Nikkei Business – Part 2

We successfully conducted a factory tour thanks to our article in the Nikkei Business. We had 13 visitors from five companies.

First, each visitor made a self-introduction and explained the purpose of their visit. What surprised me was that someone said, “I have been working on structural reform and searching for a company we could learn from. Finally I found Isowa.” That’s what I thought he said – even if it wasn’t word-for-word, that was the impression I wished to get.

Mr. A is in charge of our standard “Discover ISOWA” tour, and he gave the brief explanation about our company. “I feel so happy whenever I hear our customers say ‘thank you’. But taking a months-long business trip overseas was mentally hard for me. ”

I guess he has overcome it. When I looked at him from the front, he seemed about three sizes bigger than he used to be.

Mr. M in the processing section answered a question about the strength of our company’s style: “It is internal strength – not something external such as mere appearance.”

Someone asked, “Could you tell us more about your internal strengths?”

I was very curious how he would answer. He said, “We can talk with each other despite the difference in our ages.”

Mr. I of the engineering division was asked what he cares most about while he is doing his job. He replied quickly and decisively: “Safety.”That was very cool. I felt his firm commitment to safety.

Mr. O of the electrical technology section said, “I have set a new goal, because I noticed that I have not grown much over the past 10 years since I came to work at Isowa.”

He came to this realization by himself. That’s why he was able to take action himself. I hope he will take an active part in training the younger staff.

Mr. H of the service section said, “Before, I didn’t feel fulfilled in my job, but recently I have found that my job is not to just repair broken machines; it’s to make our customers happy by doing it. Since coming to this realization, I have felt happy about doing each task. ”

What a moving speech!

After that, we went back to a meeting room to have an off-site meeting with five members who participate in various projects.

“This time we five are here as one team to please those who have come here.”

They are really reliable.

If you take a closer look at the picture, you will notice that one of them is showing his morale by flexing his biceps.

Lastly, we all remarked about today’s “Discover Isowa” tour:

“I had a really good time.”

“I found your company so flexible.”

“Your sustaining power is great.”

“The whole company atmosphere seemed relaxed.”

“All of you seem to enjoy working here.”

“I had a great time. It’s awesome how you keep an eye on your partners.”

“I think it’s nice to share thoughts.”

“I’ve confirmed that creating things means creating people.”

“Your thoughts really came across.”

“I didn’t know there was such a company. I think ISOWA has a nice atmosphere for working steadily.”

I really appreciate these comments. But there was another comment that pleased me much more:

“I was surprised to see that you are a lot handsomer than I expected.”

Sad to say, this comment was from a guy.

Every time I have an opportunity like this, I think the people at ISOWA are so nice.

Thank you so much for coming today.

We took another small step toward making ISOWA a company with the best possible company style.

Let’s keep up the good work!


Novel succession

On April 13 our company held a grand festival to thank our guardian deities,
which is something we do every five years. It was a fine spring day, with
a steady shower of blossoms from the trees, and I felt refreshed.

After we all performed the ceremonial worship, I gave the following speech:

  “We have been doing this since the establishment of our company,
    and it is important to cherish this tradition.
    But I was wondering if it is enough just to follow tradition.
    Personally, I got into the habit of doing a devotional twice
    a day, under the influence of my father who did it every morning
    and night.

    At first it was just a formal imitation. Then I began to pray
    for my family, and now I also pray for members of our company,
    their families, my brothers, relatives and friends, as well as
    our customers.

    That doesn’t mean I started to pray for all of them suddenly
    at the same time, or that I do it formally. I've been praying
    for those I interact with as a company manager. It is in some
    ways my history as manager.

    So do you think I’ve made these prayers my own, or am I still
    just imitating tradition?

    I’d like you to worship while contemplating the nature of
    Ryu-jin and why we all worship it. If you have a deep understanding,
    then you can pray according to your own heart. When more of us pray,
    it will surely be our own sincere prayer.”

When the ceremony was over, the Shinto priest approached me and said,

  “It was a nice speech, sir.”

And then after the worship service at the office, the priest also came to
my house to pray to the Ryu-jin there.