OIJ #9: Innovation

When I taught at Fujiya Company through the introduction of the YMCA, I was so impressed by how the employees were preparing for its 100th year anniversary. Actually, I was so surprised at how the company can stay that long. It was indeed a great privilege for me to teach the bakers and other employees.

 

About two years ago, I joined my siblings’ Japanese  Language Class tour to Bridgestone Museum. The history and vision of this tire company inspired me so much! Imagine from a humble socks factory in a rural area to one of the top tire manufacturers in the world! The company is the number 1 sponsor of Tokyo Olympics 2020 and the highest contributor ever!

 

Today I read an interesting article about Japan’s business strategies and ethics and how they can reach more than centuries old. They are worth sharing as OIJ and hope many aspiring entrepreneurs will follow suit.

I highly recommend this article to understand better the Japanese companies, their values and how they thrive despite their limited resources and prone to natural calamities:  https://www.ft.com/brandsuite/cabinet-office-japan/key-values.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign=agingsociety&fbclid=IwAR0vy1BUZQgxnqBrIzmLw_XF66BpFDyfRQ9qZ6unlXeJl1b3NE2YdWv3_TA
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Striking quotes from the said article: 

“The way many Japanese describe it, there is an ingrained desire in business and society for gradual improvements to improve efficiency.”

“The above only really works when new technology is engaging with societal needs. So, it’s no surprise that many of the experimental ideas going through this process today are – potentially – products and services that could shape future society, in Japan and elsewhere.

“Historically, Japan has had to be resourceful, relying on efficiencies and innovation to manage a major economy with limited natural resources.”

Attitude too has played a role. In times of disaster, there is a greater calm and order in Japan than we’d expect elsewhere. Who can forget TV images of neat waiting lines and well- organized emergency centers after the record 2011 earthquake and tsunami?”

“Japanese companies, in general, might not seem like the fastest movers at first. For those with an investment span that exceeds a week or month, however, it would be curious to learn that over half of the world’s oldest enterprises, those in operation for over 200 years, are said to be based in Japan .”

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