The Goal of Sustainable Growth Management
However, it is speculated that nearly half of these companies indicating improvement did so through restructuring initiatives such as personnel cuts and consolidation of operations. A true revitalisation of corporate performance requires companies to seriously commit to more proactive and drastic management innovation. The concept of a company's life span typically lasting thirty years is threatened to be short-lived if companies neglect efforts to reform and reinvent itself in accordance to a rapidly changing economic environment.
In the past decade or so, we have generally witnessed the demise of corporate performance and the wax and wane of organisational activities. Surely the lesson that corporate executives and top management should have learnt by now is to not dismiss the significance of day-to-day perseverance and commitment in the workplace for solid, continuous growth. Companies must adhere to one fundamental goal guided by 'out-of-the-box' and individual managerial thinking, to become less susceptible to swings in the economy and achieve long-term stability, growth and profitability. This is what we mean by achievement of continuous growth by a structure of 'Sustainable Growth Management'. It is only through Sustainable Growth Management that we may provide quality service to shareholders, customers, employees and corporate society, while simultaneously reaping profits. R&D and facility investments as well as employee training and development will open up to an innovative and dynamic upward spiral of the company life cycle.
What are the conditions required for this real, continuous growth? Needless to say, increased operational efficiency and quality improvement are obvious prerequisites, however, these alone are not sufficient to harness international presence in today's stagnant economy of deflation, excess supply of goods and intense global competition. Creation of new values in addition to these attributes should also be on top of the agenda.
Companies are being challenged to consistently offer leading edge and value-adding features in technology, products, services and business models to the market. This is a very dramatic shift from homogeneous market-based competition to one based on differentiation and competitive advantage. This is a shift that cannot be achieved by simply expanding R&D function. Only when a company embraces the transformation within its very organisational nature could it then consider taking its place at the starting line on a macro level.
This means that a company must first to seek a quality that is unique to them to remain unrivalled from other companies. Second, is to have drive to actualise the company corporate vision. This initiative needs to be guided by a leader with a strong will, desire and a clear mission to execute this ultimate goal. Thirdly, to create a working platform where employeesﾕ intellect and creativity is uninhibited and maximised in the workplace. Fourth, to create an open corporate environment of diverse culture and background to further the ability for groups to accept and absorb new ideas and methods. And last but not least, is to overcome the fear of change and to cultivate an organisation with a challenging outlook for the future, which, is mere, but positive step toward rejuvenation of corporate morale and sense of values.
In this way, a paradigm shift following comprehensive structural change from within the organisation provides as a window to innovative and high value-adding management style, thereby achieving true Sustainable Growth Management.
The greatest strengths of Japanese Management have always been the nurturing of employees, leveraging organisational strengths and the ability to take full advantage of factors of potential growth. I believe, with these skills already second nature to us, our next challenges are to make every attempt at Sustainable Growth Management, move beyond any mental boundaries and to confront each corporate issue with confidence.
JMA 2003 Business Activity
ーAreas of Focus
In addition to our standard operations,
Japan Management Association (JMA)
continues focusing on the following business activities for 2003.
|1.Align Top Management to Promote Innovation|
|In today's business environment exposed to accelerating change and competition, it becomes increasingly vital for companies to accommodate executives who can demonstrate strong leadership in accordance to a company's individual, managerial vision. |
In 2003, we will continue to review JMA's corporate executive programmes and evaluations, and offer advice on how to construct applicable methods to actively address issues of our widened research on remuneration systems, corporate governance, corporate ethics and risk management to support Japanese companies meet these challenges on a practical level.
|2.Global Business Leader Training Programme|
|Advancing globalisation in Japanese industries have spurred demands for talented individuals with an international perspective who are able to execute comprehensive strategies for all corporate activities, including operations and product development, manufacturing and sales, but there is no doubt that there is a considerable shortage of such project managers and business leaders capable of facing this global challenge across the industry.|
Following our research findings from 2002, JMA will continue to develop the Global Business Leader Training Programme, which will be launched in 2004. During development, we hope to affiliate with specialised overseas organisations to create an extensive, full-scale programme.
|3.Committing to Research and Teaching Programme Initiatives to|
Realise Original, Value-Adding Management Systems
|Recovery from economic malaise and its conversion into an active business environment must be achieved through continuous development of unique and attractive technology, products and operations that satisfy consumer needs and stimulate demand. |
It is essential for companies to differentiate itself from other organisations through creativity and innovation not only of management systems, but also throughout all other branches of the corporate structure.
Following our 2003 proposal ー'Challenge of Achieving Competitive Predominance by High Value-Adding Management'ー JMA will continue its thorough research to ascertain solutions, while developing and promoting necessary programmes throughout the industrial world.
|4.Stronger Focus on Regional Small to Medium-Sized Company Revitalisation|
(Focus Areas: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kansai Regions)
|The extent to the rise and fall of Japanese companies varies considerably depending on the business sector and the company in question. Company growth is primarily affected by geographic location and regions that are largely home to small to medium-sized companies in particular are facing the most serious conditions.|
In order to support the activity of these companies in Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kansai regions, JMA will 1) provide useful industrial information, 2) support industry-academic exchanges, and 3) steer efforts towards improving management efficacy.
The above objectives stems and expands from 'Implementation of Innovative Technology and Product Development' and 'Human Resource Development' issues.
|5.Promote Japan-China-Korea Management Exchange|
|Expansion of technology and markets in an age of global competition require the trilateral cooperation between Japan, China and Korea as a backbone for corporate management to successfully advance their strategies. However, Sino-Japan and Sino-Korea relationships that currently exist remain mutually exclusive, whose cooperation is limited to sporadic and depthless exchanges in industries and between companies.|
There is a necessity to build a common stage on which specialists such as top management executives, engineers and marketers from all three countries may positively interact, thereby facilitating a bigger and better business community.
JMA intends to establish an opportunity for the interaction of Japanese, Chinese and Korean executives on the basis of building an imperative and stronger network relationships with other countries.
JMA Proposal 2003
The Challenge to Establish Innovative
and Value-Adding Management
For Competitive Predominance
Japanese companies today need to change and re-establish their
mind-set towards the creation of markets, demands and customers.
JMA released their 2003 proposal under the heading
'The Challenge to Establish Innovative and Value-Adding Management
for Competitive Predominance' in hopes to offer a comprehensive
response to this issue.The following is a summary of the proposal.
A Shift to 'Innovation Oriented Management'.
Building a development framework that will encourage companies and all their functions to be innovative.
In general, the productivity of Japanese companies does not justify their corresponding R&D investments. In comparison with European and American companies, Japan is exhibiting a deceleration in productivity cycles. Japanese companies must drastically change and reform their mind-set, in order to break away from this pattern.
What today's manufacturing society is looking for is an establishment of innovation promotion systems for creating markets, demands and customers. To support companies to realise this opportunity, JMA would like to propose a management framework called 'Innovation Oriented Management'.
Innovation Oriented Management should be a platform on which corporate activities, especially in the field of technology and skills where individual qualities or value-adding features are consistently developed, so that the company may aim for the prospect of long-term competitive predominance.
Innovation Oriented Management application is the responsibility of the top executives. CEO and CTO partnership is critical for comprehensive implementation.
Top executives play an essential role in the implementation of Innovation Oriented Management.
Firstly, a company must revise their core corporate philosophy and values to one that would encourage a transition to a culture of innovation development in the workplace. Next, is to formulate and adhere to a mid- to long-term measurable goal or vision, conveying a clearer target for company originality and innovation.
Corporate vision should be an appealing and identifiable 'dream' for all employees.
It is the responsibility of the corporate leader to envisage and share his visionary 'dream' to his subordinates. He must be able to integrate the 'dream' into the company, guiding the path in which his employees should take to achieve it. He must take it into his own hands to ensure the 'dream' becomes the company vision.
Strengthening Innovation Oriented Management, under the guidance of the CEO, should be closely supported by the CTO (chief technology officer) who assumes the role of overseeing technological innovation of the company.
Promoting alliance through open networks for strategic development.
Simultaneously improving development efficacy and reinforcing competitive edge.
Intra-organisational initiatives are usually supported by inter-organisational alliances. However, the impact of increasing investments, the need of risk dispersion and accelerating the speed of development is facilitating companies to substantially neglect their internal, individual development. Companies should actually concentrate on committing their resources to a particular technological area internally, whilst encourage alliance developments for other fields.
It is important to study and understand the various forms of domestic and international alliances. Companies should also consider cooperation with a diverse pool of organisations, from other companies in the same industry, companies in other industries, universities, research institutes, NPOs and government-affiliated organisations.
Mr. Hideki Shirakawa, Nobel Chemistry Prize laureate in 2000, was described to have 'serendipity (the tendency to find something valuable by chance)', describing his meeting with a foreign researcher, whom he later shared the prize. There were cultural conflicts between the two, but this resulted in unique concept creation and accidental discoveries, which proves that collaborative opportunity or chance with an outside party is surely a risk worth taking.
The innovative management of the development project team.
Aiming to reach new heights with a 'Team Genius'
There is no doubt that R&D initiatives will be determined by the quality of project teams. In recent years, R&D receives a larger scale of investment and it has become impossible for an individual to be wholly responsible for the investment.
As a result of external pressures from shareholders and management for better ROI or shortening of collection periods, it has become inevitable for organisations to bring together and organise internal intellectual property and devise systems for allocation of work for efficient functioning.
JMA has long been embracing the concept of 'Team Genius'. This is a belief that, although an individual in solitude may be ordinary, if several individuals are pooled, they are able to achieve something out of the ordinary. The precondition for achieving this synergy is that individuals must share and direct themselves to a common vision or philosophy.
The role and influence of the team leader is critical, who must be tough under adverse conditions or immense pressure, for the running of an original, innovative project. In this way, the appeal of the leader is valued highly by subordinates.
Companies must look to develop skills such as foresight, insight, willpower and logical thinking in project development leaders, gaining all the qualities to become an all-rounder boss. Such leaders will be capable of steering his team through thick and thin and being able to challenge all obstacles they may face. It is JMA's task to thoroughly study ways in which to educate people to become such leaders through Innovation Oriented Management.
Incorporating creativity value into organisation ethos.
A development framework starts and is sustained through fundamental changes in corporate DNA.
Encouraging creativity also applies that companies must accept the possibility of disappointment or failure. Companies that have emerged to change its own corporate make-up and continued to sustain innovative 'genes' have experienced many faux pas but made swift recovery from their mistakes in time for the next project. They are also quick to change their stance with changes in the environment.
One way to successfully change the corporate culture is to not make the task of changing the culture a top priority. In other words, if managers pursue innovation throughout the organisation, if project teams are running smoothly, then a change in culture into one of ceaseless creation of valuable ideas would be the natural progression.
Frequent communication with people of various culture and backgrounds is an effective way to further encourage innovative vision of technical experts within organisations. Companies should actively instigate these exchanges in the workplace. If high goals are set and individuals are free to decide how to achieve these goals, then ultimately, the corporate culture will shift to one of positive development.
It must be the responsibility of executives to take the first risk-taking step to initiate corporate change to one that is dynamic and creative.Organisations must incorporate an innovation promotion epicentre into their company structure for the development and education of innovative thinking, training programmes and active information exchange.
It is Japan's turn to learn about European and American management practices. Domestic companies benchmarks are no longer a reliable qualitative measurement. Japanese companies should not discriminate between domestic and overseas organisations, they must learn to base their decisions on a global scale and establish their original organisational systems from them.
Three Companies Commended
with 2003 TP Prize
|Japan Management Association (JMA) hosted the 2003 Excellence in Total Productivity Prize (TP Prize) Ceremony on 17th June, in Tokyo. The TP Prize was established in 1982, to publicly recognise companies or departments achieving an exceptional standard in productivity as a result of better management, contributing to the progress of industry and society sophistication.|
This year, the TP Prize was awarded to Topcon Corp., which also received a special award for TP Management Promotion, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Philippines Corp., and The Kansai Coke and Chemicals Co., Ltd., Kakogawa Plant.
East Asia Horticultural Fair 2003
|JMA, Japan Greenhouse Horticulture Association and Japanese Society of Information Systems in Agricultural Meteorology joined forces to co-organise East Asia Horticultural Fair 2003, which ran for three days from 19th to 21st June, at Marine Messe, Fukuoka.|
The event focuses on the horticulture segment of the agricultural industry sector, which is currently seen to be undergoing the most technical innovation in its field. The event aims to cover several aspects of this specialist area, supported by an exhibition and symposium on technology related to production, distribution, sales and consumption of vegetables, fruit trees and flowering plants, casting light on forthcoming challenges in the industry. This was the second show since it was first held in May 2001.
The show's theme this year was 'Health, Safety and Symbiosis and Peace of Mind ﾐ Establishment of Agriculture in the New Century ﾐ From Kyushu to Asia to the World' and 87 organisations participated, totalling 174 booths. The show attracted overseas interest, including Korea (14 exhibitors) and Holland (6 exhibitors), introducing updates on the latest technology, products and services.
|Japan Management Association（JMA）|
Survey, research and advisory services／Management education／ Technical conferences and conventions／Management system audit／Others
3-1-22 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1058522
|Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance （JIPM）|
Surveys, researches, consulting, training and publishing relating to TPM（Total Productive Maintenance）and plant maintenance
3-1-38 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1050011
|Japan Institute of Office Automation（JIOA） |
OA information exchanges／Surveys, researches and consulting／Others
3-1-22 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1050011
|Japan Society for Technical Communication（JSTC） |
Undertaking technical document preparations／ English Technical Writing Test／Others
3-1-22 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1050011
|JMA Consultants Inc.（JMAC） |
Management Consulting／Education and Seminars／Others
35Fl., Shiroyama JT Trust Tower 4-3-1 Toranomon,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 1058534
|JMA Systems Corporation（JMAS） |
Specializing in computer software
3-1-22 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1050011
|JMA Research Institute Inc.（JMAR） |
Surveys and researches／Information services／Others
3-1-22 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1050011
|JMA Management Center Inc.（JMAM） |
Human Resources and Manpower Development
3-1-38 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1058520
Japan Management Association
3-1-22 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1058522 Tel.+81-3-3434-1601 Fax.+81-3-3434-1087
URL : http://www.jma.or.jp/indexeng.htm
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Tel. +44-20-8334-8923 Fax. +44-20-8334-8145