What Alibaba Chairman Zhang Yong thinks about 35-year-old anxiety among technical employees? Don’t be afraid to just write code.

How do companies give their employees a sense of security as they grow? How can you dilute the hierarchy to make your company culture simple and sincere? How can organizations become more agile in the face of future opportunities? How do you view the issue of “35 year old anxiety” in the workplace? Recently, Zhang Yong, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba, shared business, organizational and cultural topics with employees at the Ali “Five Years of Chen” ordination ceremony. As the No. 1 position in Ali, Zhang Yong’s answers to these questions can be seen as a changing and growing Ali, but also to the changing and growing enterprise to inspire.

We have exclusive access to the transcript of Zhang Yong’s speech, which we also share with you.

(Editor’s note: The culture of “Nian Chen” is an important part of Ali’s culture. In Ali, there is a saying of “one year fragrance”, “three years mellow” and “five years old”. Among them, “five years old” is an important moment in the growth of Alibaba employees: Alibaba employees with five years of service will receive a “five years old” ring, which will be awarded by Ali partners.

Opportunities in the Digital Economy
1、Today, Alibaba’s businesses are developing rapidly, but there is no denying that the market is large, and in the market of each business field, there are many new players and even new competition, which is normal. I still want to emphasize that competition is not the process of killing anyone, but the process of creating value by upgrading ourselves better.

2、The reason why we see an endless stream of enterprises appearing in this market, whether it is the transformation of traditional enterprises or the emergence of new species, behind all of them is one thing – no matter where we come from, where we go is one thing, we all want to go digital and use digital to change the world and change business.

3, in front of the digital megatrend, the combination of technology and business, technology and scenarios happen in all directions. This is both the competition that Ali sees today, the market boom, the challenges brought by all kinds of diversity, but also our greatest opportunity. Digitalization is already a definitive trend of the times, and its transformation of society and commerce, when viewed in the face of such a major historical trend, has just begun.

4, Industrial Internet these five words are 360 lines of the Internet, for example, a textile industry is completely different from an extractive industry. You may find some common capabilities here, that is, the ability of cloud computing.

Challenges in organizational development
5, when an organization is getting bigger and bigger, more and more people, how to ensure agility, to ensure smell, to ensure responsiveness, which is the goal of all the joint efforts of today, is to be able to make us form an agile organization needs blood and the required consensus, the most important thing is action.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you’re not just a person, but also a person who’s going to be in charge of your business. Let’s just start simple and change some specific behaviors to make our organization, our culture, simpler and purer.

7, if each of us can go one step forward, more proactive, more consideration for each other a little, not only for their own KPI considerations, but also for our partners to consider, to find the greatest common ground, as I mentioned some time ago “to seek common ground and respect differences”, put yourself in the position to adjust their posture, will be able to make collaboration easier, more agile organization.

8, the way we all think about the question is, your scheme, model, value creation is not useful to the customer. If you can create customer value, whether light or heavy, we can find the right way to do it. Internet development has entered deep water and you can only find solutions by jumping into the water yourself. Only if you can eventually produce products and services that are valuable to customers or users, can you really solve the problem. White cat and black cat, can catch the mouse is a good cat.

9、Sometimes change is justified and needs to be embraced, but some changes prove to be unreasonable and an excuse. Whether change is justified or not is still a phrase, “prove it with results”. It takes a process for any organization, any team, any individual to go looking for answers. No smart person is suddenly able to conjure up a trick to fix this. Everyone who gets in the water has to learn to swim and understand the water conditions on this side of the pond.

10, Ali there is no useless people, only the people who have not put the right position. As long as everyone is in the right place, the energy is enormous. But it is undeniable that our world will also have mismatch, and after the mismatch will bring a lot of energy loss, this is our common problem to solve.

11、For Ali, such a large organization and team, we still need to create a variety of organizational recognition and self-approval, only in this way, we can move forward in a healthier way.

12、What does our organization think about 35-year-old employees? My answer is that from the start I don’t have an opinion on 35 year old employees, we don’t pull a lever and give him a label. What do you think about students who aspire to write code and do frontline technical work after 35? I say I 120% encourage, support, admire, and create the conditions for you guys. The thing that worries me the most right now is not employees over 35 writing code, but employees over 35 not writing code. Our technical team of pure managers should be lean and few. Hopefully, our technical managers at different levels still maintain a certain amount of code, which I think is the underlying motivation for today’s constant movement forward.

Work, Life and Thinking
13, a point to pay, a harvest, behind our families, our friends and relatives, such a group of people to support, can let us fully committed. People do not pretense, you seriously make a good choice, and do not regret this, if you regret the time, please change, that’s it.

14: How to manage your time is a big topic. My habit is that my time must be at my disposal and I only have meetings that I want to have. Sharing with you the two things I value most about my work or my life: first, managing my time, and second, setting aside some time to think. You can think on your way here, or you can think on your way to the gym at night, or you can even think in the shower.

And that thinking may not be so serious. I also watch hip-hop like everyone else, and I care about social issues like everyone else, including watching short videos. I do all the things that everyone does, and some of them I quite like. It’s both life and part of the job. If you are a caring person, you can truly understand a consumer, an audience, a product user, but also bring some inspiration to work.

15、Are there any frustrating moments at work? Yes, but I can’t easily express it yet, and when I do, people get even more frustrated. What to do? Sing!