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Sincerity and an agile mind

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about my beliefs is the word “sincerity.” I believe that sincerity is extremely important to persons living in a society, a company, an organization, and a family.
Konosuke Matsushita used the phrase, “an agile mind,” referring to one’s mental attitude when viewing things and speaking to others. The phrase is helpful when making decisions. I always strive to sort through miscellaneous matters when faced with various problems in order to simplify the issues, and think in plain terms to make decisions. This perhaps leads to an agile mind.

The basis for “thinking as a manufacturer”

Our company long utilized the single management method of making calculations by department. Performance reviews were conducted in each department, which led to growth in profit and productivity. Both the operation and manufacturing departments conducted a monthly closing of accounts to determine whether profit, added value, and expenses corresponded. This taught me disparate approaches to cost accounting and expenses as I put them into practice at each of the departments to which I was assigned after joining the company. That concept is now fully reflected in my business approach, and the basis for my style of thinking as a manufacturer likely began there.

A period of upheaval in Japan’s industrial structure

Around the time I was tasked with responsibilities, Japan’s industrial structure was experiencing a period of upheaval and our clients were accelerating their overseas expansion.
Under these harsh circumstances, the major policies of in-house vitalization and clarification of expenses were touted, and a division of the company was promoted. This sweeping change in management practice carried risk, involved problems with managers, and had pros and a con, but to start with, the operation was split into three companies. As a result, production and sales were separated. Though it may be an indelicate expression, it meant that you had to work to earn your own salary.

Everything has a foundation

As I gained experience, I realized that everything has a foundation. That is, fundamental knowledge is terribly important. There are many examples, starting with the society’s conventional practices and including the scheme of things, their mechanisms, and the way of doing things–to name a few. If you don’t have a firm grasp of that concept, you cannot move ahead. Thus, I have keenly felt the importance of gaining experiences through a variety of mediums, such as conversations with others, books, TV, and trips abroad.

The most difficult “determination” and “discovery”

You have to sift through knowledge and select what is necessary in order to solve problems, but the next step is the application of that knowledge. If your idea is a good solution, then you can consider subsequent actions. This might be called an idea or an inspiration, but getting down to it is an extremely difficult task that takes time and perseverance. Reconsider the issue from simple basics. What is the goal? What do you want to accomplish? What needs to be done at this moment? The determination and discovery of these basics is crucial, but the most difficult task.

Reflection and gratitude…

Finally, though I agree with looking forward, you must not forget to implement analysis, verification, and review. Out of long-standing habit, I have always strove to reflect on issues, including my own behavior during decades of ups and downs. Though the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” there is another expression, “All roads lead to Rome.” You must never forget that the person you are today, and the company that exists today, owes everything to those who came before. I am now full of gratitude to them.
In summary, I will do my best to ensure that my physical stamina, spirit, and mental faculties remain facile. Continued hard work is a source of strength.

March 17th , 2010