a business, and thus brought a lot of big factory management habits. For example, ABtest, several teams do a project at the same time to do, carry out internal horse racing.

But what impresses Xiao Zhang most is that her boss is keen on the deliberate maintenance of the company’s internal hierarchical position system.

After hearing the words “you girls don’t have to work too hard”, Xiao Zhang and the four women in her group were dissatisfied with the team leader who always gave the opportunity to They complained to the big leader about the sexist team leader. But the answer was, “You are reporting beyond the hierarchy, which is not in line with the rules.

If we follow the strict hierarchy, should we complain to the person himself? Is this reasonable? “Xiao Zhang, disgusted with this bureaucratic culture, resigned and left.

Hierarchy brings a sense of pressure, is also “Ali taste” a big slot.

In Hangzhou, an e-commerce company to do public relations Qianqian said, since the transfer to the leadership of Ali origin, their own style of action has gradually become cautious. “I have developed some work habits. For example, when looking for a colleague to contact the business, will certainly first nail his rank a few more times to confirm. “

The “Ali flavor” that Chien understands is the passion for infighting. In order to consolidate his position, the leader has been wary of one of his directors, and later simply recruited another director of the same level, and the “Division of the older” director confrontation. The fight, accidentally on the wrong team of colleagues, work everywhere restricted, and later forced to leave.

WeChat group is the battlefield. Thousands of diving in the group, see more than once, other departments throw a need to support the activities, her leadership will find various reasons to stall. “The funny thing is that the big boss is quite willing to see people fighting, thinking that this can improve efficiency and optimize the team. The group is full of gunpowder, and he doesn’t say anything when they are about to fight. “

However, Chien also admitted that the company is growing too fast, after the organization becomes larger, it naturally brings the hierarchy, the big factory employees are also more adaptable than those who come from the start-up team. She is more uncomfortable is that the hierarchical system cultivated a sense of superiority, but also easy to unconsciously migrate to the field outside of work.

She said her female companion working in Hangzhou also reflected, to eat in the Ali campus, can more obviously feel the people who come to talk to, “there is a sense of pride in the identity”. “Many people boiled five or six years, promoted to high P, all of a sudden have that kind of raised eyebrows mentality, but also normal. “Thousands said.

Ali’s rank is divided into P sequence and M sequence, M sequence for the management post, other positions employees are generally go P sequence, P7 for technical experts, P8 for senior experts. General P9 above is also known as high P.

Ali’s internal culture of living water, so that employees who have worked for a short period of time is difficult to leave, and there is no need to leave. But for the senior players stuck in P8 to P9, jumping ship to open up new business to the family, or to go to a more lucrative salary return of small companies as leader, is a predictable career path up.

Moreover, Ali’s technical staff jianghu status is relatively high, in the job market is very popular, is also the industry consensus. “Ali P7 above placed in other companies very able to fight. But in fact, in addition to cloud computing, security, these technology-focused departments, the technical backbone of Ali origin is somewhat deified. “A programmer of the drop said.

A Hangzhou-based Ali staff shared her findings: “Many marriage posts in Hangzhou specify to ‘Ali man’, they must also know that they are in the marriage market to eat. “


If you want to talk about the difference with other big manufacturers, most people will first think, Ali love to emphasize the “dream” and “values”. “values”.

“You choose a company that ranks first in China today, the first is to pay the price. “In 2019, Jack Ma in an internal Ali sharing session, re-emphasized the “Ali people “the expectations: change yourself, help others, and achieve the mission.

This is Ma’s usual style, but also Ali talent training system, the requirements of higher-level managers.

“Ali has developed to a large scale of tens of thousands of people, there are some bureaucrats, but the efficiency of implementation can still maintain the efficiency of startups, indicating that each employee has a strong self-driven, or, as we say internally, the sense of ownership. ” said Shearer, who was Ali’s P9.

Shearer analysis, because Ali is very emphasis on organizational culture construction, the best and the worst to the extreme, inside everyone for the organization’s own development, self in the organization’s position, will look much heavier than other companies.

“We all know how to perform in order to rise up. “Shearer revealed that the income gap between different performance is extremely stimulating: the same level of employees, the year-end bonus can be three times worse. And generally different from the outside world’s imagination, although Ali has “361 ring evaluation”, but in this rule, the final decision on performance ratings, is still the immediate leadership. On the other hand, the supervisor’s personal performance to a certain extent and rely on the achievements of the people underneath to bake.

“Then this will definitely be tainted. When (supervisor) power is infinitely large, then the people underneath the work for you, may be the only top, leader may also often lose the principle, the people underneath the work and then bad, I also want to support. “Shearer said.

Therefore, good at upward management, is in such a hierarchical competition game, inspired by the “survival” instinct.

Unlike the common, clear hierarchy of “bottom level, middle level management, top level strategy,” Ali’s self-contained organizational structure and talent system requires that even The high P, but also “a rod in the end”, the management to the most detailed.

Shearer revealed that Ali’s senior P are often from the bottom up, work structure also encourages the senior P directly involved in the business, requiring everyone to be able to get down a line. “You have to be able to top at any time, the following two layers of each person’s work, are to be able to personally do. “

At the same time, Ali also encourages internal horse racing and internal competition. Shearer personally experienced, a mild-mannered, top-performing P9 scored low, just because not enough “take charge”. “In our words, you’re not aggressive enough, not aggressive enough, you’re just doing your own thing, it’s not enough. “

Aggressive, this management vocabulary from foreign companies, directly translated as “aggressive”, “aggressive”. “aggressive”, but in Ali, is usually considered a positive, aggressive, dare to fight for the evaluation.

Shearer said that in Ali, people at different levels need to be able to follow the “point – line – surface” to advance the business. p9 To do “face”, it is necessary to cross-department, cross-level coordination and communication. It is important to do this without even being afraid of offending people. “If you see that someone is wrong, you have to point it out, so that you can help the organization progress. “

In the Ali rank introduction, from P9 onwards, all levels of requirements in one more: mission-driven. If only to manage their own acre of land, only business do well, it will not be able to get in this game of survival, climbing up the pass card.

“Promotion and year-end bonus, year-end stock directly linked, leading to the team within the people will diss others as a survival (necessary) thing, in fact, is self-preservation. ” Shearer said.

And when Ali people with this mentality into other companies, may be replaced by colleagues on their own “like to point fingers” and good at upward management of the impression.

“Between the two groups, was quite harmonious, he would say, the group is too harmonious, not a normal thing. “A Jingdong employees recall, parachuted in Ali leader very like to say that people “do things without methodology “, “in fact, is to encourage the tear”.

Unable to integrate the pain

“Work to depression, the last time or I just entered the workplace, twenty years old. “Three months after joining Ali, Shearer found himself in a poor mental state.

As a theater lover who worked overtime to the point of near depression, Scheer began to make a point of setting aside time every Wednesday night to see a movie or play.

But internally, this behavior was considered “overly focused on life” and “not focused on work. But internally, this behavior was considered “overly focused on life” and “not putting energy into work,” and was reported by a colleague to a higher-level leader.

In counseling with a psychologist, Schell realized that people who could stay up until they took stock were already very much recognized by this logic in their bones. Being assimilated is also a reasonable mode of survival. “It’s like Stockholm syndrome, you’ve endorsed that value. A lot of people may really already be numb, the heart is happy, think the world should be like this. “

He recalled that a high P training, someone asked Jack Ma “you are so busy how to balance their work and life”, Jack Ma frankly replied. “Work is my life. “

“He probably does, and that (lifestyle) is right, but that value can be distorted if you layer it on down the line. ” Schell said.

And indeed it does. Two years ago, the internal sharing session, more out of the circle is Ma’s “996 welfare theory”, also caused a collective backlash from the working people. People began to realize that this set of values, which runs through the entire survival system, is essentially anti-human.

“Later I found that there is life is original sin. In Ali, any enjoyment you have of life is original sin. “After being reported Shearer did not dare to publicly reveal again, his favorite “more refined “lifestyle.

“It may be the desire to maintain the state of entrepreneurship and struggle, at least in that sector of our life, everyone is proud of the gritty life. ” Shearer said.

Having a life of your own became a mistake on a values level. Those who couldn’t accept it, left. Those who stay, in such a survival system, have to reinvent themselves according to Ali standards.

“This environment is only suitable for strong people. In Ali must be a skinny person. “Wang Yi said. Leathery, is also Alibaba’s former CPO Peng Lei has shared, one of Ali’s requirements for talent.

Just left Ali’s high P Wang billion, has witnessed the team of two P8 department head, a man responsible for product, a woman responsible for operations, the two in the office for the project to shoot the table arguing, “after the quarrel the girl cried all afternoon, the whole makeup are all cried out. At night, the meeting was still working as usual. “.

Wang Yi is used to such scenes, argue is necessary, “can not stand frustration, it is difficult to really carry out the project. “

Workplace Utopia

In the 2014 book “Management” (edited by Wei Xiangming), a report on Ali’s corporate culture was cited as a case study, in which it was pointed out that Ali is a similar “workplace utopia The article points out that Ali is a kind of “workplace utopia” team.

From today’s perspective, such a “utopia” is built with fancy names, continuous training, golden words of chicken soup hanging in the air, and core values that are required to be recited.

“Ali people in such an atmosphere for a long time, the direct consequence that the internal formation of a high degree of unity, we all use this logic to treat others, people who do not fit will be ‘public opinion ‘ natural elimination, in fact, to avoid a lot of units of ‘mouth is not’, a great saving in management costs. “The report points out that if you consider the “workplace” as A transaction system, Aliens reduce transaction costs.

According to American psychologist Robert Jay Lifton, to ensure a tight “mind control”, it is important to maintain employees’ It is important to keep employees busy.

In fact, in addition to working together to meet high departmental business targets, Ali employees initially had to undergo a variety of training sessions arranged by the company, including “Ali Classroom”, “Ali Night Talk”, “Ali Night Talk” and “Ali Night Talk”. Ali Night Talk”, “Ali Night School “Ali Night School”, “100-year plan”, “100-year integrity “100 years of integrity” and “100 years of Ali ” etc.

Ali’s values training starts from the first day of employment.

A number of high P revealed that today’s new employees, the first three months of employment, to spend 3, 4 weeks on training. Not only business training, the company will also put different business line people together to carry out values, life choices on the “unity of thought”.

One of the lessons that impressed Schell the most was that you have to “be human”: “For example, if you come home and look at your family, you’ll see that you’re a human being. “For example, if you come home to see your wife, you have to treat her like a real person, not as a bossy person. “

He feels that the default logic behind this call for a “return to warmth” is that Alians have put all their energy into their work.

When the company grows to tens of thousands of people, we can’t manage through the general system, so we have to pull down the values from above, from the human nature to manage. “Shearer said.

And the easiest way to maintain values is the performance system. in 2016, Jack Ma recalled Alibaba’s values assessment in a speech like this.

Values are not nebulous things, they need to be assessed, and without assessment this values are useless. Corporate culture is the assessment out, if your corporate culture is posted on the wall, you do not know how to assess, all nonsense.

If you say, the values are the soul of the team. Then, the training implantation and daily assessment is to help employees recognize the set of values of the “two ladders”.

Everyone holds one in one hand, and strives to climb up to the next level, the next level.


Ali’s overall management style comes from the original business model, which is a fast-growing direct sales team on the basis of “Chinese supplier” products, used to The team is used to “playing hardball”.

As early as two decades ago, Alibaba’s declared principle for recruiting direct salespeople was. Corporate culture first, values first, followed by ability.

Under common sense, the direct sales team should preferably recruit people with sales experience and customer resources, but Jack Ma believes that values are more important than sales experience.

“Ali is willing to invest in the organizational culture, probably because they see the input-output ratio, probably related to the original business model, we have to unify ideas and create an iron army. But now young people’s ideas are increasingly personalized, and that’s the problem. For example, customers first, employees second, shareholders third, is this really the case in business decisions? There is a lot of internal indignation. “An Ali employee said, do not think there is wrong to promote values, but to recognize the essence, “and the company love each other, but do not take the body. “

The substance of his mouth, which is the most direct material rewards. For a long time, in addition to values, Ali also has to rely on stock to maintain the relationship with employees.

Although cash income does not necessarily have an absolute advantage, but to a certain level of Ali people are able to get equity. “Ali’s internal collective identity, to give stock is to recognize you, is that we are together in building a business, the company does more, it returns more. “

This model culminates in the equity structure of Ant Financial Services. Fair information shows that Ant Group employees own more than 40 percent of the stock, and many will achieve wealth freedom after the IPO. “No company would have such a large pool of equity for employees. ” said one Ant mid-level.

But the fact is that Ali’s external appeal is declining.

Today, Ant aside, Ali’s main e-commerce business not only has to deal with old rivals like Jingdong, but also faces challenges from Jindo, and also has to worry about the erosion of emerging e-commerce businesses like Racer and Jitterbug. When the business model starts to be challenged and growth slows, anxiety sets in.

“In this situation, you say you still have a sense of superiority? Now and jindo at the same time to send an offer, there is a large probability is to go to jindo, and byte at the same time to send an offer, or with fast hand at the same time to send an offer, basically must lose. “Wang Yi revealed that now external recruitment is not as easy as that year.

Ali internal also had to adjust the strategy. For example, many departments began to implement OKR performance method to improve efficiency; including Ant Financial Services, Ali cloud, including some of this year to achieve a substantial general transfer, some teams got a significant number of salary transfer package. “Cash treatment and Poundland no way to compare, but Ali has tried to pull even with byte, Meituan to improve competitiveness. “

This relies on self-driven and options to build a “workplace utopia”, and did not fall apart.

Even when Anthem suffered a listing fiasco. The internal turnover rate did not meet management’s expectations. “Many people transferred to other departments, the same top in the industry, many people stay in the original department and enjoy salary increases. “The above-mentioned ant mid-level said.

More attractive for people to stay, is the resources that are difficult to reach elsewhere. “And only in Ali, even the lowest level of employees, but also access to the project in billions of units of measurement. “A just jumped to Ali operations staff said.

Two years ago, during the Double 11, an Ali publicist tentatively proposed whether it would be a good idea to test an internal response system to deal with upcoming emergencies. The proposal went through layers of escalation and was finally approved. The next day, engineers stayed behind to work overtime, and when the servers were partially shut down, they began to quickly repair and restore them.

“It’s rare to see such a bottom-level employee able to drive an exercise of this magnitude. “An Ali employee who witnessed the whole event lamented.

A young man who just entered Ali, also said he could understand the company’s philosophy and the original intention of promoting values, and he would not leave Ali for the time being, but when it comes to integrating his life completely into his work, he acted very rationally.

“It may make you feel happier when you work, but there are risks. When a company is growing fast, you’re on a rocket. However, a company can’t always have rocket speed. “

(All names in this article are pseudonyms upon request of interviewees)