This is the Third Time

Today we held an ISOWA tour for our new employees and their families. This is the third time we’ve done such a tour.
I think the families may be worried about what kind of company ISOWA is.
This event is planned for them to see, feel and understand us, as well as to support us.
Today the weather was changeable in Nagoya. At times it was stormy.
In spite of the weather, all six of our new employees and eight of their family members took part in this event. They came from Hikone, Shima, Ena, Gifu-Hashima, Koda and Toyota.
Ms. H of the human resources department provided our company overview, and then I said a few words.
We talked in an open space, not in a meeting room, because I wanted them to feel ISOWA as much as possible.
Then we embarked on a Discovery ISOWA tour presented by the recruiters.
First up was Mr. T of the structure division, who is in his fourth year as an ISOWA employee.
“I am now studying the alignment and installation of machines. Originally I joined ISOWA because I wanted to manufacture things, so I will master that and start studying machine structure.”
Next up was Mr. N of the sales division, who has been working at ISOWA for eight years.

“Until recently I thought our job was just to sell the machines, but I have come to recognize the importance of making customers happy. For this reason, I am now trying to please the customers even before delivering the machines.”
I could feel his zeal for his work. It might be because he recently got married.
Finally Mr. T of the technology division, who has five years of experience in the company, came up and spoke to us.
 “This year, while I worked on developing new machines, I was thinking of this slogan: ‘For the world, for the people.’ My work poses some really challenging tasks and is full of pressure. But the best moment for me is when I hear a customer say ‘nice machine.’ This has always been my goal in development: For the world, for the people.”
Mr. T became a father on the first day of Minkyu. I have never seen him this excited. I couldn't help shaking hands with him.
At the end of the tour, one participant said, “They were not perfect speeches, but what really matters is that they were all speaking nobly with their own words.”
That is what our tour participants always say. It means all the ISOWA members can publish their own thoughts majestically, and such thoughts can be moving for other people.
At this point, the participants divided up with the new hires in one group and the parents in another. The new employees were accompanied by recruiters while Mr. Nakamura and I attended their parents. We ate “miso-katsu” at our three-star restaurant and had some coffee. That was our original full-course lunch.
I asked the parents to tell a little about their children, speaking frankly. I know some things should be kept private, but I will tell you some of the insights.
Ms. K
She is a strange girl. She loves creating things so much that she might suddenly start hammering at something even in the middle of the night.
Mr. A
He is an “otaku.” He loves trains and will go anywhere to take photos of trains. Actually I am a model railroad fan too.
Mr. H
He is a quiet man from the country.
Mr. E
He is obedient and honest. He is like a child.
Mr. Y
He is shy. Although he can’t drink much, he loves drinking. So he often gets drunk and oversleeps.
Mr. M
He is a weird man. Yesterday he suddenly went out for a bike trip to Atsumi 50 km away from our house, just to see fireworks. Actually I like to bike too.
Here are some additional comments.
     ·         I was surprised that you seem to know my kid better than I do.
     ·         Finally I understand why he looked so happy when he got accepted for the job in
           your company.
·         Your factory is much cleaner and designed for safety than I expected. That relieved me greatly.
·         Your offices seem well ventilated.
·         You are all smiling and fresh.
·         Since the time of his internship, we have been saying, "I hope you will be a member of ISOWA."
·         This tour reminded me of the time he took us here and said, "I really want to work for this company."
·         What surprised me most was how honest they all were in their talks.
·         Unlike at my company, you are all cheerful, and the president is friendly.
     (In response to this I said, “To tell you the truth, I’m using my body double for this event.”)
Children want to show their company to their parents, and parents will want to visit there.

This is the kind of people who join ISOWA every year. It's a strong point of ISOWA. We will work with all our might on management in order for them to keep this good feeling forever.

We, the ISOWA family, will warmly welcome your dear children. So please don't worry. And please keep being our fans.
Thank you all once again for coming.


The Second Day of Minkyu

Today was the second day of Minkyu, a project set up for ISOWA’s 90th anniversary commemoration. We had an off-site meeting with the entire company about “manufacturing things.”
Mr. S of the technology division got the ball rolling.
He made a speech explaining what he thinks about developing our service for some customers who visited us two days ago. The original speech was so amazing that I asked him to give it again for all the employees. Of course he did that, and I was just as impressed as before by his talk. Thank you, Mr. S.
After that, each member of the Minkyu declared what they are determined to accomplish for their career life at ISOWA. I heard they kept on discussing until the break of dawn after a great “fudo” battle yesterday. (Fudo means corporate culture in Japanese.)
Here are their manifestos:
Mr. T
“I’ll understand well what the customers think and develop technology by putting myself in their shoes.”
Mr. N
“I’ll halve installation time in order to please the customers – and also spend more time with my family.”
Mr. I
“Sometimes I feel like I’m being operated by the machines rather than vice versa. By the time of our 100th anniversary, I’ll prove that it’s efficient and beneficial to stop the machine while inspecting it. This is what our president calls sublation.”
Mr. K
“I will establish a system where we all get easy and quick access to whatever resources we need and make the system contribute to our management.”
Mr. M
“I’ll take measures to intervene before machines break down, and that will prevent long periods of disruption. Down-time will be as close to zero as possible.”
Mr. Sa
“I’ll build up relations with our subcontractor factories and make them our fans. We'll streamline our systems.”
Mr. M
“I’ll make the processing group into the division with the best atmosphere in the whole company. And I want to learn how to use the processing machine I program.”
Mr. Su
“I’ll think of a better mechanism for my work as well as a better way of working so that I can fail well.”
Ms. N
“I’ll accept more jobs. The fact that I’m a woman won’t be a factor.”
Mr. N
“I’ll learn how to install machines and connect electric power lines myself.”
Notice that their manifestos all start with “I.” They don’t think these projects are up to someone else. It takes courage to announce their own ambitions in front of other people. That’s something you can only understand if you have done it yourself. These staff-members have overcome it. They were all nice. I was really moved by all their manifestos. Thank you.
Then Mr. Tokiwa, one of the special teachers, gave us a lecture.

The following is what struck me the most:

Manufacturing holds two joys. One is the joy to create, a creative pleasure. The other is the joy you feel when the thing you manufactured makes customers happy. This is a social pleasure.

In other words, what matters most is that we deliver products to those who use them. Manufacturing is indeed inextricably linked with selling. Furthermore, marketing, branding, customer service and management – including personnel affairs and accounting – are all part of manufacturing, in a sense.

The truth is that things are not created, but instead, they naturally well up from essential qualities. We can’t create things only with good technique.

What is a company? A company is the place where you do things that you can’t do alone.

In response to this, some ISOWA employees said:

“He’s really professional. It was great.”

I can’t help crying a sentimental tear when I recall that lecture.”

Mr. Furukawa also gave us a mini-lecture:

If things are two sides of the same coin, we should stop thinking they conflict. For example, consider sellers and buyers, or our company and its customers. You can’t think separately about two sides of the same coin.”

During the break, we all had lunch together.

This is what it looks like when 230 people do it together. It’s magnificent.

After listening to the lectures, we had an off-site meeting with all staff-members.

The room was filled with excitement.

The air conditioner seemed to be set too high during the morning, but the ISOWA people’s excitement was so great that they raised the room temperature, so it felt as if the machine was not working at all in the afternoon. The coordinators of each group, who took the off-site coordinator training session, did a great job indeed. Thus, the off-site meeting was finished.

Our discussion about how to build something unique to ISOWA has just started. The game has just begun.

We heard Mr. Tokiwa say, “Now I’m a member of ISOWA’s cheerleader group. Please let me know the status of your progress in a year.”

I believe this picture of us three will be an unforgettable one some years from now, like my picture with Mr. Shibata taken at the 80th anniversary.

Mr. Tokiwa and Mr. Furukawa, thank you so much.

In this way, our two-day event to celebrate ISOWA’s 90th anniversary was successfully concluded.

Thanks to all the Minkyu members for your hard work … Wait a minute! I have to mention the staff-members who couldn’t take part in this event because of their work. And I also came up with a good idea on the way back from Gifu. I decided that we must have another “fudo” battle in Shokawa with those who couldn’t make it this time and all the Minkyu members.

And so our Minkyu will go on.