I got home last night after dining out with a client, and my wife said,
“Mr. K visited. He just said to let you know he was here.”
Mr. K is president of a company we are doing business with.
I wondered what he came for, but it was too late to make a return call so I called him back this morning.
As soon as he got on the phone, he started apologizing. It turned out to be about “hands.”
The whole thing started at morning assembly two days ago.
I saw our business partners in the factory walking with hands in their pockets, so I said to Mr. T who works in the engineering division:
“Some members of X Company were walking with their hands in their pockets.
None of us ever do that, and I felt uncomfortable seeing it.”
Then I added, “When we work in their factory, we join their morning assembly,
but in our factory we have separate morning assemblies.
I have been thinking we should all have morning assembly together since we’re working together in the same factory.
Please discuss it with the production division.”
The aforementioned Mr. T is a man of integrity and even puts in his e-mail signature:
“My beliefs: Justice, Fairness, Total Optimization.”
So right away Mr. T had a talk with Mr. I of the construction division and suggested that the production leaders should talk about it in their meeting the next Tuesday.
In the afternoon, I got this e-mail from Mr. K, our managing director, addressed to all the division heads:
It's getting cold, and I think that's why more people are walking with their hands in their pockets.
In fact, I often see that when I'm walking to the lunchroom.
Therefore, I ask you to instruct your staff more diligently.
Although it happened to be Company X this time, those firms managed by Y Group are spending more time in the factory.
So I also feel the need to instruct them.
Mr. K, who visited me last night, is the president of one such company, and he apologized to me:
“I'm so sorry. I just gathered all the staff at once to make them realize how we should act.
We have to change, following ISOWA. They shouldn't have done that …”
He just came all that way to tell me. I replied,
“There's still room for improvement in ISOWA as well. So why don't we change together?”
No matter how great a company is, it's still got some problems.
That’s true of big companies such as Google and Apple and for us as well, of course.
The high level of employee discipline is important, but I think it's more important that a leader is desperately trying to improve his company, just like himself.
I believe his company will become a much nicer company.
I'm looking forward to seeing it.
And we have to keep making efforts so we will not be outdistanced.
The story about hands ends here.
Next I'd like to introduce a story about “legs.”
The e-mail from Mr. K, our managing director, also said,
“I often find workers who are not wearing safety shoes in the workshop.
I don't think the safety committee allows that. Please check again.”
Getting this e-mail, I felt upset. Lately, even I have neglected to wear safety shoes.
I immediately sent an apologetic e-mail to all employees:
“Dear all: First, I'd like to apologize. I entered the workshop without safety shoes.
I'm sorry. I promise it will never happen again.”
Then I checked my safety shoes in the shoe box, and I couldn't believe what I saw.
Originally black, those shoes had turned completely white with dust – not only on the surface but also on the inside!
That shows how long I've gone without wearing them.
I wiped off the dust and discarded the insoles. I must make a fresh start again.
That's all I want to tell about “legs.”
I happened to pass by Nagoya castle. I stopped the car along a street where the trees made a kind of tunnel, with ginkgo trees on the right side and maple trees on the left. I couldn't help taking a picture of this beautiful scenery.